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Having an electric car charging point installed at home: Common questions answered

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With electric cars growing in popularity, many may be thinking about owning one and how they can charge it quickly at home. 

An electric vehicle is said to be 47 per cent cheaper a year to run than a petrol equivalent, according to Compare the Market and they now make up around one in ten new car sales.

However, the upfront price of electric cars, cost of charger installation and the perceived difficulty associated with fitting one at home are significant speed bumps for many drivers considering the switch.

To help drivers that are considering getting an electric car and installing a charger, This is Money, with the help of industry experts, has answered the most common questions – from how much installation really is to the best tariffs currently available.

Many people are worried about the cost of getting an electric charger installed at home

Many people are worried about the cost of getting an electric charger installed at home

What sort of charger will I need?

It is possible for motorists to charge their electric vehicle at home using a standard three-pin plug with a cable and a wall-mounted home-charging point. 

However, this method is not recommended as it can take more than 12 hours to fully charge a car.

Dan Hutson, head of motor at Compare the Market, said: ‘If you want fast charging from home, you’ll need more specialist wiring and equipment, with a dedicated charger that provides either 3.6kW, 7kW or 22kW power output.’

Installing this equipment typically requires homes to have dedicated off-street parking and a Wi-Fi connection. 

Most people choose to install a straightforward 7kW home charger as this will charge your car three times faster than a three-pin plug.  

What is the cheapest way to get a charger installed?

Those who are looking to get an electric vehicle charger fitted should see if they could benefit from the Government’s Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme.

This provides grant funding of up to 75 per cent towards the cost of installing electric vehicle charge points at domestic properties across the UK.

A grant cap is set at £350, including VAT, per installation with the main requirement being that a person owns, leases, or has ordered a qualifying vehicle and has dedicated off-street parking at their property.

Consumers in Scotland, can get up to an additional £300 grant, depending on where in the country they live.

Drivers may apply for two charge points at the same property if they have two qualifying vehicles.

To benefit from the grant, the customer must first choose an installer to fit their charge point with the installer checking the household qualifies before applying on the customer’s behalf. 

The installer will then bill the customer for the price of the installation minus the grant amount they have applied for. 

Installers must be authorised by the Office of Zero Emission Vehicles before they are allowed to fit any of the charging equipment and the vehicle must be listed on the Government’s website to be eligible.

EDF, which is partnered with electric car charging firm Pod Point, said a 7kW Pod Point Solo Smart Charger costs from £549 including standard installation, including the OZEV grant of £350. 

Mark Bennett, energy expert at Energy Helpline said: ‘Home charging points on average cost around £800 to install. 

‘It’s unwise to attempt to fit your own home charge point unless you are a trained electrician and many of the charging points lose their warranties if not installed by a professional.

‘Depending on the type of charger, the average cost of getting someone to install your charging point is around £375 for 3kW charger and £625 for a 7kW charger.

‘In total this could set you back almost £850, once you factor in your grant, so grab a quote from a local electrician before making the decision to install a home charging point.’ 

There needs to be more charging points as it is currently a 'postcode lottery', experts say

There needs to be more charging points as it is currently a ‘postcode lottery’, experts say

What are the best tariffs currently available?

There are now several tariffs now available for electric vehicles with experts encouraging households that have a home charge point to find a competitively priced electricity tariff.

This not only makes running an electric car much easier but also cheaper and greener as it uses excess renewable energy when demand is low overnight.

However, it is difficult to work out the exact annual cost of an EV tariff, as most of them charge different amounts for day and night, and the average consumption figures don’t give a time of day breakdown. 

Bennett said: ‘Depending on your household usage, the best tariffs for households with electrical vehicles are likely to be ones which offer a cheaper energy rate late at night, when most people will be charging their electric vehicles.

‘These tariffs require a special electricity meter known as an Economy 7 meter.’ 

One of the latest tariffs comes from the RAC and British Gas who have partnered to give customers a smart 7kW home charge point installed by a British Gas engineer. 

