Energy firms want the right to switch off electric cars charging at home

New powers being sought to allow energy providers to turn off high-drain devices to manage electricity network.

by: Hugo Griffiths 18 Sep 2020

Electric cars may be perfect for people with off-street parking and a home wallbox fast charger, but a new set of rules being mulled over by the energy watchdog, Ofgem, could see power cut to EVs if the electricity network requires it during times of high demand.

The proposals, set out in a report by the Distribution Connection and Use of System Agreement (DCUSA), warns that “Electricity networks in Great Britain were not designed to accommodate the significant additional demand that certain consumer devices (such as electric vehicle (EV) chargers) presents.”

To solve this problem, the report says it may be necessary “to allow Distributors control of consumer devices (such as Electric Vehicles) connected to Smart Meter infrastructure” – though this would only be done as a “last resort, emergency measure”, when “market solutions” (such as cheap electricity at off-peak times, for example) failed to solve the problem.

People affected by the cutoffs would not be offered any form of compensation under the proposals, while a new, third-generation electricity smart meter would also have to be installed to facilitate the plans. Other high-drain devices, such as electric central heating systems, could also be affected by the “last resort” actions.


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