The smart charging regulations, published by the UK government, came into force in June 2022 and require all new private (domestic and workplace) charge points sold in Great Britain to have smart functionality; this includes charge points installed at homes, businesses, and other private premises. This means that the chargepoint must be able to send and receive information, respond to signals to increase or decrease the charging rate and provide demand-side response services.
The regulations caused a range of reactions across the industry when first discussed and introduced, with chargepoint manufacturers facing a tight deadline to modify their products to compliance but at the same time the British government setting a new global standard for chargepoint capabilities and security in the new connected energy world.
The main goals of the UK smart charging regulations are to:
- Manage increasing electricity demand from the UK’s transition to electric vehicles (EVs)
- Improve security protocols
- Make charging more convenient and affordable for EV owners
The regulations are expected to play a key role in helping the UK achieve its net zero emissions targets. Here are some specific examples of how smart charging, more than a year into play already, is helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the UK:
- A recent study by the Energy Systems Catapult found that smart charging could reduce the UK’s electricity carbon intensity by up to 10% by 2030.
- The National Grid has estimated that smart charging could save the UK up to 20 million tonnes of CO2 emissions per year by 2030.
So, despite the temporary “headache” it brought to the manufacturers, it is definitely a major positive step towards Net Zero!
UK smart charging regulations phases
The UK smart charging regulations came in two phases:
Phase 1 came into force on June 30, 2022, and applies to all new charge points installed in the UK after that date and includes the following requirements:
- Smart functionality
- Electricity supplier interoperability
- Loss of communications network access
- Measuring system
- Off-peak charging
- Randomised delay
- Register of sales
Phase 2 came into force on December 30, 2022, and applies to all new charge points installed in the UK after that date and includes cybersecurity and anti-tampering protection requirements, including:
- Strong authentication and authorisation mechanisms
- Secure firmware updates
- Tamper detection and prevention measures
UK smart charging regulations fines
The UK smart charging regulations impose fines for non-compliance as follows:
- £10,000 for each relevant charge point in respect of which there has been a breach of the obligations in respect of the sale of charge points (Regulation 4)
- £250,000 for a breach of the provisions relating to the obstruction of the enforcement authority or the provision of false statements (Schedule 2, paragraph 8)
The enforcement authority is the Office for Product Safety & Standards (OPSS). OPSS can serve a Civil Penalty Notice requiring payment of a financial penalty regarding a breach of any of the regulations.
The OPSS website states that the smart charging regulations approach will be risk-based and proportionate and that OPSS will work with businesses to help them comply with the regulations. However, OPSS will not hesitate to take enforcement action against businesses that are found to be in breach of the regulations.
Approved charger list and OZEV grants eligibility
The Office for Zero Emission Vehicles publishes a list of chargepoint models authorised for residential and commercial properties. However, whether a chargepoint manufacturer that has been accepted for enforcement undertaking for smart charging regulations non-compliance can be used to claim OZEV grants depends on the specific terms of the enforcement undertaking: the OZEV website states that “if a chargepoint manufacturer has been accepted for an enforcement undertaking by OPSS, then their chargepoints may be eligible for the grant scheme, subject to certain conditions”.
The specific conditions that must be met in order for a chargepoint manufacturer to be eligible for the grant scheme if they have been accepted for an enforcement undertaking are not publicly disclosed. However, it is likely that the manufacturer will need to demonstrate that they have taken steps to address the non-compliance and that they are committed to complying with the regulations in the future.
If you are unsure whether a chargepoint manufacturer that has been accepted for an enforcement undertaking is eligible for OZEV grants, you should contact OZEV directly for clarification.
How Wevo ensures compliance for every eligible OCPP charger