OLEV announces changes to Homecharge scheme

OLEV announces changes to Homecharge scheme
Recent changes by the UK Government to the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS) have been announced, which are expected to speed up the processing time for claims and significantly reduce the number of rejected applications. There are some significant aspects for installers to consider, particularly the removal of the requirement to be approved by a manufacturer to install their equipment.

Immediate changes include:
  • Removal of the requirement to submit a V5C
  • You will only need to submit the vehicle details and registration number. DVLA will validate these details internally
  • Removal of the requirement for a delivery date for vehicles on order and the requirement that installation must not be more than 4 months ahead of delivery
  • You will only need to submit evidence that vehicles are on order
  • Removal of the requirement that customers inform the DVLA when vehicles ordered have been delivered
  • Removal of the requirement for separate photographs of chargepoints and their serial numbers
  • You will only be required to provide one photograph that clearly shows the property, the off-street parking and the installed chargepoint
  • Where the property and the off-street parking cannot be clearly displayed in a photograph, you will need to provide a photograph showing the off-street parking and the installed chargepoint and title deeds, which demonstrate that the parking is linked to the property
  • OLEV’s electronic signature guidance has been discontinued
  • You may now provide any electronic or paper form of signature for both yourselves and your customers.
  • Simplification of the cost breakdown table: installers will only need to supply the cost for the installation once, with a breakdown for the associated costs for the chargepoint, any additional equipment and labour
  • Removal of the need to be approved by a manufacturer to install their equipment
  • The equipment installed must be on the OLEV approved equipment list
  • Removal of the 1st October 2016 cut off for vehicles to be eligible for the scheme. Any new installation for a customer with a vehicle purchased prior to this date will now qualify for the scheme
  • OLEV's aim is that all installers are paid within 30 working days from submission of applications; previously installers were experiencing turnaround of 60-90 days

It is worth noting that to ensure quality standards are met, installers will still need to successfully complete a City & Guilds 2919, NICEIC or similar course specific to EV Charging, to be OLEV approved. However, from now on they are permitted to install any charging station they/the customer chooses and claim the grant on this basis.

These changes mean, for installers, less red tape and improved payment time turnaround, which will enable this fast-expanding market and installers to thrive. However, this does increase the potential for increased failure rates on non-manufacturer trained installations, which could increase after-sales queries, return visits to fix issues, and possibly longer time on-site.

A recent Audit conducted by OLEV (via CENEX) indicated that the requirements of the grant scheme, in particular BS 7671 (The Institution of Engineering and Technology [IET] Wiring Regulations) and the IET Code of Practice for Electric Vehicle Chargepoint Equipment Installation, were not being met in a worrying number of installations.

It is important to note that these changes do not affect the Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS).

“For current and future EV installers, the reduced admin and improved grant payment turnaround is welcome news, especially with the number of required EV chargers expected to grow exponentially," said Jim Rugg, EV Technical & Specifications Manager at Replenishh. "In addition, for installers who wish to install on commercial premises and claiming the Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) grant, they will still need to have manufacturer approval so should attend the relevant manufacturer training. Although OLEV have removed the need to be manufacturer-approved to install their equipment for domestic installations, Replenishh are still recommending that installers attend manufacturer-led training to increase confidence and efficiencies of installation on both domestic and commercial projects.”