Evcia for Social Housing

Executive Summary

Social Housing Estate managers want to service the needs of their tenants and a growing proportion of residents want to charge their EVs at home.

Some residents will wait to switch until less expensive vehicles are on sale or a second-hand market develops but a growing number have switched—or will soon switch to EV.

Cab and van drivers particularly need to charge near home; “salary sacrifice” schemes have made EVs appealing to public sector workers; a growing number in the general population are making the switch; but for many living in social housing there is little infrastructure in place to serve their needs.

Social and financial reasons probably contribute to EV adoption by residents of social and affordable housing being 5-10% slower than in the private residential sector. There is growing awareness that the large scale switch to EV by 2030 will happen for everyone—and that Social Housing residents must not be left behind.

Download the Factsheet (PDF)

The sector faces particular challenges:

        • Grants of up to £30,000 to cover up to 75% of the infrastructure costs seem generous and further grants towards charge point costs are available but they currently expire in March 2024 with no certainty as to what comes next;
        • the necessity to upgrade infrastructure and meet power provision requirements for older blocks can be prohibitively costly;
        • social housing residents with ‘own door’ properties often do not have their own driveways so provision must be made for communal charging areas;

Expert Provision of a Complex Process

Many social housing providers employ electricians to maintain properties but the operation of charge parks is a specialist area. And employing a professional installer is not enough. The ‘build’ needs to be thought through, the operation and maintenance regime needs to be professional and the chances are investment will be needed to take it through to the point where it becomes viable:

        • Most EV chargers are now “smart” – complex networked devices which are managed and maintained remotely. Equipment needs to be monitored, maintained and replaced where necessary to ensure a good charging experience at all times;
        • Whether a ‘for profit’ or ‘cost neutral’ model is used, a mechanism needs to be in place so people using chargepoints pay for their electricity;
        • Forethought and expert advice is essential to avoid costly mistakes – no point installing parks without the power to run them and many locations do not have adequate power supplies;
        • Needs will vary – different charge points will be needed depending on the location, the parking layout  and how the parking is allocated – whether it is communal or in allocated bays;
        • Installation should involve minimal disturbance to non-EV users;
        • Funding needs to be in place and the work undertaken by a competent and responsible partner who will manage, maintain and if necessary upgrade the installation for the full term agreed.

evOLVE: EV provision for Social Housing

Two leading companies in the EV sector,  Energy Assets and Evcia, have combined their expertise and technical skills with the necessary supporting financial commitment in a single entity, Evolve, to deliver EV charging and other renewable services to social housing groups and locations across the UK.

Energy Assets is one of the leading deliverers of power infrastructure across the UK. Evcia operates the largest network of EV installers. In Evolve we recognise the immense issues that the sector faces and that there are no quick fixes to resolve them. Our aim is to deliver long term, creating a first class service to social housing providers, their staff and their residents for charging electric vehicles.

On the operational side we offer unequalled expertise in getting power to sites; a quick efficient and trouble-free build and and a fully-supported, well-maintained charging operation.

Our systems come with  full management and operational maintenance for EV charging with a guaranteed SLA. Our charge park developments can be fully integrated to your head-office and operational support systems to provide seamless support to enable EV provision for staff and maintenance teams, including remote charge points and home charging.

Evolve offers social housing groups a choice for provision of EV to their sites:

        • we can build, manage and fully fund the entire development;
        • we can build, manage and partially fund the development;
        • we can manage any development you choose to fund on your behalf.

Our Credentials

Energy Assets Net Zero is the renewables arm of the Energy Assets Group, specialising in asset ownership and management in the utilities sector. Established in 2005, the Energy Assets Group owns, operates and manages over 1.8 million meter, data and network assets throughout Britain. It is the only business of scale in the UK with a combined metering and data service, local network ownership, network construction and low carbon offering. Energy Assets is co-owned by Asterion Industrial Partners, EDF Invest and Swiss Life Asset Management AG.

