Electric Vehicles and Heat Pumps

Heat Pump and Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Installation

Our View

Electric Vehicles and Heat Pumps have a strategic role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and are a key component of the transition to a low carbon economy. We, the electricity network operators, unanimously support this transition and are investing in our networks to ensure that they can safely and reliably meet the increase in electricity demand required to support these technologies.

Introduction

This page explains to stakeholders:

  • Why we need to be informed of Low Carbon Technology installations
  • What their responsibilities are
  • What the new process is for connecting Low Carbon Technologies (as a demand), including Heat Pumps and Electric Vehicles
  • Who to contact if you have any queries about these processes

Safety Concerns

There are numerous reasons why DNOs may need contacting before the installation of a Low Carbon Technology can take place; these include supply overload, damage to supply equipment, power quality issues or adequacy of earthing.  If these issues are identified but not reported prior to installation, our customers are at risk.

Even when the cut out rating is known by the installer, the ratings and utilisation of all local distribution network assets require consideration, and cannot be ascertained without contacting the DNO in that area.

Visibility Concerns

When we do not receive notification of Low Carbon Technology installations, we are unable to map the increased network load associated with the rollout of these technologies.  This leads to incomplete modelling, which can in turn cause inadvertent stress on assets and ineffective and uneconomic asset replacement programmes – the cost of these programmes is passed onto UK consumers.

Responsibility

All parties involved in the deployment of Low Carbon Technologies have an obligation to our customers to ensure that we do our utmost to keep our customers safe.

Installers have the responsibility to inform DNOs when making modifications to a service under the following documents:

  • Wiring Regulations BS7671 132.16 Additions and alterations
  • Distribution Code DPC5.2.1
  • IET Electric Vehicle Code of Practice v3 Section 11

Note that the requirements under the Wiring Regulations and the Distribution Code are technology/appliance agnostic and apply to supply alterations from the installation of any appliance.

BEIS has a responsibility to ensure that Low Carbon Technology installers are informing us of installations made under its subsidies – the Renewable Heat Incentives and the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme, etc.

Processes & Forms

We have combined the previous connection forms and processes for Heat Pumps and Electric Vehicles. We have created a combined flowchart illustrating the revised connection process for both Electric Vehicles and Heat Pumps. This must be followed when installing an Electric Vehicle or Heat Pump.

A database of common Heat Pumps has been created to support this process, and can be found here. In addition to the other requirements detailed in the flowchart, an installer should use this database to cross-reference their device(s) to assist in determing whether they can ‘Connect & Notify’ to the DNO or ‘Apply to Connect’. It should be noted that the ‘Unconditional Connection’ column relates to Power Quality (PQ) aspects only. It is necessary to refer to the flowchart and form for the full process.

Note that the only Heat Pump information that will be made publically available is on the first tab of the spreadsheet 'A1_Summary.' We welcome installers and manufacturers who have devices that are not in the database to populate the information in the other (template) tabs, which will not be made publically available, and send it to ENA for verification. Data shall be submitted electronically by email using a copy of the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, with accompanying supporting information attached to the email. These can be sent to: [email protected]. A set of guidance notes that explain how to submit the HP data has also been created, and can be found here

We will be updating this database in the future to a more digital platform where manufacturers and installers can input their own HP information, to be verified by ENA Members.  

It should be noted that:

  • The position remains that electricity network operators will never refuse a connection; works may however be required to ensure the connection is fit for purpose
  • For residential properties with new Maximum Demand (MD) between 60A and 100A inclusive - the installer must apply for a connection prior to installation by filling in the form mentioned below and the DNO will assess the supply capacity within 10 working days
  • For commercial properties, please follow the flowchart referenced above

An associated application form for Heat Pumps and Electric Vehicles, which must be completed and sent to the DNO, has been created to support the aforementioned process. This should allow consistency of application to DNOs across Low Carbon Technologies. This new form can be found here. Note that the form is the same whether the installation is a 'Connect & Notify' or an 'Apply to Connect.'

For applications that consist of multiple installations, whether at the same premises or multiple premises, a relevant spreadsheet has been created and can be found here.

EV and HP Notification FormMultiple installation spreadsheet

 

The process is maintained and governed by ENA’s Low Carbon Technologies Working Group. This group contains representatives of all UK transmission and distribution electricity networks, and meets regularly with industry, BEIS and Ofgem to discuss issues and agree strategies and processes for Low Carbon Technologies that connect to the electricity networks.

You must submit this completed form to your local DNO.

If remedial work is required by the DNO, the time taken to carry out this work will vary depending on the nature of the intervention required to deliver an adequate supply to the premises being assessed. Each connection is different, so the premises and network must be assessed before providing an estimated time of delivery.

Under all circumstances there is a requirement to inform the DNO of the installation. For help identifying the correct electricity networks for your premises please visit: http://www.energynetworks.org/info/faqs/who-is-my-network-operator.html

You can also find your DNO using the Meter Point Administration Number (MPAN). Digits 9 and 10 of the 21-digit Meter Point Administration Number (MPAN) are the Distributor ID. Using this table, the Distributor ID can be used to identify the DNO. This table also contains the relevant contact details of the DNOs.

For installations in excess of 20MW, you may also want to consider a connection to the Transmission System. In this case please contact National Grid Transmission Owner in England & Wales, SSEN Transmission in the north of Scotland and SPEN Transmission in the south of Scotland.

