What is the Workplace Charging Scheme and how does it work?

Workplace Charging Scheme - Downtown Electrical

The Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS), is a government grant for businesses to help them with the costs of installing electric vehicle charge points.

The Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV), previously known as the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV), has been offering this grant to UK businesses since November 2016.

The Workplace Charging Scheme is part of their efforts to reduce carbon emissions and combat climate change by encouraging businesses to start using electric vehicles.How does the OZEV workplace grant work?

The Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS), is a government grant for businesses to help them with the costs of installing electric vehicle charge points.

The Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV), previously known as the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV), has been offering this grant to UK businesses since November 2016.

The Workplace Charging Scheme is part of their efforts to reduce carbon emissions and combat climate change by encouraging businesses to start using electric vehicles.

Understanding the government Workplace Charging Scheme

  • Here are the main points you need to know about the OZEV Workplace Charging Scheme:
  • The Workplace Charging Scheme pays for 75% of the purchase and installation costs for electric vehicle chargers – up to £350 per socket.
  • This covers up to 40 single sockets or 20 double sockets per business (across all business sites if you operate in multiple locations).
  • The scheme is for off-street parking for business use, including employee, fleet, and visitor parking.
  • Businesses in England, Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland can apply (including charities and local authorities).
  • You don’t need electric vehicles in use when you apply – you just need the intent to pursue the use of electric vehicles within your business.
  • The scheme covers new charge points only – you can’t claim retrospectively after you’ve previously had them installed.
  • These electric vehicle charging stations must be smart technology (three-pin sockets and second-hand charging points aren’t eligible).
  • They must be OZEV-approved charging points fitted by OZEV-approved installers.

Between December 2016 and June 2019, the government paid out a total of £1,784,125 in Workplace Charging Scheme grants for almost 1,400 applicants.
The number of businesses benefitting from this scheme is increasing, as more than 6,500 workplace installations across the UK received the WCS grant by March 2020.

Do I qualify for the Workplace Charging Scheme grant?

Any registered business is eligible for the Workplace Charging Scheme if they:

  • Are a business, charity, or public authority
  • Are located in England, Wales, Scotland, or Northern Ireland
  • Have dedicated off-street parking (not for public use)
  • Can provide a power supply of at least 3kW to each charger socket
  • Are hiring an OZEV-approved electrician to install an OZEV-approved charger model

When you apply, you must provide evidence to prove your eligibility such as:

  • VAT registration number
  • Companies House reference
  • Charity Commission registration
  • Photographs of off-street parking for business use
  • Property ownership documentation (or written permission from the landlord for third-party private parking facilities)
  • Site survey results from an OZEV-authorised installer

You won’t need to prove that your business or staff are currently using electric vehicles to apply.
However, you’ll need to declare your plans to start using electric vehicles within your business in the months following your application.
You will NOT be eligible for the Workplace Charging Scheme if:

  • Your business is in the Channel Islands, Isle of Man, or a crown dependency
  • You’re planning to construct an off-street parking site but don’t have one yet
  • Your business property is primarily residential with domestic parking
  • The parking facilities you’re claiming for aren’t designated for your business or are solely for customers to use
  • You’re trying to claim for charging points you already installed
  • You’re applying for a site address that already claimed under the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS)
  • You’ve already claimed for the maximum number of sockets
  • You aren’t using a charger model or installer on the OZEV-approved list

If you’ve already applied for the WCS grant before, you can continue to apply for further chargers until you reach the maximum of 40 single sockets or 20 double sockets.
Bear in mind that this total applies to the business as a whole, not each singular business site.How does the OZEV workplace grant work?The Workplace Charging Scheme is a voucher system. The process goes like this:

  • Fill out an online application form for the business for the desired number of sockets.
  • Successful applications receive a voucher code by email within 5 business days.
  • An authorised installer completes the installation before redeeming the voucher.
  • The installer uses the code to claim the grant within 180 days of the voucher issue date.