Evcia is an installer group comprising the UK’s largest network of EV Charge Point Installers. With a  membership of 1,700 installer firms employing more than 800 professional installers nationwide it is by-far the largest installer network and delivers quality local service on a national scale. It is the the only UK network to have an installer and service agent within 15mi of any UK postcode.

How it works

In discussion with Social Housing estate managers Evolve will provide consultation and design services for each project to meet specific immediate needs of residents—and to incorporate capacity for planned expansion to meet future needs as usage mileposts are passed.

  • Full Capex option: Chargepoints professionally installed at no cost to the Social Housing provider to meet residents’ needs;
  • Pay-to-use system for residents means no cost to the Social Housing provider or penalty to non-EV users;
  • No installation cost or ongoing maintenance charges. Once capital cost of installation is repaid the site becomes revenue earning;
  • 22kW or 7.4kW quality chargers, constantly monitored to ensure minimum 99.8% uptime;
  • 4 hour guaranteed callout 24/7/365 with guaranteed fix or replace policy within 24 hours;
  • 5-7 year contracts with option to refit, refurb and renew at the end of term;
  • Works for privately-owned affordable housing, ‘own door’ with communal car parks as well as tenanted blocks;
  • Suitable for indoor and outdoor residents car parks with shared parking or demised spaces;
  • Works for any car park from 5 bays to 500;
  • Housing Associations, Local Authorities, Education and Healthcare Institutions welcome;
  • Fully managed solution with guaranteed income;
  • Reputable experienced professional partners – Backed by Institutional Finance (Swiss Life)
  • Fully protected with ChargeProtect cover from Great American Insurance Group offering new-for-old protection in the event of mechanical breakdown, accidental damage or vandalism, theft; fire and flood;

With our full Capex system Evolve delivers professionally installed and fully maintained charge point installations to multi residential units with car parks. Installations are undertaken 100% at our expense with no installation costs payable by the Social Housing Provider and no ongoing maintenance charges.

As with other optional utilities including cable television or fast broadband, the service is optional to residents and delivered on the basis it is pay-to-use. Residents with EVs will enjoy the convenience and cost savings associated with home charging. Neither the Social Housing Provider nor non-EV users will incur additional costs — indeed both will benefit from the additional revenue the service provides to the block.

We work with housing associations, local authorities, educational institutions and healthcare bodies; indeed anyone who owns or manages multi residential units which are served by car parks associated to the block or social housing estate.

To provide the service Evolve obtains available grants on behalf of the owner and supplements them with investment to a level sufficient to cover the total cost of the installation. Charging infrastructure is then installed at the block to the specification agreed with the block.

For car parks with designated bays owners can be provided with the convenience of their own dedicated charge point. Private chargers on bays can be installed at any time at a cost payable by the bay owner of £33 a month (minimum contract 12 months). If bays are not designated EVSH will fit and manage a dedicated communal charge park for block use with sufficient charge point enabled bays to be appropriate to the block’s needs. Sufficient infrastructure will be provided to enable the communal charge park to be easily expanded at a future date.

People pay for the electricity they use. Charging costs can be paid through an app, card or plug n’charge®. Fees cover the electricity used to charge the vehicle plus all service and maintenance needs to keep the installation in top health and to meet the capital cost of providing the service.

Evolve operates a transparent pricing policy which constantly tracks and matches nearby pricing — ensuring charge costs for residents are always competitive and much lower than public charging rates. We guarantee there will be no additional fees or unforeseen costs incurred by the block or residents and that all operational and maintenance costs will be met within the charging tariff.

Chargepoints and software are updated regularly. Service and maintenance are included as part of the charging cost. Our standard service level agreement with our customers delivers a minimum 99.8+% uptime as well as full protection against breakdown, theft, criminal or accidental damage, fire and flood.

Customers can also use their home charging app and card to charge on the move at more than 300,000 locations across the UK and Europe.

