Property Owner FAQs
Do I have to invest any cash into this installation?
No. With the signing of the site agreement, Powertree provides the turnkey installation of all the needed EV charging equipment into parking stalls, including the solar and a battery system along with the necessary electric service. If you choose to perform other work concurrently you may save money as well.
What do I have to supply to start this?
Your expression of interest, a copy of a single common area electric bill, designated parking stalls and roof space. Your Powertree representative will work with you to nail down the details and complete the site agreement.
Does this impact my existing electric service? How?
The Solar will be tied into the main bus of your service and reduce overall loads, there is also a small EV meter added. Both meters are paid for and the responsibility of Powertree. No changes to your service or upgrades are required. In some cases Powertree will install, and pay for, additional service dedicated for Powertree equipment.
Is this a backup power system?
The Powertree station is intended for primary use in supporting electric vehicles, solar power and the electric grid. In certain cases it can also provide emergency power for limited building systems such as security cameras, emergency lights, door access, etc. Consult your Powertree representative to see if this is a good option for you.
How does this add value?
You gain new rents from Powertree and greater value and demand from tenants. You comply with state regulations and you make your property more attractive to EV drivers who tend to be attractive and valuable tenants and both ecologically conscious. Your Powertree representative can provide more detail about your specific situation.
What about security of the building?
Powertree installs multiple security cameras in each site that maintain continuous surveillance of the entry to parking and the Powertree equipped parking locations. Typical shared parking has already handled multiple person access and security. If you have specific concerns please discuss them with your Powertree representative. Insurance is also carried by Powertree to protect Powertree and the property.
Do tenants have to sign up before you install?
No. Since any registered member of Powertree services can access Powertree parking locations your location already has a base of waiting users. We have seen that once tenants know they have reliable and convenient access to charging and they learn the economic benefits of using a plug-in vehicle over a liquid fuel vehicle that they will switch.
Who does the work?
To control costs and assure quality, Powertree will manage the work in concert with its financing partners and uses only qualified and licensed professional contractors.
How is this managed?
Powertree monitors each station 24×7 electronically and with the site access and install cameras. Powertree maintains a call in line and has a local service person that can be dispatched as needed. Your local building manager can refer any questions to your Powertree representative.
Your tenants will likely have questions on how this impacts them. Here are some common questions tenants may ask:
How does solar get applied to my electric bill?
- The Solar installed on your building is specially metered and is managed by Powertree and the local utility.
- When a tenant chooses to rent a portion of the solar array, Powertree allocates the production of the solar array based on the information provided during the signup. Powertree then works with the utility to assure the proper credit on the tenants bill for the tenant’s portion of the solar generation.
- You will see a credit on your bill and separate statement mailed to you from the utility.
Your new bill = Usage – Solar Generation + Solar Rent
Your new bill on annual basis < Your old bill on annual basis
Will this impact my electric bill?
Solar from Powertree is cheaper. If you sign up for it you can benefit but the value may vary. Because you can choose different rates from the utility (tiered, time of use, etc.) and your personal usage pattern may vary the exact cost and savings will depend on your choices.
What’s the best utility plan for a tenant when they get solar?
If working at home and most of the energy use is daytime they will most likely want a tiered rate from the utility plus solar equaling their monthly usage for maximum benefit.
If they are away during the day and use most of their energy at night then they will most likely benefit from a time of use plan where they get high credit for the solar energy during the day and pay a lower rate at night.
How does Powertree charge for solar?
Flat Rate. Powertree charges a rent per KW of array capacity allocated to the tenant at a flat rate per month calculated based on the tenants selection of the amount for solar power they want. This assures that the solar rental cost and cost saving benefits are both predictable and less expensive than the power from the utility.
Is Powertree less expensive than the utility provided power?
Yes in almost every case. Powertree prices its annual rental price to be less than the typical fully loaded price (including metering, daily charges, etc. imposed by the utility).
Does the tenant have to put any money up front?
No. Neither the tenant nor the property owner is asked for any construction funding or cost up front. A credit deposit is typically required depending on length of rental term.
Electric Vehicle FAQs
Does an electric car make sense?
A car is a very personal decision and investment with choices depending on your desires and lifestyle. In many cases a plug-in car turns out to be less expensive for a new car and fuel than what you may be spending on gasoline alone.
Electric vehicles are higher performing, quieter and more advanced than other vehicles as well being more economical while coming in a wide variety of makes and models from sports, to SUV to sedans.
By driving a plug-in vehicle you:
- Utilize fuel that is local and renewable, rather than sending money to the oil producing regions that create instability and security problems.
- Keep the benefits of clean air and money in your community. You enrich where you live rather than sending it elsewhere
We recommend www.pluginamerica.org for more details on plug-in vehicles and benefits.
How do I get to use an EV charging stall in my building?
All Powertree stations are shared use and if not already in use, accessible by any Powertree member in good standing. Drivers sign up for use on the web or via the mobile app.
Is this stall dedicated parking for a specific tenant?
No. To keep costs low and serve as many as possible, Powertree provides the parking without additional charge while a vehicle is charging on a shared basis. When fully charged, a vehicle must move or it is charged an overstay fee that increases until the vehicle is moved.
If my car is not an EV can I use the Powertree parking space?
No. The stall is specifically intended for the shared use of plug-in vehicle charging.
How do I pay for EV charging with Powertree?
Sign up for an account and register the vehicle via the website or mobile app. Service is provided for unlimited use including parking while charging at any Powertree location. You will be charged a monthly fee based on your vehicle and selected plan.
How much does this cost for my car? How much do I save?
Less than gasoline. Plan prices are based on your specific vehicle model. Powertree prices the plans to achieve a substantial savings over typical gasoline driving. In most cases we expect Drivers to save at least 50%, and up to 65%, over the equivalent cost of gasoline depending on your driving style.
Do I have to be tenant in the building where the charger is installed?
No. You do need to have a valid Powertree account with a registered vehicle. Use the mobile app to locate an available station.
How fast do I charge at a Powertree station?
As fast as possible. Powertree stations are designed to charge your vehicle at the fastest rate your vehicle can accept an AC charge. Each station is configured to support up to 70 amps or 18 kilowatts. This is roughly equivalent to 60 to 70 miles of range for every hour of charging. The exact rate is dependent on your specific vehicle model as not all vehicles are designed to charge at the same rate.
Is this faster than other stations?
Yes. Many other stations are configured to charge at 15 amps (3.3 kW). If your vehicle can charge faster than this you will not get a full rate of charge at those stations.
Is my vehicle compatible?
Yes. While there are different formats for charging, Powertree’s station use the J1772 format which is available on 100% of currently shipping vehicles. Some vehicles (Tesla or private conversions) may require an adapter which is available from the vehicle manufacturer.
I’ve heard that electricity comes from coal so how clean is this electricity?
100% renewable power generated on site is used in almost every case. Powertree’s system is specifically designed to provide the cleanest and most reliable power possible. In addition to using some of the solar power generated on site to directly charge vehicles during the day, energy is stored in the on-site battery system for delivery during the night or when overcast. Only when this power is not available does it get drawn from the grid. The grid’s renewable content is monitored every 5 minutes from the CAISO to assure vehicles are recharged with the cleanest power possible.