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Energy Saving Trust offers workplace charging point grants to Scottish businesses

Date: 28 June 2016   |   Author: Daniel Puddicombe

The Energy Saving Trust has launched a new framework agreement for a scheme to offer funding to businesses in Scotland wanting to install electric charging points.

The level of funding offered as part of the programme - which is due to run to an initial expiry date of December 2018 - depends on the number of criteria points the organisations meet, but companies will need to offer some or all of the following rules:

?  They currently operate electric vehicles and/or have staff members using EVs
?  They would be able to offer 24/7 public access to their proposed charge point and are in a good location for the public charger network
?  They have a large car park (100-plus bays) with significant numbers of staff and visitors who would be able to access the proposed charge point

The money for the project is coming from the Scottish government's Transport Scotland division.  To receive the funding, businesses will also need to offer free access to the charging point - including the cost of electricity - for at least a year after the installation of the point(s).

"Thereafter they may introduce a tariff if they wish, but so far, of the organisations we have previously funded [under a different framework agreement] very few have chosen to do so," an EST spokesman told BusinessCar. "Currently, the vast majority of the public network in Scotland is free to use, but the network as a whole may be transitioning to a standardised pay-as-you-go system over the next couple of years."

The EST said that applications are then split into three categories: high priority (100% funding), medium priority (75% funding) and low priority (50% funding).

Those deemed as high priority will "directly result in multiple EVs being put on Scotland's roads", and charging points that will "improve the resilience of the ChargePlace Scotland network., The medium level of funding will be offered to businesses that will result in an EV being put on the country's roads, and the low level of funding will be offered to all other charging point applications.

To qualify for the EST grant, businesses will need to purchase charging points from one of the following suppliers: ABB, BMM Energy, British Gas, Chargemaster, Everwarm, Evolt, Franklin Energy, Jorro, Siemens and WB Electrical.

Our equipment is installed in both urban and rural environments, including on remote islands such as the Shetlands, and has helped to drive forward Scotland's sustainability agenda over the past five years," said Justin Meyer, general manager at Evolt. "As a part of the new framework agreement we remain in a strong position to encourage and facilitate the ever-increasing take up of EVs in Scotland."

At the moment, Government grants are not available to encourage businesses to install points, due to the need to receive an exemption to European state aid rules.

"As far as we are aware these grants via the Energy Saving Trust or directly to Local Authorities do not constitute state aid," a Transport Scotland spokeswoman told BusinessCar.

It is expected that the Government will introduce a workplace charging grant scheme this summer.
"We have been informed that there is likely to be a workplace charging grant established this summer by the Government," said David Martell, CEO of charging point manufacturer and operator Chargemaster told BusinessCar last month. "I'm told there will be an announcement in July," he added. "It hasn't been decided exactly how much the grant will be, but certainly there will be support by the Government for putting in charging points in work premises, which is particularly relevant to fleets."