Energy Queensland proposal would give energy company control over home vehicle chargers in world first amid backlash from industry groups

Queensland risks putting the brakes on the transition to electric vehicles if a state-owned energy company is given the power to switch off home charging stations, according to the industry body.

The proposed changes are included in a draft update to the Queensland Electricity Connection Manual, which is an otherwise obscure set of regulations governing installers.

In the document, Energy Queensland proposes that all vehicle chargers above 20A, and that use single-phase power that’s common to households, be required to be part of a demand-management system.

That technology would allow the energy company to take control of a home charger and switch it off or down in peak periods. It could also switch it back on or increase power if there’s a surplus of electricity.

Queensland could be the only jurisdiction in the world considering the radical step, according to the submission by the Clean Energy Council (CEC).

“We are concerned the proposed changes to EVSE [electric vehicle supply equipment] installation may deter consumers from investing in EVs,” the CEC said.

In its submission, the Electric Vehicle Council said it shows Energy Queensland believes people “can’t be trusted to manage their own EV charging”.

The Electric Vehicle Council argued there was little evidence that EV use will have a major impact on the grid even by 2030, citing studies by Energy Queensland itself.

The council’s head of energy and infrastructure, Ross De Rango, said there was a risk that rules would simply be ignored.

For instance, there are rules preventing Queenslanders installing industry-standard chargers on the same home circuit that has solar panels. That rule is often ignored, he said.

“We would absolutely be concerned that rules that don’t make sense will be ignored by installers,” he said. “And that will encourage the cowboy installers at the cost of the competent ones.”

De Rango said the draft rules ironically would allow homeowners to charge their car with their solar energy, “but only if you install a device that enables Energy Queensland to turn the charger off”.

“They’ve solved one problem but they created another one at the same time.”

Energy Queensland was contacted for comment.

Extracted in full from: Queensland risks hindering EV transition with proposed home charging rule changes, industry body says | Queensland | The Guardian