The UK Government’s Office for Low Emissions Vehicles has put a temporary hold on its Domestic Chargepoint Grant Scheme pending an investigation into the way domestic charging stations have been installed and marketed under the scheme.
The OFT has requested all accredited domestic chargepoint installers halt future installations while it investigates supposed abuse of the charge point installation program, first launched last year.
Under the scheme, the UK govt offers private plug-in vehicle owners up to 75% of the total capital costs of purchasing and installing a domestic chargepoint for use with their electric car, up to a total value of £1,000. In return, the recipient of the charging station agrees to provide OLEV with charge point usage data automatically via a wireless 3G modem hidden in each approved charge point.
Obviously intended for those who have a plug-in car or are about to get one, the OLEV charging point grant requirements doesn’t require applicants have an electric car at all however, meaning many of the charging stations installed under the scheme have gone to homes with no plug-in car.
Officially, the grant program is pending ‘ministerial review,’ but the word on the Whitehall streets is numerous complaints & a lack of clarity behind the system and aggressive sales tactics of a select few bad apples in the installation companies keen to cash in on the UK Government’s latest green grant.
As with the Solar Panel installation company boom of several years ago when unscrupulous companies sprung up over night to try and cash in on massive Government incentives designed to encourage homeowners to install photovoltaic solar panels on the roofs of their homes, those inside the industry say charge point installations have become a quick way for get rich quick types wanting an easy piece of government funds.
While most official charging post installations are carried out by fully trained professionals, a small minority of rogue businesses are following sub-standard installation practices which are not only unsafe, but illegal under UK electrical installation law.