Part One: How Are EV Chargepoints Currently Being Regulated?


This is the first of a three-part series on electric vehicle (EV) chargepoints in which we will be looking at :

  1. The regulation of EV chargepoints in the UK.  
  2. Practical considerations when installing an EV chargepoint.
  3. Property documentation and the installation of EV chargepoints.

Part One: How Are EV Chargepoints Currently Being Regulated? 

Following its commitment to end the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030, the Government has proposed and introduced legislation to facilitate the transition to EVs and standardise regulation.

In the 2019 Spring Statement, the Government announced that by 2025, it will introduce a Future Homes Standard to future-proof new build homes which will include a requirement that such properties must not need any further energy efficiency retrofit work to become zero-carbon once built.

The Government is also proposing to transpose the requirements of the EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) through the Building Regulations 2010. As we discussed in a previous article (to view the article click here), these requirements state that for:

  1. Residential property:
    • Every new residential building with an associated car parking space must have an EV chargepoint. The Government have proposed that this requirement also apply to buildings undergoing a material change of use to create a dwelling and to major renovations.
    • Every residential building undergoing major renovation with more than 10 car parking spaces should have cable routes for EV chargepoints in every car parking space.
  2. For new non-residential buildings:
    • Every non-residential building undergoing a major renovation with more than 10 car parking spaces should have at least one chargepoint and cable routes for chargepoints for every one-in-five spaces.
  3. Existing non-residential buildings:
    • For those with more than 20 car parking spaces, at least one chargepoint must be installed by 2025.

Certain building works will be exempt from these requirements, in particular:

  • Major renovations where the cost of installing chargepoints and cable routes exceeds 7% of the total cost of the renovation.
  • Where the need to install chargepoints could necessitate significant grid updates which would be costly for the developer (although some costs would also fall on the Distribution Network Office (DNO)) and would be likely to make the development unviable. Here the Government has suggested that only the minimum EPBD should apply.
  • Regarding the requirements for changes of use, this is limited to instances where a new connection is needed and will only require installation of the number of chargepoints that can be accommodated within the existing power supply (as upgrading the power supply can be costly).
  • Some listed buildings and buildings in conservation areas may be exempt where installation would prejudice the character of the building.

By including EV charging requirements within the Building Regulations 2010, the Government hopes to adopt a standardised approach to the installation of EV charging equipment in new buildings. Building Control Bodies will enforce these regulations and developers will be required to demonstrate their compliance (see the Government's report here). 

Some Local Authorities have started to make chargepoint provisions in new buildings a planning condition. For example, for any developments or major refurbishments where planning permission is needed, The London Plan 2021 (which provides planning guidance for the London boroughs) requires:

  • In residential developments: at least 20% of spaces should have active charging facilities with passive charging provision (such as cable routes) for all remaining spaces.
  • Office, hotel and leisure parking: infrastructure for EVs must be provided including active charging points for all taxi spaces.
  • Retail parking: where car parking is provided, provision for rapid EV charging should be made.

Governments response to the 2019 Consultation on Electric Vehicle Smart Charging 

At the end of July, the Government released its response to the 2019 Consultation on Electric Vehicle Smart Charging. It stated that its overarching aim was to maximise the use of smart charging technologies to manage the increased electricity demand which will result from the uptake of EVs. It announced a phased approach to the introduction of new legislation that will apply to private (domestic and workplace) chargepoints for EVs but will exclude all rapid chargepoints.

Phase 1 will be laid out in Autumn 2021 and will be enforceable 6 months after. The legislation will include requirements for all chargepoints sold to:

  • Include smart functionality. This was defined as the ability to:
    • Send and receive information; and
    • Respond to this information by increasing or decreasing the rate of electricity flowing through the chargepoint and changing the time at which electricity flows through the chargepoint (with the goal being to save money for consumers on energy bills).
  • Comply with ETSI EN 303 645, a European cyber security standard that sets cyber security and data privacy requirements for smart chargepoints.
  • Be designed so that they are compatible with all energy supplier requirements.
  • Require drivers to set charging preferences and schedules and be pre-set to not charge at peak times.
  • Include a randomised delay function to help address grid stability concerns arising from smart charging (this is to minimise the impact on energy systems if EVs are plugged in at peak times, in particular from 17:00 to 19:00 when people get home from work).

Phase 2 will be enforced from Autumn 2022. This will apply to the entities that can control chargepoints and will involve introducing legislation on:

  • Mitigating the risks of cyberattacks on smart chargepoints such as the hacking of devices, their control system or the communication between them to uphold the stability of the electricity system.
  • Ensuring that the chargepoint will allow consumers to switch energy supplier without their smart chargepoint losing smart functionality.

Note: the legislation will initially only apply to Great Britain (as the system operates separately in Northern Ireland) and to the sale of chargepoints only and not their installation.


By legislating, it is clear that the Government is hoping to prepare buildings for the inevitable transition to EVs and to create standardised requirements with the aim of protecting installers and users of EV chargepoints. We anticipate further legislative proposals and regulation in the coming years as the use of EVs increases and lessons are learnt from an increased use of chargepoints and developments in their technology.

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