What is Dynamic Pricing and How it Saves You Thousands

Date Created:
Mar 15, 2023
Date Last Updated:
Questions that are often asked of Orange are why do we have a service fee, why does it have dynamic pricing, and what does dynamic pricing even mean? 

Questions that are often asked of Orange are why do we have a service fee, why does it have dynamic pricing, and what does dynamic pricing even mean? 

The simplest answer is our service fee covers the backend services we provide to our customers both property owners and EV drivers alike, and our dynamic pricing simply means that it changes based on the circumstances. However, there is a lot more to unpack in that simple explanation as dynamic pricing can actually save both properties and residents thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars in some cases. 

1) Most solutions have services fees to cover their operational costs
2) Dynamic pricing allows owners to save money by not paying service fees when they aren’t using it
3) Dynamic pricing allows property owners to over-install EV stations without having to pay service fees for unused stations

Why Does Orange Have a Service Fee to Begin With?

When we first built the Orange Outlet it was to solve the problems that come with EV charging in multifamily buildings. Due to that, it wasn’t enough for us to simply build the most durable, affordable, and profitable EV charging solution. We needed to also provide building owners and residents with a good way to monitor energy, track its usage, bill residents accordingly, and reimburse the property for the energy used.

First, all of our outlets have commercial-grade metering built in and are CDFA compliant, which is most a convoluted way of saying our outlets track each electron that's passed from the building to the vehicle with the highest possible accuracy. 

Next, we needed to ensure that every resident is being properly billed for the energy they use and have an accurate accounting of that usage. Which is why we designed our app to act as the source of truth for EV drivers so that they may see an accurate accounting of the energy used and be able to easily reference that with their vehicles. 

Lastly, we wanted to allow property owners an easy way to not only be reimbursed for the energy that was used but also be able to see, in real-time, what they can expect to get back at the end of the month. Allowing them to make better financial decisions based on that information. We achieved this with OrangeNet, our proprietary backend that allows property owners to easily track and manage their outlets across multiple locations. 

What Does Dynamic Pricing Even Mean?

Service fees are nothing new to the EV charging industry, especially within the multifamily housing industry. These fees aren’t much different from our own, they may contain slightly different features but overall there’s not much difference. 

What typically happens when service fees are applied is the property or sometimes the residents will pay a flat monthly fee to use the stations in addition to the energy costs of the power consumed. Regardless of how much they use the stations they will be charged a service fee no matter what. 

Part of Orange’s mission as a company is bringing equitability to EV charging. While we most often talk about equity when bringing affordable charging to communities everywhere regardless of the living situation, we also wanted to ensure that our pricing is fair. 

So we decided to make our pricing dynamic, which simply means if a resident is not using a charging station in a given month Orange will not charge the property owner or the resident our service fee. It simply doesn’t make sense to do so, nor would it be fair to charge our customers when they aren’t even using our service. 

Our customers can rest easy knowing that if they go on vacation or installed hundreds of outlets that aren’t being used they won’t be getting an unnecessary and unwelcome bill from Orange. 

How Dynamic Pricing Saves Properties Thousands

Individual residents will no doubt enjoy not getting charged when they’ve been on vacation and haven’t used our service, but property owners are the ones who stand to gain the most from this pricing structure. 

Another piece of Orange’s mission is to bring EV charging everywhere and part of that is helping property owners make a decision on how many charging outlets they should install. As EV growth is exploding, property owners are finding it difficult to know just how many stations they should install. At Orange, we believe that the best solution is to provide a charging station for every resident that needs one and that means installing more stations now to cover future demand. 

Often we see properties getting stuck in an endless upgrade cycle, where they install stations to attract new residents only to find in a couple of years they need to install more. In fact, in most properties adding EV charging stations has worked out too well. While they did in fact attract new residents, they also underestimated the demand and often need to find solutions to cover them well into the future, and that's where Orange comes in. 

A property may only have 3 or 4 EV drivers today but odds are good that number will go up dramatically over the next 5 years. It's why many cities are already asking new property developments to cover at least 10% of all their parking spaces with EV charging. This is absolutely what must be done but property owners who have to pay the service fees on scores on unused chargers will obviously feel hard done.

A good example of this is when thinking about a large 500-unit multiplex. That property likely will need 50 charging stations just to cover the expected need over the next decade. However, today it's highly unlikely that they will have 50 residents using their stations, and that's where dynamic pricing comes into play. 

Orange doesn't want to penalize a property owner for being forward-thinking and doing the right thing for their community. In fact, those property owners should probably be awarded. While we can’t do that, we can make the pricing fair. 

Suppose that same multiplex has 10 current EV drivers, with other solutions they’d likely be paying upwards of $1000/month just in service fees. While they can pass some of that on to the residents who are using the stations, the great majority of it ($800/month) is simply a bill that must be paid for a service no one but a handful is using. With Orange, we won’t ever charge more than the number of active users on-site or the number of active chargers whichever is the lower of the two. Under these circumstances, the property owner is likely to save just under $10,000 in their first year alone! 

Orange was designed to meet the needs of the entire apartment community from residents to owners we make sure everyone is treated fairly and equitably.