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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone, I am looking for some advice. I have recently ordered a Hyundai Kona, it is a motability vehicle as my son is severely disabled. I thought I had done all my due diligence before ordering by extensively researching, and by also contacting my DNO (SSEN) whom came out and checked my fuse rating and confirmed that it was a 100 Amp fuse. Motability have a deal with BP Pulse to supply home chargers so i thought it would all be fairly straight forward. However it seems that BP Pulse have really over estimated my consumption and have told the DNO that I will be pulling 129 Amps based on a few questions, and also that it is a looped supply. My DNO have come back saying that it needs to be unlooped and an increase in load is needed. The cost of these works are likely to be about £5K. I am not prepared to pay that. I dont believe i will even come close to 100 Amps let alone 129, as I am not going to be running two showers, my induction hob and every other appliance i own at the same time as charging the car overnight. In fact one shower is in my disabled sons downstairs bedroom and bathroom, and seeing I am the one who has to bath him it would be impossible for both to be in use at the same time.

So my question is will it be possible to approach a local electrician with ev charger experience, and get them just to fit one, because from my understanding the DNO would have to agree in order to get the OLEV grant, and I would rather forfeit that, than permanently use a granny charger (which i feel would be unsafe) and I am worried that if I approach a large manufacturer of chargers or supplier then they will know that the DNO require the work being done.

I am already an octopus customer and have thought of buying the octopus commando cable and getting an electrician to run a supply for it, and I have also thought about buying a zappi with load management and making sure the grid is protected that way. I only intend to charge the car overnight on Octopus Go and am interested in hearing other peoples views. BP have been very very unhelpful and the DNO even more so.
 

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This sounds odd. The DNO will want to know your maximum demand but this is not just a total of all your possible loads (which is what BP seem to have given them) as it should include Diversity, i.e. an allowance for the low chance that everything is on at the same time. You could double check the calculation yourself (try googling for maximum demand diversity or similar) and see if they've messed up. Technically any installer should go through this process before the install, but I suspect most do the install then send the paperwork to the DNO.
 

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I am in a similar situation to yours. I have phoned up BP pulse and emailed them to get news on any updates, haven't heard anything in weeks. I managed to get the £80 survey done, but nothing since. If I choose not to go through with them, I lose the £80. Still waiting to hear from DNO because I'm on looped supply.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I am in a similar situation to yours. I have phoned up BP pulse and emailed them to get news on any updates, haven't heard anything in weeks. I managed to get the £80 survey done, but nothing since. If I choose not to go through with them, I lose the £80. Still waiting to hear from DNO because I'm on looped supply.
I must admit I have rang my DNO five or six times chasing now. The only thing they are dithering over is the exact price, they just keep saying we have 24 working days to give you a quote in writing. Not one person has been out to visit, they are all just going on photographs and I am assuming mapping data regarding the size of the cabling. My house is only about 15 years old and I cannot understand why they skimp on the cabling knowing that future demand should be factored in. Electric cars although more mainstream now were not exactly like something out of back to the future 15 years ago. I am very disappointed in BP Pulse, they have not chased up anything themselves and have already taken an extra £150 off me for an isolator install. They are not very proactive and seem happy to sit back and wait, and wait and wait. I however just want a bloody working 7.2 KW charger.
 

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That does not sound right.

Do you have to use BP Pulse? Is it subsidised / free if you use them? I would shop around and get a few quotes from smaller installers - if you say where in the country you are someone may be able to give you a local installer they can recommend.
 

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I don't have any direct experience with BP Pulse but from the comments on here I would avoid.

A non refundable £80 for a survey is taking the p.
 

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Just got a bunch of emails from them, one to sign document for OZEV grant, one about DNO have just been given details now and takes up to 10 days to review, and another asking for £700 😳 I don't know what that includes. Will ring them up.

Is it because of the estimated amp demand?
144063
 

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Just got a bunch of emails from them, one to sign document for OZEV grant, one about DNO have just been given details now and takes up to 10 days to review, and another asking for £700 😳 I don't know what that includes. Will ring them up.

Is it because of the estimated amp demand?
View attachment 144063
It looks like they have not taken diversity into account, giving a much higher total load than reality. This is not the way to calculate demand. I suspect they may be trying to 'upsell' you with extras you may not need.

£80 for a survey really is taking the p. Depending on the install £780 is not necessarily a bad price, but giving them another £700 before they have even committed to an install date is a really bad idea.

Post where in the country you are and hopefully someone can recommend a good local installer.

Checkatrade is far from perfect but it is also a starting point to find installers. I took the opposite approach - decided I wanted a Zappi, then researched which installers used them and what their reputation was.

I used JoJu solar - good price and they did a good job - not sure how much of the country they cover but as well as Zappi they also offer EO chargers as a low cost option.

The £80 you have spent is not for a survey it is for a quote. A good installer will not charge you for a quote. They will ask for photos of your meter and consumer unit and a plan view sketch of where everything is located with approximate distances. This is what JoJu and the other installers I got to quote did. I cannot remember if any of the install cost had to be paid up front, but I certainly did not pay all of it prior to install.

NEVER commit based on a single quote, and never pay for a quote.

May be worth a word with citizens' advice or a post on one of the consumer advice websites to see how to get your £80 back.

Equally if you get a quote elsewhere for £620 or less you are still better off even if you don't get your £80 back.
 

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Are there any electricians that can state the “rules” for applying diversity on a load calculation?

It may still be the case that you are over the 100A limit anyway, even if diversity is applied properly.

You may want to ask your DNO about unlooping only and see whether you could then use a “smart” charger with load monitoring/limiting built in, which means it will reduce the charge rate or even stop if your import from the grid goes above the thresholds set. This may mean paying more for the installation, but it would be a lot less than your DNO has quoted for uprating your supply. The DNO would still need to give their approval for this approach if you wanted to claim the grant towards the costs for this, as that forms part of the grant requirements that the installer would need to comply with to get their grant payment.
 