Once the capital expenditure cost is recovered the site becomes revenue-earning for the social housing provider

Number of  22.kW Chargepoints

Likely Activations per Year

Charging in kWH per year

Likely Revenue share in £ after capital costs paid

5

1095

5475

£547.50

10

1095

10950

£1095.00

15

1095

16425

£1642.50

20

1095

21900

£2190.00

Residents gain superb quality chargepoint installation services professionally serviced and maintained and the block or estate gains a regular monthly revenue which covers all power costs, supplemented to offset some block or estate expenses for years to come…

Scope of Sites

There is no minimum qualification as to size of building or size of car park. We will provide sites for blocks or residential housing estates with car parks, large and small.

We work with councils, housing associations and public sector accommodation providers

We provide service to ‘private’ residential units including affordable housing where each accommodation unit is owned by a different person; as well as tenanted blocks where all the residential units are owned by the same landlord or entity. If parking is allocated to designated bays charge point services can be provided to each resident individually.

If bays are not designated a typical installation will be typically provided to 2, 5, 10, 15 or 20 shared charging bays (as appropriate) which residents can use whenever they need to charge their vehicle.

Features

Evolve aims to be your long-term EV power partner. We recoup all the up-front costs we incur slowly over the duration of our contract so once terms are agreed we pick up all the costs of the infrastructure and working charge points.

Customer Features

  • Multi-residential unit occupiers with EVs can charge inexpensively and conveniently at home at a price which is far lower than street charging. Visitors can be charged a premium if they need the service. Occupiers not needing the service incur no cost.
  • Pay for what you use system with automatic billing through app and card;
  • Residents can leave their car plugged in knowing that the charging be optimised to make use of lower overnight rates to minimise billing costs;
  • Shared chargepoints are bookable via our app;
  • Visitor charging can optionally be permitted (subject to availability) at a premium rate;
  • Detailed use reporting is provided to the user and is available online at all times;
  • All expenditure and maintenance costs are contained within the operation of the installation;
  • Revenue positive. All power used by the system plus an administrative fee is paid automatically back to block management at each month-end.

Installation and Management Features

  • Easy approval and fast installation – normally within 6 – 8 weeks of agreement;
  • Full free no-obligation survey assessing power and building needs from our in-house IDNO;
  • Provision of all infrastructure and power upgrades necessary to deliver a viable installation;
  • Full approval of design and layout;
  • Evcia’s no dig flat-wire system means minimum disruption to car park users while system is installed;
  • Fast professional installation of top-quality chargepoints using expert installers and industrial-quality equipment to provide a robust and durable charging environment for years to come;
  • Unbeatable service and maintenance with 24/7/365 support, 99.8% uptime and guaranteed 4hr maximum response;
  • Full new-new-for-old chargepoint protection cover is in place in the event of mechanical defect, accidental or criminal damage, theft, fire or flood,

Frequently Asked Questions.