They also give customers access to a home electricity tariff especially designed to make overnight electric car charging cheaper than with a conventional tariff.

The RAC-e Recharge Electric Car Tariff could saves customers money, with charging between 12am to 5am costing just 6p per kWh which could save users up to £300 on a home electric bill. 

However, to take advantage of the RAC-e Tariff, which has no exit fee, customers will need to have a British Gas electric smart meter installed so their off-peak charging can be tracked. 

Other firms that offer EV deals include Octopus on its Agile tariff, EDF on its GoElectric rates, Good Energy on its Good Energy Green Driver 7 deal and Ovo on its Ovo Drive tariff. 

All give different prices for peak and off-peak rates with the off-peak prices up to a quarter cheaper.  

Customers are encouraged to compare prices and deals for themselves to see which would suit them best. 

Call for more charge points to be installed 

Research from Go Compare found that, of those who are put off buying an electric vehicle, half said they wouldn’t choose an electric vehicle until there is a better network of charging points. 

This is one of the key issues associated with electric vehicles at present with the problem highlighted recently with experts calling for there to be a national network of electric vehicle charge points in place ahead of the 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars.

The Competition and Market Authority said access to the points can be a ‘postcode lottery’ with the number of total public charge points per head in Yorkshire and the Humber at a quarter of those in London.

It added it is concerned about the choice and availability of charge points at motorway service stations, where competition is limited as well as the roll-out of on-street charging by Local Authorities which it says is too slow.

There is also the risk of rural areas being left behind with too few charge points due to lack of investment.

Sue Davies, Which? head of consumer protection policy, said: ‘The UK’s electric car charging network is confusing, disjointed and in dire need of reform to make it a viable option for all, especially those who do not have access to a private charger.

‘To ensure electric cars are a choice for most consumers, the Government should take these recommendations seriously and take the necessary steps to make the public charging network larger, simpler and more accessible than it is today.’ 

How much work is it to have a charger fitted? 

It typically takes a trained electrician between two and four hours to install a home charge point.

However, this will be depending on your home, where you want the charging point and the charger you’re looking to get installed. 

How do you know if your driveway is suitable for a charger?

Experts say before deciding on installing a charging point, it is worth speaking to an electrician and getting them to come out to scope the work that needs to be done.

A driveway isn’t necessarily required but given the charging point can’t be moved once built, you’ll need to be able to access the charging point if you live by the side of a road.

If renting, customers would need to have permission from their landlord to have a home charge point installed. 

Customers also need to consider where they want it installed in relation to the property or fuse board as the standard installation is for 15 metres of cable, and if any ground works are needed this could increase the cost of install. 

Is it possible to rent out the charger to neighbours?

It is possible to rent out to neighbours and also others thanks to a number of parking schemes, such as Just Park, which you can join, that allow you to rent it out to anyone, whenever you want.

Customers on electric vehicle tariffs will likely be asked to have a smart meter installed

Customers on electric vehicle tariffs will likely be asked to have a smart meter installed

What else would someone have to think of before fitting a charger to their home?

Most EV tariffs require you to have an Economy 7 meter. These electricity meters give you a cheaper rate during the evening, when most people are likely to be using their electricity, and a more expensive one during the day.

It is worth noting the daytime price can be quite expensive on these tariffs and any savings you make from the cheaper evening rate is lost if you use a lot of electricity during the day. 

Especially if you aren’t charging your car to make the most of the cheaper night-time tariff.

Is it generally worth the money to install one?

Whether it is worth installing depends on individual circumstances, experts say.  

Bennett of Energy Helpline said: ‘For some people installing a home charge point, absolutely makes sense. 

‘If you regularly use your electric vehicle, are inclined to rent it out or have multiple electric cars, then getting a home charging point is probably beneficial, as charging your car at public charging points can be inconvenient and some will charge you.

‘Before starting out on the improvement to your home, do your research and make sure it will benefit you in the long run.’

