Understanding what’s covered by an EV charger Electrical Installation Certificate (EIC) is crucial for ensuring the safety, compliance, and documentation of your EV charger installation.
This article covers everything you need to know about Electrical Installation Certificates (EIC). We explore who can legally issue a certificate, how long does the certificate last and what information you can expect to find on the document.
What is an EV charger installation certificate?
An EV charger installation certificate is called an Electrical Installation Certificate, also known as an EIC. A qualified and competent EV charger installer produces and issues the EIC to certify that the work complies with UK regulations and that the EV charging unit has been tested and is deemed safe to use.
The EV charger installation certificate is crucial for several reasons:
It confirms that the installation has been completed by a competent professional and that the charging point is safe to use.
It assures that the installation meets the necessary local and national electrical standards. In the UK, these are typically outlined in the British Standard BS 7671 (Requirements for Electrical Installations).
In some cases, you might need to provide this certificate to apply for a grant or rebate, to satisfy insurance requirements, or to confirm that you meet certain to regulations if you’re a landlord or business.
If you sell your property in the future, potential buyers may want to see this certificate to ensure the EV charging point was professionally and safely installed.
What is an EIC Electrical installation certificate?
An Electrical Installation Certificate (EIC) is a document issued by a competent person, such as a qualified electrician trained in EV charger installation, to certify that an electrical installation has been tested and inspected, and meets the safety standards set out in the national safety standard, BS 7671 in the UK.
The EIC provides information about the electrical installation and the results of the inspection and testing that was carried out at the time the certificate was issued. It includes details about the property where the installation is located, the designer, the installer, and the inspector, as well as details about the type and condition of the equipment.
This certificate is required after the installation of a new electrical circuit, or when a significant alteration or addition has been made to an existing circuit in a special location, such as a bathroom or kitchen. In the context of electric vehicle charging, an EIC would typically be issued after the installation of a new charging point.
The EIC is an important document because it provides verification that the electrical work was completed safely and professionally, and it is often required for compliance with building regulations, insurance policies, or in the case of selling a property.
What qualifications do you need to issue an EIC certificate?
An Electrical Installation Certificate (EIC) can only be issued by a competent person. A competent person in this context is a qualified electrician who has been trained and assessed as competent to carry out electrical work safely and in accordance with the relevant national standards and regulations.
In the UK, for example, this means an electrician would need to be trained to at least the level of the requirements of BS 7671, the national standard for electrical installations. In addition, the electrician should be a member of a recognised competent person scheme. These schemes assess the competence of electricians and allow them to self-certify that their work complies with the Building Regulations.
You can ask your EV charger installer which scheme they are on and double-check their credentials online. Here is a list of the current competent person schemes operating in the UK.
The person issuing the certificate must have inspected and tested the installation and must be competent to do so. The electrician should understand the system they are testing, be fully aware of the potential hazards, and know how to avoid them.
If you’re considering having electrical work done and an EIC issued, make sure you’re dealing with a competent, qualified electrician. It’s always a good idea to check their credentials, large schemes such as NICEIC provide an online search facility to check if your tradesman is registered.
Do you need to be registered with OZEV to install an EV charger?
Your installer will not need to be registered with OZEV to install an EV charger, but they will need to be a member of a competent person scheme in order to self-certify the installation. If you plan to apply for a grant from the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV), then an installer must be registered and approved by OZEV.
The installer must comply with OZEV’s technical and customer service standards. They must also provide evidence of training and expertise in the installation of electric vehicle chargepoints, and demonstrate adherence to the relevant industry standards. This helps to ensure that all EV charging point installations funded through the scheme are safe, reliable, and meet the needs of EV users.
Is the installation of an EV charger ‘notifiable work’?
According to this definition of notifiable work by Electrical Safety First; “Notifiable work is a term used to describe particular types of electrical work that are subject to compliance with Building Regulations notification or approval.”
The installation of an Electric Vehicle (EV) charging point can be considered “notifiable work” under the Building Regulations Part P, which relates to electrical safety in dwellings. This means that it should be reported to the local authority’s building control department.
The work is considered notifiable because it involves the installation of a new circuit, and because it involves electric equipment outdoors, which can be considered a “special location” due to the additional safety considerations required for outdoor electrical installations.