  1. Revenue stream or cost neutral?
    Evolve’s model aims to provide a revenue stream but if required we can operate on a cost-neutral basis for the landowner to reduce the costs to the tenant. Aside from our Capex model, should the landowner require we can undertake the installation for them leaving them in full control of the park and provide a service on a chargeable O&M basis or any percentage in between.
  2. Wait or start now? Should we be proactive or reactive in beginning to fit out our properties?
    Government grants for residential landlords are set to end in March 2024 and many not be renewed. The current grants are up to £30,000 a block for infrastructure to cover up to 75% of the infrastructure costs and a further grant of £350 per chargepoint. However particularly on a large installation the Capex top-up even after the grant is paid can be substantial. We recommend all clients begin their installations as early as possible, maximising the infrastructure grant while it is still available to provide headroom to add chargepoints at lower cost as they are needed.
  3. Go it alone or part of an RP buying group?
    Buying groups may reduce costs for Social Housing providers seeking to go-it-alone but the price for building a charge park is largely set by the cost of installation. This will rely heavily on the position/proximity of the power source relative to the charge park and any digging that might be required. Adding power to a location can be expensive and any cost savings which can be made though buyers groups can be marginal. Evolve operates an installation service at no cost to the landowner so the costs are absorbed and recovered over the duration of the contract with all maintenance and other costs covered. Residents registering with Evolve will enjoy discounted rates at 300,000+ public charging stations in the UK and Europe.
  4. Should we install 7kW or 22kW charge points?
    This depends on the location. We recommend 7kW for demised and dedicated parking spaces as these will charge a vehicle overnight. But a 7kW charger will only permit a maximum 2 full charges per day. Hence for communal and shared charging, a 22kW charger is a better option as it will charge a vehicle in around 2h at which point the driver can be incentivised to move to a non-charging bay.
  5. Should we use consultants?
    The quality of paid consultants is variable and the cost relatively high for the services they offer. Evolve offers low cost consultancy with detailed written reports prior to order which is waived if the order proceeds. Our expertise covers all aspects of charging from the installation of power infrastructure, dealing with power shortfalls and utilising renewables though to the building and operation of the charge park and options for the management and marketing of charging services. Through consultation we would expect to agree the initial size of the park and the policies under which it will operate. A structure can be agreed to meet your requirements for the optimal operation and organisation of the management of your park and its possible future expansion.
  6. Should we provide free charging for staff? Are there any tax implications if we do so?
    Payment methods can differentiate between users to offer multiple rates of charging. Your own vans might be permitted to charge at-cost with the bill by the office. Staff may also be permitted to charge at a reduced rate; tenants at a slightly higher rate and visitors at a higher rate still. It is unlikely that the tax benefits will become an issue. Evolve can integrate your entire charging operation into a single unit which encompasses head office, regional offices, depots and all your estates.
  7. Should we allow public use and how are costs recovered?
    By using differential charing rates we can facilitate public charging if required, particularly if take-up and utilisation rates are low.
    The vehicle being charged can be identified in a number of ways:
    i. by a credit card reading device which takes the charge immediately without having to sign in;
    ii. by an app (or the app of one of our network partners);
    iii. by an RFID card or keyfob provided to the user; and from 2024,
    iv. by Plug’n’charge where the vehicle is recognised when connected.
    Charging costs are recovered by the network and the payments automatically allocated to where they need to go and paid by direct credit transfer on a monthly basis.
    Payments are allocated to cover:
    a) the power purchase costs (plus a small supplement for administration);
    b) the site owner costs;
    c) The Capex repayment cost;
    d) The O&M costs.
  8. Should we allow outside contractors to use? If yes how are costs recovered?
    As with public charging, any outside party can be permitted to charge at a rate you set.
  9. How should we deal with resident requests?
    When spaces are allocated to a specific resident `(known as ‘demised’) we will normally install cable infrastructure across the entire car park and fit charge points to the specific bays that request them. People who subsequently purchase an EV can request to have charging added to their bays. In a case of a demised car park we may also fit public charge points to unallocated bays for facilitate visitor charging.
    For communal sites our charging network software monitors charging activity at all time ‘pinging” chargers every 10 seconds to check charger health and service status. We also monitor use across all our charge parks ensuring that there is always sufficient capacity. In communal charge parks charge park infrastructure typically allows the installed charge park to be quickly extended and indeed doubled in size. Evcia’s unique flat-wire installation system means that expansion can usually be undertaken in a single afternoon. Once expansion has taken place we will normally add further infrastructure to permit further future expansion.
