Upgrading your electricity connection for your Business
If you’re thinking about switching to EVs for your fleet or providing EV chargepoints on your premises for your company cars, you will need to connect your chargepoints to the electricity system. To provide these chargepoints with enough electricity, you may need to upgrade your electricity connection and this could come at a further cost.
To find out if this applies to you contact your local network operator or go through a Workplace Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) provider. You’ll probably be connecting to the local distribution network, though for some large connections you may want to consider the transmission network. An example of a large connection would be a rural location that needs a large number of chargers, such as motorway service areas, powered through the transmission network operator, (the National Grid.)
You’ll need to know how many and what size of chargepoints you need when you’ll need to use them and your current usage (your network operator can help with this). Being flexible in the size, the number of chargepoints, and when and where you charge your vehicles can significantly reduce connection costs.
The network operator will process your connection request. If work to upgrade the wider electricity network is needed, this will incur an extra cost and may take longer; your network operator will be in contact with you to discuss this. The network operator will be able to install a connection whether you own or lease your location, but you may need to check your lease if you’re renting and inform your landlord.
If you manage a depot where vehicles park overnight or are flexible in when you can charge your vehicles, using smart chargers to shift the charging to the middle of the night may save your business significant amounts of money. Other solutions, such as on-site generation, storage or load management systems, can also help you save money and avoid having to upgrade your electricity connection, or minimise the cost of doing so. Looking ahead, Vehicle-to-Grid technology is finding its feet; allowing batteries in EV to be used as electricity storage that can then sell this energy back to the grid at peak times.
Receiving a Quote for your Connection
Once you’ve determined if you need an upgraded electricity network connection, through discussing with your network operator or EVSE provider, for your site, your network operator can install this for you. The network operator will send your quote within 25 days of all details being submitted.
There is a competitive market to provide connections to the electricity network, and you can contact an Independent Distribution Network Operator (IDNO) or Independent Connection Provider (ICP) after you receive the quote from your local network operator, who can provide you with an alternative quote for the work and complete this for you. Your local operator’s offer will inform you of the time period you have to respond to the offer, typically 90 days.
Chargepoint grants from the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) cannot currently be used to cover the cost of electricity network connections; only the chargepoints and related products. To find out more about the available grants click here.