Consumer protection bolstered as REAL launch UK’s first EV Consumer Code
General Posted: 3 March, 2020. Written by Rebecca Robbins
- REAL launch new code of best practice to ensure consumers receive fair treatment from domestic chargepoint installers
- Code draws on experience and expertise from Renewable Energy Consumer Code for small-scale renewable technologies
- Code aims to reduce mis-selling and drive up installation quality
- Transport Minister Rachel McLean comments on the launch
From 1 March 2020, consumers seeking to install a chargepoint at home can look for the EVCC logo to ensure they are working with an installer that follows best practice in sales and installation.
The Electric Vehicle Consumer Code (“the Code”) is a voluntary scheme administered by Renewable Energy Assurance Limited (REAL). Domestic chargepoint installation businesses can subscribe to the Code, identifying them as reputable. Code members will be provided with a suite of model documents to ensure their consumer-facing paperwork meets the requirements of the Code and relevant Consumer Protection Legislation, and will have access to alternative dispute resolution services should things go wrong.
The Code builds on the experience and expertise of the REAL team behind the Renewable Energy Consumer Code (RECC). RECC sets and enforces high standards giving confidence to consumers seeking to install home energy generating systems such as solar PV and battery storage.
There are currently around 1,000 businesses in the UK authorised to install domestic chargepoints through the Government’s EV Homecharge Scheme. One in four of these businesses is also a RECC member. The number of installers operating in the market is expected to increase as the proportion of new electric car and van sales significantly rises in the early 2020’s. Around 60% of car users in the UK have off-street parking available that would be suitable for home charging.
The launch of the Code follows the Government’s announcement in February that it intends to consult on bringing forward the date banning the sale of new internal combustion engine cars and vans from 2040 to 2035. To address industry concerns about achieving the level of infrastructure deployment needed to support this, the final report of the EV Energy Taskforce (published in January) proposed a range of actions to ensure that consumers are at the centre of the roll-out.
Commenting on the launch of the Code:
Virginia Graham OBE, Chief Executive of Renewable Energy Assurance Limited, said:
“RECC has played a foundational role in enforcing high consumer protection standards in the small-scale renewable energy industry since 2006. We aim to extend the lessons learnt from that sector into the rapidly-growing world of EV home chargepoints.”
Dr Nina Skorupska CBE, Chief Executive of the REA said:
“The EV charging industry is committed to best practice. Decarbonisation of the UK transport sector is our aim, but to achieve this we need to bring consumers with us on the journey and ensure they are confident about the low-carbon products and services on the market.”
Transport Minister Rachel Maclean said:
“Zero emission vehicles are cutting transport emissions and improving air quality, making our communities healthier, better places to live.
“Having the right rules and regulations on chargepoint installation standards is important and we want to see industry showing leadership in this area.
“We welcome the Electric Vehicle Consumer Code which aims to protect both people and installers of electric chargepoints in homes across the UK.”
Gareth Williams, Managing Director at Caplor, a founder member of the Code said:
“Caplor is pleased to be a founder member of the EVCC. As a long-standing RECC member, we are well aware of the value that high consumer protection standards bring to our business.”
Chris Jardine, Technical Director at Joju Solar said:
“As an experienced installer of EV home chargepoints, Joju is well-placed to support this important consumer protection initiative. With the EV chargepoint sector set to grow exponentially we need to ensure consumers have the confidence they need to play their full part.”
Melanie Shufflebotham, COO and Joint MD, Zap-Map said:
“At Zap-Map, we’re seeing a surge in demand from consumers looking to install a home charge point. With the number of electric models available in the UK set to double over the next 12 months combined with a growing charging infrastructure, this trend is going to accelerate through 2020.
“Ensuring clear guidance and protections for consumers around home EV chargers is paramount if we are to build a mass-market and achieve our Net-Zero aims as a country.”
For general enquiries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0207 981 0850.
For membership enquiries, please email email@example.com.
Notes to editors
- Details of the Code can be found here: https://www.electric-vehicle.org.uk/
- Details of Renewable Energy Assurance Ltd can be found here: http://www.renewableenergyassurance.org.uk/
- Details of the RECC can be found here: https://www.recc.org.uk/
- Renewable Energy Assurance Ltd is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology (REA)
- See proposals 15-17 of the EV Energy Taskforce report on consumer protection.
- Details on domestic smart charging and access to off-street parking can be found in the final Electric Nation report: http://www.electricnation.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Electric-Nation-Powered-Up-Report-WEB.pdf
- Picture by Dominic Marley
REAL carries out a range of certification and consumer protection activities all of which promote sustainable energy. REAL’s activities fall under two headings: consumer codes and certification schemes.
Renewable Energy Assurance Ltd is a company limited by guarantee (number 5720606). It was incorporated in 2006. It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of REA, a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee (number 04241430) which was incorporated in 2002.
About the REA
The REA is the UK’s largest trade association for renewable energy and clean technologies with around 550 members operating across heat, transport, and power. The REA is a not-for-profit organisation that represents renewable energy and clean technology companies operating in over fourteen sectors, ranging from biogas and renewable fuels to solar and electric vehicle charging. Membership ranges from major multinationals to sole traders.
About the REA’s Electric Vehicle Forum
The REA’s EV Forum is comprised of around 75 companies involved in financing, installing, operating, manufacturing, and providing services to the UK’s EV charging infrastructure market.
For more information, visit: www.r-e-a.net
The REA additionally serves as secretariat to the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Electric Vehicles.