Customers have been asked to notify NIE Networks when installing electric vehicle charging on their premises.
The move comes as statistics show there are 3,500 EVs registered in Northern Ireland but NIE Networks has only received notification of one-third of domestic charge points.
The utility firm must be notified whether a customer plans to install a domestic charge point or if they just plan to charge the vehicle via a normal 13amp plug. This is so the company can can invest in the electricity network where needed and ensure the network has sufficient capacity. It is also critical for safety and ensuring a property does not exceed the supply capacity.
As Northern Ireland works towards the target of a net zero carbon economy by 2050 the electrification of transport will play a fundamental role in meeting that target. NIE Networks wants to ensure that through the right planning and investment, it can minimise costs for customers and support them in their efforts to cut emissions and live a more sustainable life.
Ian Bailie, Network Development Manager at NIE Networks, wants to make sure the network remains fit for purpose as the uptake in electric vehicles rises.
He said: “There are approximately 3,446 electric vehicles on Northern Ireland’s roads, but we have only received notification of the installation of 1,298 charge points. If we don’t know where the new demand is being installed, then we can’t plan or build the network capacity needed to serve customers.
“We are therefore asking customers to notify us if they have installed a charge point or are planning too, if they haven’t already, so we can provide sufficient supply both today and in the future.”
“We want to see a continued rise in the uptake of electric vehicles and it is something which NIE Networks is very proud to play a role in facilitating. It is a crucial step towards building the energy sector of the future.
“At present we are able to make the financial investments needed and if the electricity supply isn’t adequate for a domestic charger to an existing dwelling we will carry out network reinforcement for customers free of charge, so we aren’t asking customers to contribute. We simply need the information because the energy landscape is changing, this is a new demand on the network and we need to make sure we have the capacity required.”