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REAL unveils new Electric Vehicle Consumer Code

Image: Current±.

Image: Current±.

Renewable Energy Assurance Ltd (REAL) has launched its latest consumer protection offering, the Electric Vehicle Consumer Code.

The code applies to suppliers and installers of domestic EV charge points, whether they are acting on their own account or as a sub-contractor.

It spans pre-sale activities, contracts, installation and completing the work, after-sale activities and complaints handling and the dispute resolution process.

It has been designed to dovetail with the Institute of Engineering and Technology's Code of Practice for Electric Vehicle Charging Equipment Installation (the IET Code), as well as the current Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme.

The code is not intended to interpret, replace or restrict the law, however.

Members of the code must:

  • Ensure they and their sub-contractors have valid qualifications, including membership of the Electrician Associations.
  • Declare they will comply with the IET Code.
  • Have public liability insurance for themselves and any sub-contractors.
  • Have installers who have been trained to install chargers.
  • Be approved by a charge point manufacturer to install their products.
  • Only install chargers that are smart.
  • For installations where the EV Homecharge Scheme grant can be claimed, only install chargers with a manufacturer's warranty for parts and labour of a minimum of three years.

Speaking at the launch event for the code, chief executive of REAL, Virginia Graham said the RECC has been seeing an increase in members who also install EV charge points, with 250 members now installing the technology.

Victoria Pelka, senior policy researcher at Citizens Advice, added that Citizens Advice has been receiving calls from consumers over issues such as faulty charger installations and mis-selling. Pelka said that whilst the numbers “aren’t huge” – around 100 calls a year – it is probably only the “tip of the iceberg” due to many consumers choosing not to seek advice from Citizens Advice.

The Code’s first two members are Joju Solar and Caplor Energy. A 50% discount on membership for the first year is being offered for installers who are already RECC members.

Graham said it has been a “pleasure” to work with her colleagues to “bring this code into fruition”.

However, when questioned on whether vehicle-to-grid will form part of the code, Graham said that whilst it is not currently covered due to being only at the trial phase, when it becomes a “mainstream” technology it will be covered in the code.

More information about the code can be found here.

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