A spokesperson for the Energy Saving Trust added: ‘Charging an electric vehicle at home is generally much cheaper than using a public charge point. 

‘In addition, there is the convenience of charging when your vehicle is likely to be unused for long lengths of time, such as overnight. 

‘Although it is possible to charge your vehicle using a standard three pin plug, this is strongly discouraged as it will take a long time to fill up the battery and household sockets are not designed for this high level of constant usage. 

‘A charge point at home will be separately fused and compliant with the relevant safety legislation.’

However, for those who have access to local charging points nearby, it may be that sticking with that option would be easier and cheaper. 

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Leinster’s accuracy proves key as they see off Munster in demolition derby

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Leinster 35 Munster 25

A breathtaking and, it has to be said, physically punishing game, which ebbed and flowed from first to last, ended with Leinster getting more than they needed and Munster coming up short of their targets. Well, to a point.

Munster went into the last game requiring at least two match points for a home quarter-final and a bonus point for the additional carrot of a potential home semi-final.

In the end, they came up with zero, which was perhaps preferable in that it earned them an away quarter-final against Ulster rather than against the Bulls. Even so, the winners of that Irish derby in a fortnight will be away in the semi-finals against the Stormers or Edinburgh.

In the other half of the draw Leinster will host Glasgow in the quarter-finals, and the winners of that tie will have home advantage in the semi-finals.

The mix of requirements made for a thrilling game. Leinster were ultimately the more accurate and pacier side, epitomised by the jet-heeled Jordan Larmour, who made everyone else look like they were being towed and his counterattacking and running led to two of Leinster’s four tries. It was a timely reminder of his abilities, and might well earn him a place on the bench in the Champions Cup final against La Rochelle, who themselves welcomed back Will Skelton off the bench against Stade Francais on Saturday.

Munster’s game didn’t lack for ambition at all, and their similar mix featured classy performances by Thomas Ahern, Alex Kendellen, Jack O’Donoghue and Conor Murray. But they weren’t as accurate or quite as pacey.

This hungry Leinster mix of young and experienced were not in a remotely charitable mood, and shot out of the traps. Harry Byrne’s perfect kick-off was reclaimed by the recalled Ryan Baird and inside 80 seconds Leinster had scored without Munster touching the ball.

Generating trademark quick ball, with Baird making one big carry and Scott Penny a couple, before Ciarán Frawley used an advantage to crosskick perfectly for Penny to gather and use his footwork to step Joey Carbery and finish in the corner.

Harry Byrne didn’t land the difficult conversion, but added a penalty before offloads by Kendellen and Ahern and a couple of nicely weighted grubbers to the edges by Murray and Carbery earned an attacking lineout. The first scrap followed too. Yep, derby on.

Attacking wide and through phases, Munster used an advantage when Carbery pulled the ball back as Keith Earls worked across from his wing and flung a peach of a left-hander for O’Donoghue to take Cormac Foley’s tackle and finish well in the corner.

Leinster’s Rory O’Loughlin on his way to scoring a try despite Keynan Knox and Mike Haley of Munster during the United Rugby Championship match at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho
Leinster’s Rory O’Loughlin on his way to scoring a try despite Keynan Knox and Mike Haley of Munster during the United Rugby Championship match at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Next, after Frawley’s spillage, the recalled Andrew Conway chased Murray’s perfectly weighted kick to prevent Larmour gathering, Niall Scannell’s gallop earning another attacking lineout.

Again Munster engineered another free play, and after a strong carry by Kendellen from Murray’s pass behind his back, Mike Haley was sharply on hand to pick up and dive over under the posts.

The force was with Munster, all the more so after Conway cleanly reclaimed another box kick by Murray. But when Kendellen kicked through Larmour beat the flanker’s follow-up tackle and left a trail of four more forwards in his wake before being tackled by Murray. From the recycle, Jamie Osborne stepped and Frawley took a superb line on to his short pass for a clean break and had Foley in support. The 22-year-old showed the quickness from his formative years as a centre with St Gerard’s to complete his first Leinster try on his home debut, and some try too.