Businesses can apply online themselves, then take the voucher to an approved installer.

It’s possible for businesses to purchase their own charging points in advance as long as it meets the OZEV technical requirements and 3-year warranty. However, if you do this, you can only claim for installation costs and not the cost of the device.

To make things easier, approved installers can apply on behalf of the business and handle the process themselves.

The approved installer should complete the installation, submit the voucher code and proof of the installation to OZEV, then receive the grant funds and discount them from the business invoice.

Since you’ll need to know the best charge points to suit your vehicle needs and which locations are appropriate to install them, it’s best to contact an approved installer to carry out a site survey before applying.

Here are the main things to remember when applying for a WCS voucher:

  • You can apply multiple times until you reach the maximum limit of 40 sockets (40 single or 20 double sockets).
  • If your business has several sites, you can spread the 40 sockets across all of your sites however you choose.
  • It’s not possible to backdate WCS claims, as you must apply before the installation takes place.
  • You must maintain your charge points for at least 3 years after installation and provide usage data to OZEV.
  • If your circumstances change or you want to move the charging sockets, you should contact the installer and OZEV.

Please note that if you want to move charging points after installation, the grant does not contribute to these costs and you’ll have to pay the installer in full. What are the benefits of the OZEV Workplace Charging Scheme?
There are plenty of financial benefits from the Workplace Charging Scheme. For example:

  • Your business could save 75%, up to a maximum of £350, per electric vehicle charging socket.
  • If you claimed for the maximum amount of £350 for 40 sockets, you’d save a total of £14,000.
  • Changing to electric vehicles for your business fleet could save thousands in fuel costs.
  • The government also offers discounts for purchasing electric vehicles through a low emission vehicle grant.
  • If employees use company cars, electric vehicles would also reduce ‘benefit in kind’ tax.
  • Vehicles with lower emissions also have lower vehicle tax rates.
  • Workplace charging points allow vehicles to be charged all day or overnight so they’re always ready, increasing productivity when jobs require travel.
  • Visible sustainability efforts improve perceptions of your business and attract more customers, since 79% of consumers make purchasing choices according to environmental impact and social responsibility.

Electric vehicles with available charging points make working much easier and more cost-effective for businesses and their employees.

Why would I install an EV charging station at my business?
If the immediate financial benefits explained above aren’t enough to persuade you, consider these long-term advantages of installing EV charging points at your business:

  • Convenience for visiting clients – they’ll feel more welcome and stay for longer if there are charging facilities in addition to parking.
  • Workplace charging points are a great perk to attract and retain new employees.
  • Employees who drive electric vehicles will feel valued, encouraging engagement and increasing productivity at work.
  • Demonstrating commitment to improving the environment makes your brand values clear, so your business becomes more respectable to consumers.
  • Efficiency cuts costs – less time spent seeking charging points or stopping to top up on petrol means more work gets done faster.
  • If your business operates in London or areas planning to introduce a Zero Emission Zone like Oxford, staff driving electric vehicles won’t have to pay the daily charges.

As of the end of 2020, the government is planning to reduce UK emissions by 68% by the end of the decade and ban sales of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030 onwards
Why not invest in the future of your business and the future of the planet by encouraging the use of electric vehicles within your business?Why choose Downtown Electrical for EV charging installation?
Offering electric charging points at your business with the intention of creating a more environmentally-friendly workforce is often seen as a big investment.
It makes sense to discuss the whole process and your options with an expert authorised by the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles before you jump right in.
At Downtown Electrical we’re approved installers for the Workplace Charging Scheme, with decades of experience in electrical installations.
You can contact us to get started on your journey towards a greener business and we’ll sort out the survey and application for you.
We’ll help you to determine how many sockets you need, which OZEV-approved model is the best fit, and where we should put them.
We’ll take care of everything, every step of the way, so you’re sure to receive a professional speedy service.

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