OLEV is the Office for Low Emission Vehicles, the government agency that administers grants for the use of electric and hybrid vehicles. Since 2014 they have supported the roll out of low emission vehicles and their charge points with over 60,000 government funded grants for electric car charging points.
OLEV offers grants of up to £500 for households and up to £10,000 for businesses who have electric vehicle charge points installed on their property. These grants equate to up to 75% of the ‘capital expenditure which would otherwise be incurred’ by the householder or business. But applicants will be only elligble if the installation is carried out by an OLEV approved installer and the relevant registrations and assessments have been completed.
There are currently two schemes live in the UK through which households and businesses can apply for grant funding. The Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme offers grants for households of up to 75% the cost of the installation (up to £500). And the Workplace Charging Scheme covers installations undertaken by businesses, charities and public sector organisations, providing individual grants of up to £500 per installation with a maximum of 20 sites per application (up to £10,000 per application).
OLEV Approved Installer Application
Becoming an approved OLEV installer can bring new and exciting business opportunities for electrical contractors, given the burgeoning electric vehicle market in the UK.
Sales of electric and hybrid vehicles have increased by 125% from 2018 to 2019 and these figures are expected to rise further as more car brands continue to manufacture electric and hybrid vehicles. But remember, the EV revolution all starts with electricians and contractors installing the charge points throughout the country. Without a network of easy-to-access charging points in domesitc, public and commercial spaces, buying an electric vehicle will be impractical.
As an OLEV approved installer you can carry out EV charge point installations and then claim government grants on behalf of your customers. To do so you must first become authorised by OLEV by completing their online application form. To complete this form you will need to provide the following information:
- Proof of membership of an Electrician Association
- Proof of public liability insurance
- Proof your company’s installers have been trained to install electric vehicle chargepoints
- Proof that you are an approved installer by the chargepoint manufacture
EV Manufacturer Approved Installer
To carry out work and claim under the Homecharge Scheme and Workplace Scheme installers must also be approved by the manufacturer of the chargepoints they are installing. This is what the government outlines in their official guidance for installers joining these schemes:
Homecharge Scheme 1.7 – Authorised (EVHS) installers must also be formally approved by chargepoint manufacturers to install their equipment. Installers must also notify DVLA about the manufacturer authorisation prior to the installation of the chargepoint and must provide evidence of this approval to the DVLA. Installers must seek authorisation from the manufacturer for each model of chargepoint that they wish to install under the scheme.
Workplace Scheme 3.1.2 – Installations under WCS can only be completed by installers that have been authorised by OLEV and who have approval from a chargepoint manufacturer to install their authorised equipment.
You can download official government documents for both the Homecharge and Workplace schemes at the bottom of this article.
For example, if you are installing a Rolec Wallpod:EV HomeSmart charge point it is a legal requirement to be authorised as a Rolec approved installer before doing so. Once you are authorised by Rolec you will elligible to install the product and then claim grants for the applicant.
Installers must also be able to demonstrate proof of training to apply for status. To support installers with this process, we are continuing to work in association with GREenergy Training who provide a City & Guild 2919-01 accredited electric vehicle charge point installation training course. This course is run in partnership with Rolec who will support you with your OLEV registration following the course. They will also give you the option to become a Rolec approved installer so you will be authorised to install their products.
The course covers the technical requirements and practical considerations of installing charge points and is available across the UK. It includes modules on domestic, commercial and public installations; the inspection, testing and certification of EV charging equipment; and system testing, fault finding and examinations. It has been desiged for qualified electricians who are looking to gain the practical and technical skills required to become an OLEV certified installer and to start installing electric vehicle chargeing points. Find out more information about this course here.
Smart EV Charging
In July 2019, OLEV changed the requirements for the Homecharge and Workplace schemes so that applicants are now only elligble for grants if the chargepoint is equipped with ‘smart technology’.
A smart chargepoint is able to connect to the internet so it can be remotely accessed and managed. Previous chargers were classed as ‘dumb’ and could only simply act as a source for a vehicle to draw power from without being able to report on energy consumption and monitor its own performance.
Smart EV chargers can help save everyone money. The government classifies a smart charger as ‘capable of receiving, interpreting and reacting to a signal’ which can help regulate additional energy usage from electric vehicles charging.
They can help reduce energy bills for households and businesses by scheduling charging for off-peak times when energy rates are cheaper. This will reduce peak-time demand for electricity and take pressure off national and local energy infrastructure. Listen to Tom Pollard, General Manager a RolecEV, discuss Rolec’s latest smart charging range in this video.
Applying for OLEV Grants
Under the Homecharge and Workplace schemes it is the responsibility of the installer to apply for OLEV grant funding. For domestic installations this can be as much as £500 and for businesses this can be up to £10,000.
Only authorised installers can claim these grants on behalf of the applicant and can be done so via the OLEV online form. Please download the documents linked at the bottom of this page for reference on the requirements for grant applications.
Becoming an OLEV Approved Installer
If you are interested in becoming an OLEV approved installer then we highly recommend that you read the Governments own guidance on becoming an OLEV approved installer and familiarise yourself with the requirements for both available schemes.
These documents will outline how you can apply for authorisation under the two schemes and then legally install electric vehicle charging points. You will also learn the processes for applying for grant funding.