The game’s first scrums provided an almost welcome breather. Frawley, after his two sumptuous try assists, had to depart for one of several failed HIAs in the game, and didn’t return.

The lively Earls then countered with Haley, Carbery and Kendellen before Rob Russell’s deliberate knock-on prevented the ball reaching three unmarked players and earning him a yellow card. But Baird spoiled the Munster lineout to protect his side’s 15-12 lead until the interval.

But on the resumption Munster struck. Haley chased his own kick, preventing Osborne from gathering cleanly and Murray was sharply on to the loose ball to skip away from Foley’s tackle and score.

Harry Byrne brought it back to a one-point game after Foley’s high tackle on Josh Murphy, and although Munster were clearly now mindful of the chance for a fourth try when going to the corner, before accepting a tap over penalty to push them four points ahead.

Typical of this match, back came Leinster. First Foley executed a 50:22 and despite just changing their frontrow the maul was gathering speed when it collapsed and Frank Murphy adjudged it a penalty try and sinbinned Niall Scannell.

After Max Deegan’s covering tackle on the ever dangerous Chris Farrell into touch, a lovely launch play and a flatish pass by Foley for Joe McCarthy’s carry over the gainline, was the prelude to Leinster reloading right and another slaloming run by Larmour. An offload by McCarty and fine pass by Deegan created the space for Rory O’Loughlin to use a two-on-two and a mismatch with the covering Kenyan Knox to score.

Suddenly it was 32-22 to Leinster.

A spellbinding spell of offloading featuring Murray, Ahern, O’Donoghue and Kendellen ended with Earls finishing off O’Donoghue’s offload, but Murphy adjudged it forward. Instead, Munster had to opt for another Carbery penalty to complete the first task of getting to within one score before chasing a fourth try.

They became over exuberant and conceded penalties, and although Adam Byrne was brilliantly denied by Carbery and Haley, Harry Byrne’s penalty put them 10 ahead, and more relevantly left Munster without anything from the game and looking at a quarter-final away to Ulster.

They had eight minutes or so to do it. They conjured one punishing phased attack, Carbery’s one-handed pick-up and Murray deliberately knocking on with a penalty advantage and then quickly were two of the highlights, but when Carbery prematurely went wide with a looped pass to Jack Daly he was tackled into touch by Osborne.

And that was effectively that.

SCORING SEQUENCE – 2 mins: Penny try 5-0; 9: Byrne pen 8-0; 12: O’Donoghue try 8-5; 17: Haley try, Carbery con 8-12; 23: Foley try, Byrne con 15-12; (half-time 15-12); 41: Murray try, Carbery con 15-19; 46: Byrne pen 18-19; 49: mins Carbery pen 18-22; 51: penalty try 25-22; 54: O’Loughlin try, Byrne con 32-22; 61: Carbery pen 32-25; 71: Byrne pen 35-25.

LEINSTER: Jordan Larmour; Rob Russell, Jamie Osborne, Ciarán Frawley, Rory O’Loughlin; Harry Byrne, Cormac Foley; Ed Byrne (capt), Seán Cronin, Thomas Clarkson; Joe McCarthy, Josh Murphy; Ryan Baird, Scott Penny, Max Deegan.

Replacements: Adam Byrne for Frawley (27 mins), John McKee for Cronin, Peter Dooley for Byrne, Cian Healy for Clarkson (all 49), Devin Toner for J Murphy (55), Ben Murphy for Foley (58), Alex Soroka for McCarthy (66), David Hawkshaw for H Byrne (76).

Sinbinned: Russell (37-47 mins).

MUNSTER: Mike Haley; Andrew Conway, Chris Farrell, Dan Goggin, Keith Earls; Joey Carbery, Conor Murray; Josh Wycherley, Niall Scannell, John Ryan; Jean Kleyn, Thomas Ahern; Fineen Wycherley, Alex Kendellen, Jack O’Donoghue (capt).