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Are there any electricians that can state the “rules” for applying diversity on a load calculation?

It may still be the case that you are over the 100A limit anyway, even if diversity is applied properly.

You may want to ask your DNO about unlooping only and see whether you could then use a “smart” charger with load monitoring/limiting built in, which means it will reduce the charge rate or even stop if your import from the grid goes above the thresholds set. This may mean paying more for the installation, but it would be a lot less than your DNO has quoted for uprating your supply. The DNO would still need to give their approval for this approach if you wanted to claim the grant towards the costs for this, as that forms part of the grant requirements that the installer would need to comply with to get their grant payment.
It is a fairly simple calc (5 mins in a spreadsheet) but to give a rough figure:

Lighting = 60% of total demand.
Cooking = 10A + 30% of full load of cooking appliances.
Instantaneous water heater - full load of first appliance + full load of second appliance + 25% of remaining appliances
Socket ring circuits 100% demand for largest circuit + 40% of demand for other circuits.
etc

Chargers that can monitor their own supply to prevent demand exceeding DNO fuse rating are available (eg Zappi) and I believe considered an acceptable solution by the DNOs?

I thought (from posts on here and elsewhere) that DNOs were required to unloop supplies FOC if it was for an EV charger or heat pump?
 

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Just to add - the diversity calcs relate to demand not circuit breaker rating, which is one of the common errors.

For example lighting circuit protected by 6A breaker
7 lights @ 100W = 700W = 3A
Diversity = 3A x 66% = 2A
 

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Just to add - the diversity calcs relate to demand not circuit breaker rating, which is one of the common errors.

For example lighting circuit protected by 6A breaker
7 lights @ 100W = 700W = 3A
Diversity = 3A x 66% = 2A
Interesting. Our electrician went through our consumer unit replacing all the 32 amp breakers on the power circuits with 16 amp ones before he submitted his calculations to the DNO.

We had our fuse upgraded to 100amp and a Zappi installed which is set to limit the total demand to 97 amps.

We have an induction hob and an electric oven but no power shower or such.
 

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Interesting. Our electrician went through our consumer unit replacing all the 32 amp breakers on the power circuits with 16 amp ones before he submitted his calculations to the DNO.

We had our fuse upgraded to 100amp and a Zappi installed which is set to limit the total demand to 97 amps.

We have an induction hob and an electric oven but no power shower or such.
Diversity calcs are an estimation, and a lot of electricians err on the side of caution. Assuming you have standard ring circuits 16A is low, but it is easy to change breakers and use them as basis for the diversity calcs (easier than calculating demand). To be fair even with 32A protection ring final circuits (sockets) already have diversity built in (assuming you have more than 2 sockets on the ring).

I would be surprised if your Zappi ever current limits.
 

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I've decided not to go for a charger install. It's a council house I rent, and if I move I lose the charger and have to start all over again. I'm afraid 3 pin plug for now. I was willing to go for the £300 they originally quoted me on the phone back in January, not worth it now. My Ioniq 28kWh fills up on the 3pin over night, only need to charge once a week so I'll just keep doing that.

I live in Flintshire, North Wales.
 

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Diversity calcs are an estimation, and a lot of electricians err on the side of caution. Assuming you have standard ring circuits 16A is low, but it is easy to change breakers and use them as basis for the diversity calcs (easier than calculating demand). To be fair even with 32A protection ring final circuits (sockets) already have diversity built in (assuming you have more than 2 sockets on the ring).

I would be surprised if your Zappi ever current limits.
Totally agree. My guy was a one man band but approved by Zappi. He offered the lowest quote and actually visited before producing his price - the only bidder who did that.

So probably conservative but I'll run with his decisions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Totally agree. My guy was a one man band but approved by Zappi. He offered the lowest quote and actually visited before producing his price - the only bidder who did that.

So probably conservative but I'll run with his decisions.
I actually have a local sparky coming out on Tuesday, he mainly fits Zappi chargers but does occasionally do others, I am hoping he will agree to do a zappi with load management for me. SSEN advised that they charge for all unlooping when I spoke to them yesterday. I understand that they are in a difficult situation that the government are encouraging EV usage (as they should) but as usual the infrastructure is not up to it, and I suppose it has to be paid for somewhere. It would not be so bad if they weren't in a monopoly situation and gave out a reasonable quote.
 

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I actually have a local sparky coming out on Tuesday, he mainly fits Zappi chargers but does occasionally do others, I am hoping he will agree to do a zappi with load management for me. SSEN advised that they charge for all unlooping when I spoke to them yesterday. I understand that they are in a difficult situation that the government are encouraging EV usage (as they should) but as usual the infrastructure is not up to it, and I suppose it has to be paid for somewhere. It would not be so bad if they weren't in a monopoly situation and gave out a reasonable quote.
Quality of support from DNOs and installers tends to be a lottery. Unfortunately you are stuck with your DNO, but you can at least shop around for a good installer.

Hopefully the local sparky can sort things out for you.
 

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Why would you lose the charger? Easy enough to disconnect and take it with you.
That's what I did when I moved house, but couldn't get it installed because everything you can think of is against it getting it installed. It's sat in a shed for 6 months. I've given it back to my dad and will get it refitted for him at some point. It was so simple to get it installed there.

I've even considered going back to none plugin car because of the hassle. I've been 3pin plug charging for almost 3 years so far. Ridiculous.
 

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That's what I did when I moved house, but couldn't get it installed because everything you can think of is against it getting it installed.
What do you mean by that? As long as your new place has a suitable supply, and there is a physical place to put it, what's the problem?
 
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