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The Smart Charge Regulations what installers need to know

The Smart Charge Regulations what installers need to know
There has been much activity surrounding Smart Charge Regulations this year (2022), most of which came into force back on 30th June this year. However the security requirements set out in Schedule 1 are due to be implemented at the end of this month (30th December).

The regulations, aim to ensure that EV charging is done in a way that is both efficient and sustainable. One of the main goals of the Smart Charge regulations, is to prevent EV charging from putting too much strain on the UK's electrical supply, in particular during peak hours, when the demand for electricity is highest.

Regulations enforced to date:
Default Charging Schedule - The Smart Charge Regs enforced earlier in the year made sure that all EV chargers sold in the UK were defaulted to charge at off-peak times, avoiding on-peak times between the hours of 8-11AM and 4-10PM on weekdays when the grid has the highest demand.

Randomised Delay – Secondary to the above, sees the default setting of every charging session have a small delay of up to 10 minutes to avoid millions plugging their vehicles in at the same time, causing huge pressure on the grid at a given time.

These features are legally required on all EV charging units, and look to encourage EV owners to charge their vehicles at times when there is less demand, therefore avoiding the need for costly upgrades to the electrical infrastructure. It is worth mentioning however both Default Charging Schedule & Randomised Delay are able to be over-ridden by the end-user.

One of the key provisions of the smart charge regulations, is the requirement for EV charge point manufacturers to equip their units with the technology required to communicate with the grid, providing real-time information on charging status and making it possible for the grid to manage the flow of electricity more efficiently.

NEW: Data Legislation
The cybersecurity requirements which come into force from 30th December 2022 outline that EV smart charge points are subject to the same data protection and privacy laws as other devices that collect and store personal data. This means that companies that manufacture and sell EV smart chargers must ensure that they are in compliance with these laws and that they handle personal data in a secure and responsible manner. The Regulations state that communications sent from the charge point must be encrypted and stored securely, whilst the physical product must have adequate level of protection against physical damage in the form of “tamper protection” to shield the internal components of the charge point which are security sensitive.

The Regulations also require that the charge point notifies the owner of an unauthorised change to the software, and that the charge point must be configured to check, when it is first set up by the owner, and periodically thereafter, whether there are security updates available.

Overall, the introduction of smart charge regulations in the UK is a positive development for the EV market. By encouraging more efficient charging practices, these regulations help to ensure that the growth of EVs does not put unnecessary strain on the electrical grid. They also provide a level playing field for all EV Charging manufacturers, ensuring that they are all held to the same standards when it comes to smart charging.

How this effects Installers
The data regulations surrounding EV charge points means that any unit not compliant are not able to be sold from 30th December 2022. In terms of the sale of a charge point, this is the point a customer agrees to pay the price, therefore the delivery and installation can happen after the 30 December in this instance only. Any instances where the charge point is sold from 30th December, Schedule 1 does apply. Should you hold stock of any EV chargers, it is worth checking that they are still complaint so that you are not left in a situation whereby a unit is installed illegally, a penalty of up to £10,000 is applicable for every charge point sold that is not compliant.

At Replenishh, we have made sure that any stock not compliant won’t be accessible for you to buy on our website from the started dates. Our team take legislation very seriously and we make it our business to keep informed of these changes so that our installers are never compromised. Whilst we cover the length and breadth of products, their benefits, and capabilities, our knowledge runs deeper than product information. Replenishh have been working closely with manufacturing partners and OPSS (Office for Product Safety & Standards) to ensure we are aligned in our understanding of the changes. Our goal is to ensure electricians achieve ‘right first time’ installations which is why we are the ‘one stop shop’ for installers.

Head of Replenishh, Jim Rugg quotes:
“The smart charging regulations is a further step into the UK’s objective to build a sustainable and smart EV Charging infrastructure, and Replenishh have seen some great work in the industry particularly from the manufacturers who have developed their products to meet the requirements of the regulations, which has been a big challenge with 2 stages in June and now in December. All the work this year sets up the market for a successful and smart 2023!”

“All EV Charging products available on from 30th December 2022 will be compliant to the Smart Charge regulations: Schedule 1 and all non-compliant product will be removed from sale.”