 

FAQ for EV and HP notification process

1.  When do I need to contact the DNO prior to installing a charge point or heat pump?

This is clearly defined in the new connection process, which can be found here. DNOs have agreed that customers/installers must contact the appropriate DNO directly in a range of instances including the following:

  • The MD calculations performed by the installer indicate that a property’s MD is greater than the known supply capacity
  • There are safety concerns over the cut-out, cut-out fuse, or any other existing equipment
  • There is uncertainty over the supply capacity or the adequacy of the supply
  • It is certain that the connection requires an upgrade
  • There is a looped supply
  • It is an unmetered supply

The DNO will then assess the records of the property and confirm if the supply to the property is adequate, or raise a job to assess the property directly and implement any interventions where necessary.

This means that in addition to the ‘Connect & Notify’ requirement, if the new load will exceed the existing supply, or if there is a planned programme of installations in a close geographic region, the DNO should be contacted well in advance of the installation. The purpose of this process is to allow a safety assessment of the electrical supply to the domestic property and the supporting network to ensure they are adequate.

Once the installer contacts the DNO, the information required to enable the DNO to carry out the assessment will need to be provided, as per the new application form.

2.  Do all installations to existing properties require DNO intervention?

No, installations where the Maximum Demand of the premises including the new load is ≤60A and adequacy of the connection is known, the DNO must be notified post-installation (within 28 days). This assumes that there are no safety concerns, as per the process.

3.  When do I need to make an application?

Every time an installer or customer installs an Electric Vehicle charge point or Heat Pump to an existing property, they must inform their DNO accordingly. This will be in the form of an application or a notification. Notification is the process whereby if the proposed addition/alteration is assessed by the installer to be within the existing rating of the supply equipment and the MD is ≤60A, then the EV charge point or Heat Pump can be installed and the DNO will be notified retrospectively (within 28 days).

4.  How do I submit an application/notification form?

The form can be downloaded from the ENA website (click here for the single notification form and here for the multi-notification spreadsheet) and submitted directly to the network operator through the email addresses indicated here.

5.  Who can submit an application?

Anyone who is competent to install an EV charge point or Heat Pump can submit a form, including instances where the installer is working on behalf of the customer at that property.

6.  Will DNOs refuse the installation an EV charge point or Heat Pump?

No, DNOs are obliged to facilitate the installation/connection of new loads to the power network, as part of their license condition.

7.  How long will it take for remedial works to be completed?

This will vary depending on the nature of the intervention required to deliver an adequate supply to the property being assessed. Each connection is different, so the premises and network must be assessed before providing an estimate time of delivery.

8.  What is Maximum Demand (MD)?

The Maximum Demand of a circuit, property, section of network, or network that considers that all loads associated with that network will not be drawn at the same time.

9.  How do I calculate the MD of a premises?

There is guidance in the IET Code of Practice for EV Charging Equipment Installation on supply adequacy (Maximum Demand) assessment. This information is critical to understanding if the EV charge point or Heat Pump can be supported by the network.  There are different approaches to determining a site’s MD, including:

  • Use existing information – this is the best approach when there is available data on the specific loads in the house. However, this may not always be the case.
  • Determine loads installed – this approach takes diversity into consideration where appropriate. For this purpose there are different guidelines to assist installers, including:
    • Electrical installation design guide – calculations for electricians and designers
    • On-site guide BS 7671:2018 – IET wiring regulations, 18th Edition

Please contact the IET if you have further questions on the guidance.

Some installers chose to post their customers an internet connected monitoring device which connects to the customer’s internet router and clamps a split Current Transformer (CT) around the supply meter tail.  Data is then remotely collected over two weeks at ten minute intervals, before being analysed to arrive at an accurate MD without the need for a site visit.

10.  What is a cut-out?

A cut-out is a piece of electrical equipment that forms the link between your DNOs electricity cable and the internal wires in your property. To identify what cut-out your property has and it's associated rating, you will first need to identify it and potentially speak to your local DNO. Certain older cut-outs are inadequate and will need to be upgraded by the DNO. ENA has created a Cut-Out Rating Guidance document for EV and HP Installers, which can be found here.

11.  How do I identify issues with the property’s cut-out?

There is guidance available from the National Association of Professional Inspectors and Testers (NAPIT) on identifying issues with distribution network equipment. Installers sometimes ask for photographs prior to site visit to save resource. One should also read the aforementioned ENA Guidance document.

12.  How do I identify the rating of the cut-out fuse?

The rating of a cut-out fuse can usually be identified through a visual inspection of the cut-out. In some cases a DNO may have to identify the rating of the cut-out fuse as it’s not always obvious. Please see notes in the new process for further guidance.

13.  What is an MPAN and where can I find it?

The MPAN (Meter Point Administration Number) can be found on a copy of the electricity bill for that supply.

14.  Where can I find guidance on installing an EV chargepoint?

The IET’s Code of Practice on Electric Vehicle Charging Equipment Installation (IET CoP) provides guidance and outlines best practice for installers on a range of installation issues. It also specifies that in the case of dedicated EV charging equipment installed at any site the installer shall ensure that the appropriate DNO has been notified of the installation within one calendar month of the installation.

 The IET Code of Practice highlights the installer’s responsibility to:

  • Assess the adequacy of the supply capacity for the new Electric Vehicle load plus any existing load, before installing the charging equipment
  • Assess the adequacy of the earthing, before installing the charging equipment
  • Notify the DNO of the installation once completed

Contacts

For further information and any queries about the connection of Low Carbon Technologies, please contact:

Alex Audu
Technical Analyst, Energy Networks Association
T: +44 (0) 20 7706 5164
E: [email protected]

Stewart Reid
Chair of Low Carbon Technologies Working Group, Energy Networks Association
Head of DSO & Innovation, Scottish & Southern Electricity Networks
T: +44 (0) 17 3845 5746
E: [email protected]