28/02/2019

SMS Plc is proud to announce that it is now accredited by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) as an approved installer for the government’s Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS).

Through the WCS, UK businesses can benefit from a grant towards the cost of installation of Electric Vehicle charging points.

As an accredited OLEV installer, funder and expert energy consultant, we are not only able to carry out this installation, but also help maximise the value of EV charge points through an integrated energy strategy.

Find out more about the WCS in our guide below.


What is the OLEV Workplace Charging Scheme?

Funded by OLEV, the Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) provides a grant for businesses to reduce the cost of having an EV charge point installed at their premises.

The WCS allows businesses, charities, and local authorities to claim 75% of the total cost of installation, up to a maximum of £500 per socket installed, and with a maximum of 20 sockets across all sites for each applicant.

How do you qualify for the OLEV Workplace Charging Scheme?

Organisations based in the UK (excluding Channel Islands and Isle of Man) can claim and don’t necessarily need a plug-in vehicle on the company’s books to start with. However, off-street parking must be available.

The charge points are required to have a need declared for them on application, which could include:

• existing EV fleet vehicles
• Incentivisation for the uptake of plug-in vehicles with staff
• Provision of a charging solution for visitors
• Charging of EVs planned to be purchased by the business

Businesses are not eligible for WCS funding when there are plans to:

• Charge paying customers
• Install standard three-pin sockets (single sockets eligible only)
• Claim for existing EV charge points

EV charge points must provide a minimum of 3kW (with the supply not diminished by charging multiple vehicles simultaneously) and can only be fitted by accredited OLEV installers, such as us.

How does the OLEV Workplace Charging Scheme work?

The Workplace Charging Scheme is a voucher-based scheme that provides support towards the up-front costs of the purchase and installation of electric vehicle charge points.

To apply for the grant, you will need to complete the application form on the OLEV website. If your application has been successful, you will receive your unique voucher code by email within 5 working days.

What are the benefits of electric vehicle charge points for businesses?

Save money
Besides the significant savings of switching to an EV fleet made available by the incentives of reduced annual road tax, lower running and service costs, and the Annual Investment Allowance, any business (whether you have a fleet of company vehicles or not) can take advantage of EV charge points by considering them as part of a wider energy strategy.

By making EV charge points available to staff and visitors, there is great potential to save your business energy and cut costs. This can be achieved through combining use with smart tariffs, or by leveraging other mechanisms, such as battery storage, micro-generation and demand-side response, to create added revenue streams and improve sustainability (more on this below).

With an estimated 30% of electric vehicle drivers doing their charging at the workplace, EV charge points are also a fantastic benefit for employees. Over the period of a year, for example, an EV-owing employee could save up to £1,000 in fuel costs by charging their car at work.

Improve sustainability, reduce carbon emissions
Pure electric vehicles have zero tailpipe emissions and the same is true for plug-in hybrid cars when they are also running solely on electricity. However, as the grid is currently still powered by a variety of (polluting) generation sources, the real emissions reduction for EV compared to combustion engine cars is actually estimated to be around 25-40%. Nonetheless, this is still a substantial reduction that will both help the environment and boost your organisation’s green credentials.

As discussed above, as well as cutting costs, by considering EV’s and EV charging stations as part of a wider energy strategy, business could potentially bring these emission reductions up to 100%. With electricity generated on site from a renewable source, such as rooftop solar panels or solar car ports, even further cost savings can be leveraged from the free electricity produced.

Future-proof your business
With business transport contributing to a large share of miles driven on UK roads each year – and therefore also a major contributor to increasing air pollution – it is expected that the Government will put pressure on businesses in coming years to switch to EVs. Indeed, through its Clean Growth Strategy, the government has already outlined its ambitions for accelerating the shift to low carbon transport and is developing a package of measures to ensure businesses to improve their energy productivity by at least 20 per cent by 2030. By anticipating such future regulation and beginning the transition to EVs today, businesses can get one step ahead of their competitors and reduce the burden of compliance regulation further down the line.

Meanwhile, with growing private ownership of EVs, businesses also have a responsibility to provide EV charging facilities to staff and visitors. In 2018, EV car registrations in the UK grew for the seventh year in a row, with latest figures placing the number of new pure electric and plug-in hybrid cars registered in 2018 at 59,911 – the equivalent of one sold every nine minutes.


How can I use SMS Plc as an OLEV-approved installer?

SMS Plc is an OLEV-approved installer for the Workplace Charging Scheme.

For more advice on the WCS application, funding options and installation process, or more information on how we can help you get maximum value form you charge points through an integrated energy strategy, contact our experts today.

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