Dear Blake,

Should vehicle charging be provided as an amenity to an overnight houseguest? When my family visits our vacation home, they have gotten into the habit of plugging in their hybrid vehicles when they arrive. They live only an hour away and don’t “need” the additional range to return home. Their vehicles can cost about $30 to charge. Are they taking advantage of our hospitality, or is this the cost of having the company?

Signed, Mike
From Lansing, Michigan

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Dear Mike,

You should not feel obligated to charge anyone’s electric vehicle. And because they want to play the “family” card, deal with them as if they are nothing more than manipulative sponges. Here are some suggestions. Tell them that your vacation home is now an Airbnb, and they can charge any vehicle they want, because the cost will be added to their credit card, plus tax, and a hefty gratuity. Or, you can set each outlet up, that when it get plugged, the person doing the plugging will feel enough volts, that he or she will feel like they got zapped by a taser. Or, you can turn off all your power, and let them try to survive on their visit eating cold can goods and tap water. But, if you want to avoid the drama altogether, when your family wants to see you, meet them in a camper. And if you really want to stick it to those freeloaders while in the woods, ask them if you can use some of the juice from their cars to power your appliances so you make dinner… that they’re not invited to. I hope this helps.