Getting a home charger installed

We have teamed up with Virtus Energy as our chosen EV charging Installer and we have put together this guide to help you understand how simple it is to have a home charging unit installed.

This guide will take you through the process of applying for the OZEV grant, ensuring your property meets the requirements for installation and what to expect from the installation process itself.

Why do I need a home charger?

For those of you already driving EV’s you will no doubt have experienced the dreaded ‘range anxiety’ and challenges that the current charging infrastructure can throw at you. Where possible and for total peace of mind we recommend getting a home charger unit installed before you take delivery of your new EV.

What type of power will I get?

The kilowatt (kW) refers to the power rating of any electrical item and is the maximum amount of power that can be drawn from the socket at any one time.

Generally speaking, the vast majority of home charge units will offer 7kW output which is equivalent to the majority of public chargers. The standard 3 pin domestic plug charger that most EV’s provide is the slowest type of charge you can get. It’s worth noting that although the manufacturer may claim charge times on the 3pin domestic plug as low as 6 hours, the reality of this is much more because the power usage in the property will affect the power output to your vehicle. In other words having the TV, kettle and washing machine on at the same time will affect how much power you can get to your vehicle on charge. A 7kW home charger will charge your car three times faster than a three-pin plug!

Examples of EV models and charging times:

EV Charging Times

What type of charger will I get?

Virtus Energy is a ‘Technology Neutral’ installer so they will offer you the most cost effective charger based on your vehicle needs. Generally speaking this means you will get a Universal Socket, meaning any EV vehicle can plug in with its own cable to charge. Tethered Units come with a non-removable cable specific to the EV. Virtus Energy offers both tethered and untethered options.

What is a smart charger?

The UK government wants to encourage all EV charge points installed to include smart charging functionality.

Smart chargers allow you to charge at times of the day when the energy demand is low placing less strain on the electricity grid. You can set your charger to charge overnight and take advantage of lower energy rates and faster charge times.

What is the OZEV grant?

The OZEV grant is a government scheme to promote the transition to EV’s. The grant will contribute up to £350 to the total cost of your charger unit and installation. The average cost of a unit and home installation is £1000 so the grant can be very very helpful.

Why choose Virtus Energy?

Virtus Energy is a nationwide end-to-end EV (Electric Vehicle) Charging installer also specialising in sustainability consultancy.

Our technology-neutral approach, coupled with distribution rights for the best EV Charging products on the market, ensure we deliver industry-leading electric vehicle solutions to our customers across the UK. We specialise in three key sectors:

  • Home Charging
  • Commercial/Workplace Charging
  • Developer Charging

Founded in 2019, Virtus Energy is already a key player within the EV charging industry and alongside the UK governments ‘Road to Zero’ Strategy, the business is expected to see rapid growth from 2021 and beyond.

The Process

Step 1. Grant Eligibility

The Government OZEV Grant will contribute up to £350 towards the purchase and installation of your electric charger. To qualify you must meet the simple criteria below;

  • Your vehicle must be less than 4 years old and OZEV-eligible. All lease vehicles provided by Rivervale are brand new vehicles. All full battery electric vehicles are eligible but plug-in hybrid vehicle C02 emissions must be calculated below 50g/km, your Rivervale account Manager can confirm this if you are unsure.

  • You must have private, off-road parking where a charging cable will not cross a pedestrian pavement

  • The charger must be OZEV-approved*

  • You must use an OZEV-approved installer such as Virtus Energy**

  • You must not have claimed the grant previously

*All chargers installed by Virtus Energy are OZEV approved

** Virtus Energy are a fully OZEV approved installer

When applying through Virtus Energy they will take care of the OZEV grant application for you as long as you meet the above criteria.

If you do not qualify for the grant that does not mean you cannot get a home charger installed however you will need to speak to a Virtus Energy representative first.

Step 2. Your Property

Virtus Energy can install at any property that has qualified for the grant, however special requirements will need to be priced on a case-by-case basis. If you are not the home-owner you must check with your landlord before agreeing to any installation. (link to downloadable letter template on VE website)

Over 80% of Virtus Energy installations are ‘standard’ however to ensure you qualify you must meet the below criteria;

  • Your property will have a consumer unit also known as a consumer board which is the main fuse board for all the electricity running through the property. You will need to inspect the board for suitable access and to ensure there is enough space to add an additional fuse also known as a miniature circuit breaker (mcb).

  • Once you have confirmed this, the next stage is to measure the distance from your consumer unit to your desired charger unit location outside. This distance must be no more than 10metres to qualify for a standard install.

Step 3. Installation Day

Once you have completed step 2 and shared the required information with Virtus Energy, you will be provided with an installation date and an engineer will be assigned. You will need to ensure suitable access to the property and desired location of the charging unit. You must be present during the installation as there may be questions from the Engineer on how you want the charging unit mounted and how you want the cables run. Your EV should also be present to allow for testing of the unit. Once installed the Engineer will show you how to use your charging unit, connect you to any relevant mobile phone applications and ensure you are happy with your finished installation and setup.

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