ILP Bristol CPD webinar: Supporting the roll-out of Electric Vehicle charging infrastructure – a DNOs perspective

Jan 26, 2022 | Bristol LDC Webinar, CPD, Webinars

  1. CPD

Decarbonisation is one of the greatest challenges facing our generation and Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) sit at the heart of the transition to Net Zero. With millions of Electric Vehicles (EVs) charging at home, on the street and at work, often using as much power as a block of flats, DNOs will need to work with customers and stakeholders to build a smart, flexible network.

In this webinar we will examine our forecasts for the likely EV uptake, how DNOs will need to support customers wanting to connect to the electricity supply network and how innovation is helping them connect customers more quickly and cheaply.

Speaker: Neil Madgwick, UK Power Networks.

Hosts: Claire Gough, Chair ILP Bristol and Tom Lewis, Vice Chair ILP Bristol.

Neil has worked in the energy industry for the past twenty years and for the past ten years, connecting customers to the electricity network. For the past five years he has worked with customers and stakeholders, to enable them to connect low carbon technologies like electric vehicles, heat pumps and generation to the network as quickly and efficiently as possible.


Is there EV charging guidance for local authorities?

Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) all offer advice to Local Authorities for their local areas and collectively through the Energy Networks Association (ENA) Connecting to the networks – Energy Networks Association (ENA). There is lots of other resources available to local authorities looking to install EV chargers for example via the Energy Saving Trust Local Government Support Programme Local Government Support Programme – Energy Saving Trust.

Is there a plan to upgrade existing electrical infrastructure to increase network capacity? If this happens is there likely to be a reduction in new connection cost passed on to the LA, or remove he requirements for substations for sites with large numbers of chargers?

All DNOs have ambitious business plans to support decarbonisation and provide electricity infrastructure to support the roll-out of EV charging. You can find these business plans on each of the DNOs websites. The cost of connecting to the network varies on a case-by-case basis depending on location and power requirement. Where customers are looking to connect a large number of high-powered chargers, they may need a high voltage connection and therefore a substation on site.

Vehicle to grid – what happens if you are charging because you have long journey and the grid takes power and you don’t have enough for your journey?

Smart charging in all its forms, including vehicle to grid charging, is controlled by the owner and operator of the charger, not the DNO. It is therefore the customers decision whether they want to offer services to the DNO or not at any specific time.

Do the rates of passing electricity back to the grid from a car or solar solution differ from the rates of taking from the grid?

Many devices can now both import and export to the grid at many different rates for a variety of different uses. The range of import and export rates are the same but may have different impacts on the network.

The targets for the adoption for Electric Vehicles are aggressive. Will DNOs have the bandwidth to manage all of the new connection requests as Charge Point installation rates increase? And will connection times increase from those on the presentation?

DNOs are working closely with their customers and stakeholders to develop new process and systems in anticipation of the increase in connections requests. Through the ENA, DNOs are looking to digitalise, standardise and automate our connections processes wherever possible. DNOs are also looking at their workforce planning to ensure that they have enough resources to deliver the anticipated increased volumes.

Can you confirm the requirements for earthing on street light chargers. TT Supply or PME?

An updated version of G12 has been published. Section on pages 31-33 covers EVCPs. The guidance still advocates TT as the most appropriate form of earthing for EVCPs but does provide criteria for the use of Open-PEN devices.

How will people who live in terraced houses and flats charge their EVs. How will they install the EV points that don’t clutter up the pavements / environments?

ILP response: There are likely to be fast charging stations (similar to petrol stations we have now) introduced by companies to offer fast charging facilities. These could offer facilities such as coffee shops or cafes and the like for customers to use whilst their vehicle is being charged.

Will people who have off street at home charging pay the same as those people forced to charge on the street away from their front door?

ILP response: This is a matter for those providing the on-street chargers. There will likely be a premium to be paid for them to install and maintain the network as well as administer energy charges.

The demand for rapid charging comes about from range anxiety. This will decrease as EV range increases. Are we developing a network that may become obsolete very quickly?

ILP response: This is difficult to answer. The anxiety described I think comes from availability and capacity of charging facilities. Currently there are relatively few chargers so range anxiety will be an issue. With more facilities becoming available this is likely the decrease.

If lamp post charging is to be installed in residential streets, how fair would it be for residents if those bays were to be reserved for EV charging only?

ILP response: This is a question to be answered by your highway authority as it will be them that decide what parking facilities are available and their restrictions.

What would be the recommended ratio for an EV charge point in a residential area i.e., 1 EV change point 10 houses ratio 1:10 is suitable?

ILP response: This is a matter for your local council to decide. Planning advice now has requirements for charging facilities to be much increased for new build properties.

Petrol companies do not charge for the provision of the fuel (the petrol station). Why do energy companies think they can charge the customer for the same service? That is charging more for on street charging.

ILP response: This is a matter for the providers of charging facilities. Price and service will be determined by market forces, I guess.

The ILP seeks to be as inclusive as possible, so if you have any concerns about applying for membership / attending our Exterior Lighting Diploma courses, LDC local events or our one-day courses for whatever reason please let us know and we will try to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that you can fully engage with the ILP.