As such, the installation should either be carried out by a competent person who is registered with an approved self-certification scheme, who can then notify the relevant authorities themselves, or the homeowner should notify their local authority’s building control department before the work begins, so that they can arrange for the necessary inspections to be carried out.
Is it a legal requirement to have an EV charger certificate?
Yes, when an electric car charger is installed at home, an Electrical Installation Certificate (EIC) should be provided by the installer.
In the UK, any new electrical installation or significant modification to an existing one must be certified to prove it complies with the requirements of BS 7671, the British Standard for electrical installations. The EIC confirms that the electrical work has been designed, built, inspected, and tested in accordance with this standard, so your EV charger installer should not leave your property without issuing an EIC certificate.
They have 30 days to file the EIC with your local authority and if no EIC is provided then the local authority could request that the work is completed again and it is possible to receive a penalty fine.
If you do not have this certificate, it could lead to issues with compliance, insurance claims, or even safety. It’s crucial to ensure that you receive an EIC from a qualified professional after an EV charger installation.
What do I do if my installer does not supply an EIC certificate?
If your installer fails to supply an Electrical Installation Certificate (EIC) certificate you have a number of options available:
- Request the Certificate
Firstly, you should contact the installer directly and request the EIC. There may have been an oversight, and they may be able to issue the certificate promptly.
- Escalate to Management
If the installer doesn’t respond or refuses to provide the certificate, you can escalate the issue to their management or the company they work for if applicable.
- Contact a Competent Person Scheme Operator
If the installer is part of a recognized competent person scheme (like NICEIC, ELECSA, or NAPIT in the UK), you can contact the scheme operator and raise the issue with them. They may be able to help you obtain the certificate or provide advice on what to do next.
If the electrician is a member of NICEIC or Elecsa there is an online portal to access certificates. This portal is a paid-for service that allows you to view and download all building control notifications registered at your postcode.
- Consult Another Electrician
If you’re unable to obtain a certificate from the original installer, you may need to engage another electrician to inspect and test the installation. If it complies with the required standards, they can issue an EIC. If it does not, they will be able to advise on what work is necessary to bring it up to standard.
- Legal Action If all else fails, and especially if the installation is unsafe, you may need to consider legal action.
Remember, an EIC is an important document that certifies that the installation has been done safely and meets national standards. It’s also usually required for compliance with building regs, warranties, and insurance policies. Therefore, it’s important that you have one for your EV charger installation.
How long does an EV charger certificate last?
An Electrical Installation Certificate (EIC) doesn’t have an expiration date as such, but it certifies that the electrical work was in compliance with the relevant standards at the time it was completed.
However, it is recommended that electrical installations are inspected and tested periodically to ensure they continue to be safe. For domestic properties in the UK, this is usually every 10 years, or when you first move into a property.
For rented properties, it’s usually every 5 years or at each change of residence, whichever is sooner.
For EV charging points, the industry recommendation is typically a safety check every year due to the high current loads they deal with.
How long does an EV charger EIC certificate last for Landlords?
Landlords have a legal obligation to have electrical installations inspected every 5 years, therefore the EV charger EIC certificate is valid for 5 years for Landlords. To re-certify a charge point landlords are expected to have the unit inspected by a qualified electrician to produce an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR).
If the EICR certificate states that the unit does not meet the national standards then the landlord can face a penalty of up to £30,000 if they fail to act on the electrician’s recommendations.
Can I sell my house without an EV charger EIC certificate?
You can legally sell your house without providing the buyer with an EV charger certificate. In the UK, it is not a legal requirement to provide an Electrical Installation Certificate (EIC) specifically for an electric car charger when selling your house.
However, during the conveyancing process, the purchaser’s solicitor may request EIC certificates for items that could be important to prospective buyers. When selling a property, you are generally required to disclose any known defects. If you have an EV charger but do not have the appropriate certificate, this could potentially raise concerns for a buyer, as it could mean the installation was not completed correctly or safely.
If you are not able to provide a copy of the original EIC you can engage a qualified electrician to complete an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR). Although it is not a substitute for the EIC, the EICR provides an overview of the condition of the work along with an assessment of any damage or deterioration.