  10. How to deal with EV charger when a resident moves home?
    On demised spaces Evolve will typically offer charge points to residents on a one year subscription contract of £33 per month (payable monthly) plus used power. If they move their charge point can either be installed at their new address or be “recycled” by Evolve to be installed for another user over another parking place.
    On communal parks the resident will simply cease to use the charge point. Should they be moving to another location they can continue to use their app or card to obtain charging at a different location. The app can also be used to pay for roaming on other network providers’ chargers.
  11. Optimal installation for available grants?
    Grant calculations are Evolve’s especial expertise and we will construct each project to utilise grants. In most cases Evolve will seek to maximise the grant allowance for each installation. EV users in social housing  currently comprise between 5% and 10% of total vehicle users but these numbers are certain to increase. Landlord infrastructure grants of up to £30,000 per block which meet 75% of costs and are guaranteed to be in place until March 2024. Social Housing providers should prioritise installations to ensure as many as possible are undertaken by this date to maximise grant drawdown and create the required infrastructure to meet the demand to cover the shift to EV in years to come.
  12. Obtaining grid permissions and undertaking power upgrades
    Obtaining the correct grid permissions and if necessary upgrading the power are the responsibility of Energy Assets which operates as an IDNO. Energy Assets expertise in this sector means that power upgrades are undertaken at the lowest possible cost.
  13. Should Social Housing providers use direct labour to fit charge points?
    Many social housing providers employ qualified electricians and some have qualified as OZEV approved installers. Obtaining an OZEV qualification will enable an installer to complete and certify grant approved EV chargepoint installations. But while such qualifications are adequate for single installations, charge parks and other smart network installations are likely to require additional skills which benefit from the attention of a specialist installer. Evolve’s Charge Points are all networked for central performance monitoring and maintenance and also linked to each other foto benefit from complex load management. Commissioning is a software skill not an electrician’s skill and requires considerable training to optimise charge point performance. Hence we recommend using our specialist teams for charge point fitting.
  14. What payment methods are offered?
    Payment can be made by subscription using any credit or debit card. Each time a charging event takes place the user identifies themself to the charger either by tap-and-pay, connecting by an app, using an RFID card or using plug’n’charge®. These connection methods initiate a charge for the electricity used which is debited from the users account or credit card.
  15. What is Evcia “No Dig”
    Evcia uses its own proprietary “no dig” system for installations which eliminates most requirements to excavate and considerably reduces costs of installations.
  16. How is it possible to optimise new build installations?
    From June 2022, all new build homes and buildings in England became legally required to have electric car charging points
    as part of building regulations. Installing new build electric car chargers during the construction phase can be more cost-effective than retrofitting later. Power can be laid directly to where it is needed at minimum cost. Certain developers may be eligible for the EV infrastructure grant too, which can provide up to £15,000 of grant funding towards certain costs, including wiring and posts.
  17. Length and Type of Maintenance contract
    Evolve typically seeks a maintenance contract of 5 years with an option to refit and renew for another 5 years at the end of the period
  18. How do standing charges/rental costs/subscriptions work?
    There are no membership costs or standing charges to use communal chargers. Evolve charges a subscription of £33 for each private charger it installs on a demised private bay for the bay owner’s private use. The charger is supplied, installed and fully insured and maintained. Each contract is for a minimum of one year, the fee payable monthly. Power use is charged in addition to the subscription.
  19. Optimal funding model? Power Charge costs?
    Evolve provides full Capex funding for installations. Typically we will obtain the grant on behalf of the landowner and top the grant up to meet the full costs of the installation. Capex costs are recovered over the period of the install through a supplement on the charging costs. Evolve typically charges a premium of £0.30 kWh over power purchase costs of which £0.10 is paid to the landowner, £0.10 to cover Capex and £0.10 to cover operations and maintenance. Evolve can usually negotiate reduced energy tariffs for blocks, not just for the energy it consumes, but also that paid by the social housing providers to power their public areas.
  20. Is there a fire risk?
    All our charging stations feature emergency shut-off switches, ground fault protection, and safety labelling as standard. We protect our units with additional devices which close down charging if there is any unusual activity on the network including surges and drops. `As a result we have significantly reduced associated risks.

Information

For more information, contact Toby Doyle on 07591 671179 or by email at toby@evcia.org.uk

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