Government confirms reforms to workplace and home charging grant schemes
The workplace and home charging schemes are to be reformed next year, bringing more targeted support, including for SMEs and rental properties.
The Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) announced earlier this year that it’s updating the schemes from April 2022 and it’s now provided further clarity on how they will be revised and what the eligibility criteria will be moving forward.
As previously announced, OZEV will change the Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) by expanding it to provide more support for SMEs, small accommodation businesses, and charities. For SMEs, up to £15,000 will be available per building towards the cost of installing charge points, with a maximum of five grants available.
OZEV will continue supporting businesses and fleets to install charge points for their staff using the current WCS digital platform. Up to £350 is available per socket towards the cost of a charge point, with a maximum of 40 grants available.
There are bigger changes for the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS). While OZEV said in February 2021 that the scheme would be expanded next year to target people in rented and leasehold accommodation, it’s now confirmed that grants will only be available from April 2022 for those who live in rented/leasehold premises to accelerate provision in apartment blocks and rental accommodation.
The scheme will close for homeowners who reside in single-unit properties such as bungalows, detached, semi-detached or terraced housing.
The reformed EVHS will be delivered through a new digital service and the current scheme closed, while the additions to the WCS will also be delivered by a new digital platform.
Both the EVHS and WCS had already been revamped in April 2020, with the original £500 grants slashed to £350; said to allow more people to benefit from the scheme.
LeasePlan UK said it was surprised to see the terms of the home charge grant changed as early as this in the timeline of EV adoption.
Matthew Walters, head of consultancy services and customer value, said: “It comes at a challenging time for the automotive industry, with the current semiconductor shortage pushing back lead times for EVs considerably. As a result, many homeowners may miss out on this valuable incentive during the electrification process.
“Realistically, though, paying £350 more for a charge point isn’t likely to stop the average homeowner from getting an EV, and it is promising to see the Government making a positive step towards charge point installation at rental properties. Infrastructure is currently one of the biggest barriers to going electric, and these sites are some of the most in need of support.”
Commenting on the changes to the Workplace Charging Scheme, he added: “Similarly, offering more support to SMEs is a positive step, but support should extend further than offering one-off installation grants. The real and hidden problem for sites requiring multiple charge points is grid upgrade costs, so the pressure now lies with Ofgem and distribution network operators to offer better support for landlords and businesses with this in future.”