Prepare yourself for home charging with this simple guide that helps explain why free or cheap charging solutions are not always the best option.

It is highly important to understand your options for charging your electric vehicle at home.  There are grant schemes available for those who are eligible and there are a choice of different types of units and offers that range from free to £2,000 – so it’s important that you understand how to make sure you make the right choice for you.

Government contributions up to £500

The UK Government have instructed OLEV (The Office for Low Emission Vehicles) to distribute a pot of funds to expand the UK’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure.  It’s important to understand whether you are eligible for EVHS (Electric Vehicle Homecharging Scheme) which can be a contribution of 75% towards the cost of your charge point, including installation, up to a maximum of £500.

OLEV approved installers discount the grant from the cost of the installation, saving you the time, effort and frustration from having to complete lots of paperwork and making a claim.  Don’t be misled however, because you do have to provide some information for the installer to makes their claim, but the current process does make it relatively easy for those of you looking to have a home charging unit for your electric or hybrid vehicle.

To understand whether you are eligible you need to;

  • Have primary use of an electric or hybrid vehicle which is owned, leased or a company vehicle
  • Have the unit installed at a residential property with designated off-street parking, and permission to install if rented, listed or shared parking
  • Have no existing OLEV claims for charge units in the household

3 things you must know before choosing your installer and EV charger

You firstly need to select an OLEV approved installer if you believe that you qualify.  If you search online, you probably find a lot of OLEV approved installers offering a wide range of deals, and even no deals at all.

You need to be very careful when choosing who to work with.  There are over 30 manufacturers offering OLEV approved home charging units, and with over 1,500 installers in the UK, how can you easily work out where to start?

Nothing in life is free

Be very careful when deals are offered to you with free EV charger units, even when you are leasing or buying an electric or hybrid vehicle directly from the car manufacturers.  These companies make their money through the cost of charging your electric vehicle and free EV chargers will cost you more in the long run.

It’s not always as cheap as it seems

The most common units simply use your existing electricity supply at the tariff you agree with your electricity provider and you only pay for the EV charging unit and installation, less the grant should you be considered eligible. 

There are many online businesses claiming they can offer affordable deals from £99 to £249 including VAT for units fully installed at your home.  These seem very reasonable offers, but most of these deals either end up costing the customers a lot more money, or they result in a poor installation.

Whilst it is possible to have a Rolec 7.2kw wall pod EV charging unit, which is a very good quality unit and arguably the most popular with UK OLEV approved installers, fully installed “from” £249.  This is socket unit in Rolec’s green and white brand colours without a locking device.

A fixed lead, choosing a colour that suits your property or environment, and adding a locking device to avoid your neighbours helping themselves whilst you’re on a weeks holiday will all add additional costs to the deal and this is before we look at the installation itself.

OLEV have started to see an increase in customer complaints about the quality of their EV charge point installations, even from OLEV approved installers.  It is no coincidence that when an installer finds it difficult to make a profit, it can then lead to poor workmanship.  Time is money and installations are clearly getting rushed, just so they can move onto the next installation, so be very careful simply selecting the cheapest advert online.

Choose a thorough installer to save you time and money

There are wise OLEV approved installers who choose to be thorough and assess your installation properly so they can (a) assess your eligibility for an OLEV grant contributions under the EVHS (Electric Vehicle Homecharging Scheme), (b) assess your property and existing equipment to understand what is involved for the installation, and (c) help you choose the right type and style of EV charging unit.

The eligibility process is pretty straight forward, however assessing your property and electrics involves many different aspects that help avoid potential issues and costs surrounding the installation.  These can include;

  • Your fuse board having sufficient capacity to supply and protect your charging unit
  • The desired location of your charge point, and distance from your electricity supply
  • The ground area to allow an ‘earth rod’ to be installed, and any groundworks as a result
  • The location of broadband router, as from July 1st 2019 all units will need to be hardwired
  • Location of your water mains, gas mains and telecoms cables, to avoid any risks

Most installations take somewhere between 2 and 3 hours to be completed to a high standard and you should expect to pay £300 to £400 for a standard grant funded unit installed by a trained and qualified OLEV approved installer.

Contact Electric Car Chargers UK if you want free and impartial help and advice:

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Call us on 0208 004 6487 if you would prefer to talk to a member of the team, or email apply@electriccarchargersuk.co.uk