Thursday 25 August 2022

New Homes to Have Charge Points for Electric Vehicles as Standard

Housebuilders in England will soon be fitting EV chargers to new homes, how do the new rules work and what is happening in the other home nations?

How the New Rules Work in England

In December 2021, the government published Approved Document S, a new part of the Building Regulations that apply in England.  The new regulations require developers to fit Electric Vehicle (EV) charging points when building a new home.

Where a new residential building has a parking space then EV charge points must be provided - one per dwelling or one per parking space, whichever is the lower.

So for a new house that has its own parking space at least one EV charger must be installed.

For an apartment block with a car park for residents the number of EV chargers provided would be the number of dwellings in the block, (unless the number of spaces in the car park was less than the number of dwellings).

Exemptions exist if the developer can demonstrate that fitting so many EV chargers would overload the electricity supply.  If grid reinforcement costs exceed £3,600 per charge point then the developer can install less EV charging - up to the number that would cause grid reinforcement costs to exceed £3,600 (excluding VAT) per charge point.  Any unserved parking spaces must instead be provided with a cable route from the power supply to the parking space to aid future installation (but not a cable).

Each electric vehicle charge point needs to have a minimum nominal rated output of 7kW, be untethered (have a socket rather than a lead), and have an indicator to show the equipment’s charging status.

The approved document took effect on 15 June 2022. It does not apply to new buildings submitted for planning before that date, unless the plot build starts after 15 June 2023. 

What this means in practice is that any new building sites where planning permission was applied for after June 2022 will need to meet the new requirements.  Building sites that had already applied for planning permission before June 2022 will need to transition individual plots to meet the new regulations if these start being built after June 2023.

New Rules in Scotland are Coming Soon

The Scottish Government has announced that it will legislate  before the end of 2022 to ensure developers provide electric vehicle (EV) charge points in the construction of new residential and non-residential buildings.  All new homes, including flats, with a dedicated car parking space are built with an electric charge point.

The details are outlined in the consultation response:

All new dwellings with a parking space are to have at least one EV charge point socket with minimum 7kW output power rating.  There is an exemption to requirement to install EV charge point if additional cost of electricity grid connection exceeds £2,000.  If exemption applies ducting infrastructure to be installed in each car parking space.


An EV Charging Strategy for Wales published March 2021 proposes that new homes should be 'ready' for an EV charger - suggesting only cable provision, though this position looks weak compared to the positions taken by England and Scotland and I'd expect Wales to follow England and Scotland and require actual chargers are installed with an exemption if grid reinforcement costs are prohibitive.

Northern Ireland 

An EV Infrastructure Task-Force has been created to develop an EV Infrastructure Action Plan.  It's first meeting was December 2021.  Don't hold your breath on this one.