How can Plug in Suffolk help with the costs of installing?

With an increasing requirement for electric car charging infrastructure, many smaller communities would like chargers in their locality but do not have the initial outlay available to purchase and install the equipment.

This can sometimes be overcome by a ‘profit share’ model but these are only suitable for areas with high volumes of traffic and many communities do not like the idea of being tied into a long term contract with one specific network operator.  The idea of Plug In Suffolk is that any visitor can use the charger and just pay using the built in contactless payment system.  The locations will be where someone is likely to be parked there for an hour or two anyway.

A Plug In Suffolk Community Grant is to contribute to the initial purchase costs of an EV charge point. 

Who pays for the electricity?

The person using the charger pays for the electricity and, depending on the circumstances, there should be a small profit for the community as well.

What can we do with the revenue?

Any profit over and above the operation costs will be a revenue stream for the site holder to be used as required. This extra revenue stream could used to publicise the facilities. This should encourage more people to visit and local residents to consider the switch to electric motoring sooner, with the subsequent improvements to the local environment and economy as added benefits.

What does the grant cover?

So the Grant would be intended to cover the initial purchase and installation of the chargers.  If there is some reason that the grant cannot cover the full amount (perhaps the suggested location is in an awkward position) then discussions will take place for an alternative way forward.  Once up and running, the site holder or Parish Council will own the hardware and therefore be responsible for the operation and maintenance of the equipment.

Do we need an accessible electricity socket?

The suitability of the electricity supply would be clarified at the point of initial survey.  That being said, it would be helpful if the practicality could be taken into account when considering a particular location.  Perhaps the chargers could be as near to the power supply you mention as feasible which would help to ensure as short a cable buried as possible.

Who owns the equipment once its installed?

Once the equipment is up and running then it becomes the property of the site holder or Parish Council and they operate it like any other asset.  As the site holder or Parish Council will own the chargers, they will therefore be responsible for the cost of the electricity, operation and maintenance of the equipment, the supervision of the parking spaces and the insurance of the equipment the same as any other asset they own.

Do I need a maintenance agreement?

A maintenance agreement can be taken out with the installer or an alternative organisation but that is entirely optional for the site holder.  The experience gained by the Parish in having this asset will help to guide any future decisions as EV ownership becomes more ubiquitous and the requirement for public charging facilities increases.

 Who do I contact for more information?

Any further queries and to request an initial Expression of Interest application form please contact Peter Frost, Environment Strategy Officer at Suffolk County County via Email at peter.frost2@suffolk.gov.uk