What’s the difference between an EIC and an EICR certificate?
An Electrical Installation Certificate (EIC) and an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) are both important documents related to electrical safety, but they serve different purposes.
- Electrical Installation Certificate (EIC)
This is issued when a new electrical installation is put in place, or when a significant alteration or addition is made to an existing installation. The EIC certifies that the work has been designed, constructed, and tested in accordance with the UK national standard, BS 7671. It is essentially a confirmation that the work has been completed safely and to the required standards.
- Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR)
This is issued following an inspection and testing of an existing electrical installation. It provides an assessment of the in-service condition of an electrical installation against the requirements of BS 7671. It is used to identify any damage, deterioration, defects, or conditions which might, if not remedied, result in danger. An EICR is often carried out at regular intervals (typically every 5-10 years for homes, but this can vary) or when a property is being prepared for letting or prior to selling.
In summary, an EIC is a certificate you get when new electrical work is done, or existing work is significantly altered or added to. An EICR is a report you get when existing electrical installations are inspected for safety and compliance.
Can I write my own EV charger EIC certificate?
It is not possible to self-certify your own Electrical Installation Certificate (EIC) certificate for an EV charger installation. The EIC should be issued by a qualified electrician or an approved contractor who has carried out the installation and is deemed competent to inspect and certify electrical work.
Writing your own EIC without the necessary qualifications, expertise, and accreditation would not be valid or recognised by regulatory authorities, insurers, or potential buyers in the case of property sales.
If you have not used a qualified electrician for your installation you must notify your local building control body. If you are not sure who that is you can find your local authority building control team online via the planning portal.
How do I notify my DNO of my EV charger?
You should notify your Distribution Network Operator (DNO) when installing an EV charge point. The DNO is responsible for ensuring the local electricity network can safely and reliably handle the additional power demand caused by electric vehicle chargers.
To notify your Distribution Network Operator (DNO) about your new EV charger installation, follow these steps:
- Identify your DNO
Determine which DNO is responsible for the electricity supply in your area. You can typically find this information on your electricity bill or by using an online DNO lookup tool.
- Contact the DNO & provide the necessary information
Reach out to the DNO through their dedicated connections or new connections department. When contacting the DNO, provide them with the relevant details about your EV charger installation, such as your address, the electrical load of the charger, and any other requested information. This will help them assess the impact on the electricity network and ensure its safe and reliable operation.
- Follow DNO guidance
The DNO will guide you through the process and may request additional documentation or technical specifications related to the EV charger installation.
- Await DNO response
Once you have notified the DNO and provided all necessary information, await their response. They will assess your request and provide further instructions or clarification if needed.
The final word on EV charger EIC certificates
EIC certificates provide assurance that the installation has been carried out by a qualified and competent electrician, adhering to the necessary standards and regulations.
Your EV charger installer is obliged to provide you with an Electrical Installation Certificate (EIC) after the work. Before they start it’s worth checking which competent person scheme they are registered with to confirm they are fully qualified to issue the certificate.
The EIC is a critical part of the installation process as it provides you with the following:
Reduces the risk of electrical fault or fire by demonstrating that your unit is fitted safely under UK regulations
Provides the necessary documentation to sell your house without the need to pay for an electrician to complete an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) in the future
Avoids a possible penalty fine from your local authority if you fail to notify them of work under Part P of building regulations
If your EV charger installer has not provided you with the EIC certificate you must follow up with them and request it, if they still do not provide a certificate the next step is to contact the competent person scheme they are registered with to request a copy.
If no copy is available then hire a second electrician to assess the work. They can issue an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) to certify the installation is safe.
To ensure the proper certification of your EV charger installation, engage a qualified electrician or approved contractor who will carry out the necessary inspections and issue the appropriate EIC certificate. By doing so, you can have confidence in the safety and compliance of your EV charging setup.
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John is the Editor and Spokesperson for Electric Car Guide.
With over 20 years of writing experience, he has written for titles such as City AM, FE News and NerdWallet.com, covering various automotive and personal finance topics.
John’s market commentary has been covered by the likes of The Express, The Independent, Yahoo Finance and The Evening Standard.