How to become an OLEV registered Installer
There’s no doubt about it, installing electrical vehicle charging kit is going to escalate over the coming years. If you take into account the demand for domestic, commercial and industrial solutions, the number of electric charging points needed around the UK will run into millions.
As an existing electrician, there is clearly an opportunity for you to up-skill and offer this service, and if you are involved in new-build installation work, it will more than likely become a necessity.
What is required to install electric vehicle charging points?
Well, it all depends on what type of electrician you are, the manufacturer and the type of equipment that you want to install, and if you want to be OLEV registered to be able to apply for grants towards the cost of installation.
Whilst any qualified electrician can install EV charging equipment, if you want to become a specialist installer and be OLEV registered to install equipment under any of their grant schemes, you’ll need specific training, qualifications and documentation to comply with their requirements.
What does OLEV stand for?
OLEV stands for the Office for Low Emission Vehicles. It consists of a team that works across government to support the early market for ultra-low emission vehicles such as pure electric vehicles. They offer grants to homes, businesses and local authorities to support the installation of electric vehicle charging equipment.
What is the OLEV grant?
From an installer’s point of view, there are two main routes to installation with OLEV - the Home Charge Scheme and the Workplace Charging Scheme.
The Home Charge Scheme allows up to 75 % contribution towards one charge point installation, with a grant cap of £500 per eligible vehicle, based on a maximum of two vehicles per household. Grants are only available for installing smart chargers.
The Workplace Charging Scheme works a little differently and allows for up to 75 % of the purchase and installation costs up to a maximum of £500 per socket with a maximum of 20 sockets, which can be spread across all sites relevant for each application.
There are of course caveats and hoops to jump through for each scheme, and it is essential to read the OLEV documentation in detail if you plan to use these schemes. What constitutes eligible vehicles and equipment seems to change regularly.
How do I become an OLEV registered installer?
No matter the scheme, there are some conditions placed on the type of EV equipment being installed and the person installing it. To apply as an installer, you will need:
proof of membership of an electrical registration scheme
proof of public liability insurance
proof that a manufacturer has approved you to install their equipment
proof that you or your installers have been trained to install electric vehicle charging points
What does EV installation training for OLEV involve?
With regard to proof of training for EV equipment installations to gain OLEV approval, there are a number of routes, which more often than not includes general training on EV installation, with or without a formal exam, in addition to attending manufacturer-specific training. Some manufacturers will provide both the general and the equipment-specific training in one course.
General training will include:
types of training and kit available
considerations for site surveys
inspection and testing
commissioning of EV equipment.
Manufacturer training will normally focus on their product range and features, including their own specific installation guidance.
Once you have completed the general and manufacturer training and have all the other documentation required, you can apply for OLEV approval online.
What charging equipment is suitable for OLEV grants?
When installing under the OLEV scheme, it is not just you, the installer who needs approval - the equipment must also be OLEV approved. This is the responsibility of the manufacturer.
For the charging equipment to be eligible it is essential that it is ‘smart’. This means that it communicates data about a charging event, usually to the manufacturer, who will store this information and periodically submit a usage report to OLEV. Smart charging equipment will also allow the user to monitor charging, schedule events and generally be in control of the process.
Therefore, if you are choosing which manufacturer(s) to take equipment training with as part of your OLEV application, make sure you choose those that offer these smart features as part of their product offer.
How do I get qualified in EV equipment installation?
For those who are looking to achieve an EV installer qualification, there are two main routes, the EAL course is about a day of learning with a multi-choice exam, while the City & Guilds course is two days and includes a practical assessment and multi-choice exam.
It is worth checking the requirements of the equipment manufacturer you plan to work with as some may require you to have an EV qualification before you attend their training and others may not.
Where can I study for EV installation?
There are a variety of study centres around the country offering the City & Guilds or EAL accredited courses. However, the most flexible option is to study online.
A well-known provider of high-quality online training for electricians, Learninglounge.com is a great place to start, especially as it has a 100 % pass rate for the 1000’s of learners it has trained to date. The EV equipment course, called EVE, contains all the detailed training you need to progress on any of the available routes. It is delivered fully online, allowing you the flexibility to study whenever and wherever suits you, without the need to take time away from work.
The course contains a series of easily digestible videos, including expert commentary, best practice guides, illustrations, animations, real-life installation examples taken outside of the classroom, and bonus content, helping you get the most from the course.
Choosing an independent training company also has its benefits – at the end of the training you can choose to take either the EAL or City & Guilds qualification via their network of partner training centres, where you’ll gain support with any practical training and final exams depending on your choice of qualification.
If you are interested in choosing EVE as your EV training solution visit www.learninglounge.com/eve to find out more please create your free LearningLounge account and then click on the bell symbol on the blog page to keep up to date with EV and training news. Please also follow us on our Facebook Page “Calling all Electricians”
To find out more about gaining OLEV approval, visit the OLEV website