The Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) has announced some key changes to the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme, and we’ve run down everything you need to know if you’re installing an electric vehicle charger.
Why has the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme changed?
Those installing electric vehicle chargers have long complained about the burden placed upon them when it comes to applying for grants under the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme. OLEV has always had strict requirements when it comes to documentation, and any missed documentation could mean the difference between getting money towards the charger installation and not.
Many electric vehicle charger installers rely on the money from the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme to boost their bottomline, but the added time it takes to apply for the grant and gather the necessary documentation cuts into the time available to actually install electric vehicle chargers.
Plus, numerous installers have complained that they have had their application denied due to missing documentation or small technicalities — which could severely impact a company’s ability to stay in business.
Considering the UK Government has bold plans regarding the growth of EV chargers available in the UK, any slowdown in the pace of installations is a negative to the adoption of electric vehicles.
That’s why OLEV is now announcing changes to the Electric Vehicle Homecharge scheme, with the Government department noting that the scheme has taken on the feedback it has received from installers. The changes are specifically designed to make applying for grant money from the Electric Vehicle Homecharge scheme easier than ever.
What changes have been implemented to the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme?
The changes announced by OLEV are as follows:
- 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 an 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.
- You 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 October 1, 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.
When are the changes to the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme being implemented?
OLEV has informed installers that the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme changes are effective immediately. That means you can now benefit from a simpler application process and not have to gather as much evidence.
What can I do if my application under the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme has been denied?
Installers who have installed an electric vehicle charger that they believe meets the requirements, but were denied due to a lack of documentation, have another shot. OLEV has confirmed that installers will be allowed to resubmit applications for approval under the new rules — which means less documentation is required.
The ability to resubmit applications comes as a massive relief to the industry, as it means that revenue that was perceived to have been lost, can now be claimed.
What’s more, OLEV is advising installers to ignore all resubmission deadlines until further notice, and to simply resubmit applications as soon as you are confident that you have all the required information for a grant application to be approved.
What if I am waiting for an application to be approved by OLEV?
There’s nothing that installers need to do if they have a pending application already. OLEV has confirmed that all applications will now be judged based on the new rules, rather than the old. That means there should be fewer denied applications.
Has OLEV improved processing times for applications under the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme?
One of the biggest issues surrounding the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme was the amount of time it takes between making an application and receiving funds. This is an issue that has been highlighted by many firms over the last year, and it’s something that OLEV is fully aware of.
In fact, OLEV has noted that these changes should speed up the processing time for claims. Whether or not that means OLEV will pay installers quicker than before, however. The DVLA helpdesk also remains unavailable due to Covid-19.
How has the industry reacted to the changes?
OLEV says that it made the changes to the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme as a result of feedback from installers, and it seems that the changes have been received well.
Electrical Review spoke with Andersen EV, which noted that the changes were “good news overall as they have removed some of the bureaucratic rules.” It appears other installers agree with Andersen’s assessment, with Twitter flooded with praise regarding the changes.
However, do the changes go far enough? Some will argue no. The industry has been lobbying for the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme to remove the burden from installers altogether, and instead work as a voucher scheme, much like the Green Homes Grant. That would see consumers apply for the voucher before work takes place, rather than installers making the application after the work is already done.
So far, OLEV has been resistant to changing the scheme into a consumer-focused one, but it did note further changes will be announced in the future.