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Discussion Starter #1
Finally received a reply today from Milton Keynes Council as to why they haven't renewed their support contract for the free PodPoint posts, making them unusable to the majority of users:


Dear Mike
Thank you for your email.
The Council has experienced difficulties with the PodPoint charging points. From 1st April 2014 Chargemaster have taken over management of all of the Councils charge point infrastructure (following a competitive tender exercise) and have decided to replace the PodPoint posts with Chargemaster posts because of the difficulties experienced with them. This will happen over the next couple of weeks.
Of the 170 standard charge points installed, only 12 are Podpoint posts.
Irrespective of the above, in order to access the MK charging infrastructure, users must join the Chargemaster scheme or pay as you go, as Chargemaster operate the back office operating system. Membership starts from just £20 per annum, or pay as you go can be made on the day by calling the telephone number on the posts.
Kind regards
Ms Marie Barlow
Contract Notice Processor, Parking
For head of Planning and Transport
 

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Pod-point are not reliable though. I've had four fitted at my house, each with a different issue. Just trying to get the OLEV found back so I can re-apply for a different make.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Another reply from Milton Keynes Council. Nothing for weeks, then two come along at once!

Dear Mike
Your e-mail has been passed to me to respond as I oversee the electric vehicle infrastructure.
There have been several issues with the Podpoint posts. Initially, the standard meters did not fit within the post itself and this took some time to resolve.
The more recent issue is that if there is a power failure or similar event, the Podpoint posts ‘lock’ the charging cable into them and as a result we have had several vandalised, no doubt by frustrated motorists trying to get their vehicle and cable unlocked.
The Council rather than Chargemaster has taken the decision to levy charges for use of the posts. Chargemaster are simply the operator, although this set up was achieved via a competitive tender exercise which Podpoint could (and did) participate in.
The reason for the charges are because the MK Council tax payers subsidised the use of the EV infrastructure by £22K last year alone. In the last quarter of the last year, usage doubled so actually this amount over time would likely have been far higher had the posts remained free to use. The Council took the decision that, whilst clearly disappointing for EV motorists, it was unfair for MK tax payers to continue to subsidise the scheme, especially for those who perhaps could not afford an EV for themselves or for whom it may have been impractical.
The government requirement for the grant funding was that the posts were provided free to the user for 3 years, the Council has provided them free for 4 years. The government want the EV market to become commercialised and ‘stand on its own feet’ which is the reason for the time limit of 3 years.
The Podpoint posts were paid for using 50% government grant and 50% Council funds although will be replaced by Chargemaster at their cost as this is their decision to do so.
I am waiting for the weekly report into EV usage from Chargemaster. We are obviously expecting usage to drop now that charges have been introduced although also expect this to pick up over time.
Most schemes are likely to become commercialised in the near future and free EV charging facilities will not continue. It will of course always be cheaper to charge at home.
For info, below is a breakdown of what the Chargemaster usage fee consists of
17p VAT
42p Cost of electricity including standing charge
12p Maintenance including regular safety checks
6p Data handling and communication costs
4p Spare parts
6p Call centre operation
9p Provision for investment in new sites
4p Contribution towards overhead and profit
Please do not hesitate to contact me directly should you have any further queries or comments
Kind rgds
Sara
Sara Bailey
Parking Strategy and Implementation Manager
Milton Keynes Council​
 

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lets ask them to publish the reports monthly, if not we can alway get them under a freedom of information request
 

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I believe councils are included, one local journalist here in cambridge made a career out of FOI requests to write story's about in the local rag
 

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I believe councils are included, one local journalist here in cambridge made a career out of FOI requests to write story's about in the local rag
Any public sector organisation is included.
See https://www.gov.uk/make-a-freedom-of-information-request/the-freedom-of-information-act
You can request information from publicly-funded organisations, eg:

 

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[INDENT said:
For info, below is a breakdown of what the Chargemaster usage fee consists of
17p VAT
42p Cost of electricity including standing charge
12p Maintenance including regular safety checks
6p Data handling and communication costs
4p Spare parts
6p Call centre operation
9p Provision for investment in new sites[/INDENT]
4p Contribution towards overhead and profit
Interesting, 42p electric cost is allegedly the highest overhead by far.
There is the additional cost of VAT on that of 7.14p so 49.14p just for the electricity.

So had ecotricity provided the same "service" with free electricity (far less than the rapids use), assuming all else was equal and even if Ecotricity had charged the user Chargemaster rates for those services (which they currently don't charge for), then, at the very least, MK council could have halved the cost to the user during this early adoption phase, if not kept it free all together.

So my question is were Ecotricity invited to bid and if so was it turned down and why?

Either way It seems both the government (VAT) and MK council (40% fee on rapids) have a vested interest in the non free CM deal...mmmm!

As far as CMs interest lie (read terms and conditions) if they skimp on the red marked items, they would save even more on the green items and that would effect the bottom line blue item rather favourably.

Do I remember reading something regarding insufficient attention to the red items somewhere?

Odd, having listed overheads separately, they then list a separate contribution to overheads alongside profito_O.

Oh and they appear to have forgotten something regarding the blue item.
1. The fact that there is no mention of the charges continuing when the overheads cease i.e. when a user is just connected (or being prevented from being disconnected) without drawing power.
2. The annual cost of joining a scheme.
3. The interest earned on minimum necessary top up fees.
4. That fact that monthly up front useage fees will not carry over but will expire if unable to be used.
 

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The bit that really sticks with me is the way they've broken down that cost.

SSE's website says that the RETAIL price of a kWh (12p) breaks down:
6.24p - wholesale cost of electricity
2.88p - cost of distribution network
0.60p - profit
0.72p - providing customer service & billing
0.60p - VAT
0.96p - cost of government Green schemes

So if SSE can buy a kWh and sell it to me at 12p, including all of those overheads, I fail to see why Chargemaster's kWh will cost me 40-60p.
 

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Odd that, given the price regulations around reselling electricity until recently.

Who are they buying it from at such a rate?

Hang on, is this 42p per hour? That would make it about right.
 
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