Replacements: Jason Jenkins for Kleyn (49 mins), Keynan Knox for Ryan (54), Jeremy Loughman for J Wycherley, Rory Scannell for Goggin (both 55), Diarmuid Barron for Kendellen (58-61), for Scannell (61), Jack Daly for Ahern, Ben Healy for Carbery (both 64), N Scannell for Kendellen (65), Ahern for Daly, Patrick Patterson for Murray (both 76).

Sinbinned: N Scannell (51-61 mins).

Referee: Frank Murphy (IRFU).

URC quarter-finals (Fri, Jun 3rd & Sat, Jun 4th)
1 Leinster v Glasgow Warriors
2 DHL Stormers v Edinburgh
3 Ulster v Munster
4 Vodacom Bulls v Cell C Sharks
 
Semi-finals (Fri, June 10th and Sat Jun 11th)
Leinster or Glasgow v Bulls or Sharks
Stormers or Edinburgh v Ulster or Munster.
 
Shield winners 2021/22:
Irish Shield:
Leinster
South African Shield: DHL Stormers
Welsh Shield: Ospreys
Scottish & Italian Shield: Edinburgh
 

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Aparto debuts in Spain

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Aparto has unveiled its first student residence in Spain to open in September 2022. Aparto Barcelona Pallars, owned by Commerz Real, is located in the 22@, the city’s innovation district, and accommodates 743 beds covering 26,000m². The cutting-edge facilities at aparto Barcelona Pallars include an external circa 45-metre length infinity pool, a 900 square metre rooftop terrace, 2,500m² of gardens including the Butterfly Garden (named because of the type of plants that attract butterflies), the Smell Garden (due to the mixture of aromatic plants), 1,400m² of amenity space including a gym with a weight, cardio, and yoga studios, two cinema rooms, leisure areas, and a bar offering both food and drink services.

 

In addition, a central feature of aparto’s offering is its first-class experience with a focus on the arts including an initiative in which street artists will design some of the paintings on the building, and a mental health programme available to all students all year around, strengthened by aparto employees receiving mental health training to identify anyone who may need help. 

 

aparto Barcelona Pallars has been designed by the Catalonian architecture studio Battle i Roig, a pioneer in landscape architecture, interweaving structures with natural spaces like gardens. Upon construction completion, the building will receive the LEED Gold and WELL Platinum Certifications for sustainability. 

 

aparto offers students a unique safe study experience and flexible model offering medium and long-term stays, from a few months to a full year, with all-inclusive rates including cleaning, Wi-Fi connection, linen services, and some additional features related to sports and wellness sessions, cocktail and cooking classes, and a series of entertainment evenings including movie nights, sports matches and tournaments. Aparto’s focus is to create places where students feel at home living within a strong community.

  

Tom Rix, director of operations at aparto, UK, commented: “With Aparto Barcelona Pallars, Hines is introducing first-class student housing in Spain. Pallars mirrors what today’s students want in terms of facilities, amenities, community engagement, and wellbeing programmes. We have already successfully demonstrated that this innovative model is in high demand in Italy, Ireland, and the UK and we anticipate the same success here in Spain and can’t wait to welcome students to Barcelona.”

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Crossrail house price boom: Reading, Maidenhead and Slough set to become property hotspots

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Crossrail may be billions of pounds over budget and three-and-a-half years late but it’s finally ready to roll.

This extraordinary feat of engineering is due to be put into service on Tuesday, when it will adopt its correct title of the Elizabeth Line. 

The Queen made a surprise visit to Paddington station this week and officially opened the line.

On the line: The Thames flows through Maidenhead, which will now enjoy a direct link to Central London thanks to its new Crossrail station

On the line: The Thames flows through Maidenhead, which will now enjoy a direct link to Central London thanks to its new Crossrail station

Linking Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east with Heathrow and Reading to the west of the capital, it will bind together existing commuter railways, accelerating cross-city travel and relieving overcrowding on the London Underground — particularly the often hellish Central Line.

