As the electric vehicle (EV) market continues to grow, now’s the time to think about providing shared charge points for blocks of flats – and the Government could contribute.

According to the 2023 electric vehicle market statistics report from ZapMap, by the start of Spring 2023, there were over 735,000 battery-electric cars on UK roads, plus a further 480,000 plug-in hybrids.

It’s not unreasonable for flat owners to want to have facilities to recharge their vehicle at home. So it makes sense for right to manage (RTM) companies and managing agents to plan for EV charging capacity at block of flats, especially now that government grant funding favours leaseholders and renters.

That’s because the EV Chargepoint Grant targeting flat owners and renters has replaced the original Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme for individual homeowners.

The EV Chargepoint Grant came into effect on 1st April 2022. It provides a 75% contribution to the cost of one charge point and its installation, with a cap set at £350 (including VAT) per installation. The main requirement is that a person owns, leases or has ordered a qualifying vehicle and has dedicated off-street parking at their property. They also must live in rental accommodation or own a flat.

As a RTM company, resident’s management company (RMC), freehold company, or managing agent, you need to decide on your approach before it’s too late. Once enough individual leaseholders have gone ahead and applied to install their own chargepoints, you could lose out on the initiative and, along with it, a potential opportunity to generate long-term revenues for the whole block’s benefit.

EV charging points for flats

EV charging points for flats While individuals can apply for a one-off payment, there is a different way to apply for an EV chargepoint grant if you’re a landlord. Landlords can get up to 200 grants for chargepoints at residential properties in each financial year or up to £30,000 (up to £500 per bay for up to 60 bays) for infrastructure work to cover things like wiring and posts. The infrastructure grant might be of more interest to blocks of flats, as EV charging is likely to be linked to a communal energy supply.

Those eligible for EV chargepoint or EV infrastructure grants can include RTM companies, RMCs, and companies or persons who own the freehold of a property.

Choosing the right EV charging

Since June 2022, all chargepoints installed in private off-street parking and workplaces must have smart functionality, which reduces the risk of neighbours paying for someone else’s energy consumption. However, you still have to decide how to fund installation.

Is it practical to grant individual licences to alter and to enable leaseholders to install charge points in their designated parking spaces independently, with a meter between each charge point and the communal electricity supply? Or would you prefer to centralise the system?

Much will depend on the size of the block of flats and how many charging sockets you will need. Should you start small and add more later?

One option is a fully funded system where installers meet the upfront costs of installation and ongoing management, to then recover costs through rental and usage charges to leaseholders for electricity usage.

You may want to examine your leases before taking any action but the first step might be to do more market research and then canvas the residents.

Once you have agreement in principle, you can look at the detail of what sort of equipment is suitable for you and act while the government grants are still on the table.

Blocks of Flats Insurance from Gallagher

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The sole purpose of this article is to provide guidance on the issues covered. This article is not intended to give legal advice, and, accordingly, it should not be relied upon. It should not be regarded as a comprehensive statement of the law and/or market practice in this area. We make no claims as to the completeness or accuracy of the information contained herein or in the links which were live at the date of publication. You should not act upon (or should refrain from acting upon) information in this publication without first seeking specific legal and/or specialist advice. Arthur J. Gallagher Insurance Brokers Limited accepts no liability for any inaccuracy, omission or mistake in this publication, nor will we be responsible for any loss which may be suffered as a result of any person relying on the information contained herein.