Commuters’ journey times will be slashed; Reading to London Liverpool Street, for example, will take under an hour.

When fully operational it will increase London’s rail capacity by 10 per cent, making it the largest single expansion of the city’s transport network in more than 70 years.

There are still a few glitches to be ironed out. Initially passengers travelling from Reading in the west to Abbey Wood and beyond will have to change at Paddington or Liverpool Street mainline stations. 

Also Bond Street is three months behind schedule. Trains will not call there until later in the year. Yet these delays pale into insignificance when you consider how the Elizabeth Line will transform rail travel in the capital.

Cross town: The Elizabeth line will run east to west across London, starting in Berkshire and ending in Essex

Cross town: The Elizabeth line will run east to west across London, starting in Berkshire and ending in Essex

The new station at Paddington, for example, is the size of three Wembley football pitches, with natural light as far as the platform entry from a nearly 400ft-long glass canopy.

More than £1 billion has been spent on upgrading 31 existing stations and tracks. Spacious tunnels will lead to airy 600 ft platforms, with glass screens at the edge of the tracks, making it impossible to fall under a train. 

Step-free access from street to train will make the service accessible to wheelchairs. 

The nine-car, air-conditioned trains will have colourful bench seats and open interiors with full-width walk-through connections between cars. It will be a world away from today’s cramped, cluttered carriages.

Few engineering projects change the way we live but The Elizabeth Line promises to do just that. People are already flocking to the new stations.

Research from Savills last year found that, over the past five years, homes within 0.6 mile of about half of the stations on the line have increased in price by 25 per cent or more.

It follows that when the sleek and airy new trains come into service, delivering people to their workplaces in double quick time, we can expect a migration to the west of London.

Here are the hotspots:

Reading revival

Outlay: More than £1bn has been spent on upgrading 31 existing stations and tracks

Outlay: More than £1bn has been spent on upgrading 31 existing stations and tracks

Not so long ago Reading was best known for its brewery and its biscuit factory — not any more. 

International companies, including Amazon UK, Virgin Media and KPMG have moved there and with reasonably priced homes, compared to London, the town is already popular with commuters.

‘I recently dealt with a young woman who sold her 750 sq ft flat in London for £600,000 and bought a 1,750 ft duplex in Reading for £650,000,’ says James Hathaway, of Winkworth estate agents.

The town has lots of green space, riverside walks, the Grade II-listed Thames Lido and great shopping, notably in Broad Street and the Oracle centre. The average price of a home sold in Reading was £384,000 last year.

Compare that to the £512,000 average price in, say, East London and you will see why an exodus from the capital is forecast when the Elizabeth Line makes commuting a doddle.

Maidenhead marches on

This Berkshire town is keen to attract the City bankers who had previously been put off living there by having to trek across the capital’s underground system to get to work.

‘The Elizabeth Line changes all that and buyer enquiries have already started booming,’ says Dawn Carritt at Jackson-Stops estate agents.

‘The prospect of living near the river in Maidenhead or in nearby villages such as Sonning and Bray is appealing.’

Maidenhead (with Theresa May as its MP) is on the cusp of a revival. Its 1960s shopping centre is to be transformed into The Nicholson Quarter, a swish mixed-use centre.

The area by the river is being developed and trendy cocktail bars and restaurants such as Coppa Club are thriving — a sure sign of a town on the up.

Slough expansion

Ricky Gervais did Slough no favours when he set The Office there. Yet the town has a lot going for it. It is well located for travel, nestling between the M4 and the M40 and within easy reach of the M25 and Heathrow airport.

First-time buyer portal Share to Buy claims that Slough has been one of the UK’s top ten property hotspots over the past decade with a 73 per cent increase in house prices. 

The Berkeley Group is redeveloping the former Horlicks factory and site to create 1,300 homes.

A small flat sells for £150,000 and a three-bed terrace house for £350,000. The centre is being improved and with the coming of the Elizabeth Line, things can only get better.

On the market… the hotspots 

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