Skip to content

EV Chargers To Be Separately Metered

January 6, 2022

By Paul Homewood

 A few weeks ago, the government announced plans for new regulations, requiring domestic electric car chargers be programmed only to work at off peak times.

This was clear admission that car charging would simply overload the grid, if drivers charged up during the evening as most likely would.

It appears there is more that we were not aware of, as one reader has received this message from Vodafone the Alliance of British Drivers:



LeasePlan UK also cover this on their pro EV website:


Forget about all the weasel words – the plan is clear; if the grid is overloaded, we can forget about charging our cars at night. We can only charge up when the National Grid says we can.


My misunderstanding!!

The message comes from the Alliance of British Drivers, not Vodafone

  1. Colin R Brooks AKA Dung permalink
    January 6, 2022 5:48 pm

    Actually implementing this will be hugely expensive, there seems no limit to what Boris will spend to keep Carrie as his bed warmer.

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      January 6, 2022 8:04 pm

      In evidence, Yer ‘onour, May I present to the Court, ‘The Smart Meter Rollout!’.

    • AZ1971 permalink
      January 6, 2022 8:15 pm

      I don’t care how good the seggs is, it can’t be worth sacrificing your entire country for it.

      • Ben Vorlich permalink
        January 6, 2022 8:31 pm

        It wouldn’t be the first time.

      • dave permalink
        January 7, 2022 8:19 am

        Have you ever read the sex-obsessed letters that Prime Minister Lloyd George sent to one of his mistresses in 1918 during the worst crisis of
        World War I – a time when the British Army was collapsing on the Western Front?

        Thousands of men, on both sides, were being blown to pieces every hour, and yet it is clear from the letters that LG was far more interested in his amours.

      • January 7, 2022 8:45 am

        So that’s where Bozo gets his behaviour from

  2. January 6, 2022 5:58 pm

    So how does one get to work. Oh, no, not by bus?!

    • Beagle permalink
      January 6, 2022 6:42 pm

      John, don’t you remember that female energy minister recently saying the days of car ownership are very much last century. She was trying to promote car pooling and buses as the way forward.

      • Frank Hansen permalink
        January 6, 2022 11:26 pm

        The next will be wife pooling.

    • January 6, 2022 7:24 pm

      By e-bus! No wait, when can the bus be charged ?

      • January 6, 2022 8:43 pm

        They’ll no doubt give buses etc. unrestricted charging, so their only issue will be bursting into flames and total destruction. At least that will keep the garage warm for a while, not that anyone will want to be in there though.

  3. Ray Sanders permalink
    January 6, 2022 5:59 pm

    This is just plain stupid. Okay so they want control of a Smart Charge system. Use a dumb one instead. Surely they haven’t got around to stopping you inserting a 13amp plug into a standard socket to charge at 3kW. Get home at 18:00 plug in and by leave time of say 07:00 the following morning you have 49kWh less losses so maybe 42kWh in the battery.
    Who is going to go for a smart charger that can either stop you charging or rob you of what charge you have left? What cosmic genius thought this one through? .

    • JimW permalink
      January 6, 2022 6:07 pm

      Maybe if you have a smart meter on your home consumption including the 13 amp outlet they will switch off all of your house?

    • January 6, 2022 6:17 pm

      I’m sure some ingenious electrician could devise a way to provide a higher amperage dumb supply, e.g. similar capacity/setup to a cooker supply (32A?, 50A?).

      • Dave Ward permalink
        January 6, 2022 7:04 pm

        I had a look (allegedly) inside a “Dumb” 7kW home charger. It consisted of a 32amp RCD trip, an industry standard contactor and a control module. Clearly the only difference with a “Smart” version will be the addition of mobile phone and/or Wifi connectivity, and a more advanced control module. In either case the module must “talk” to the car – presumably to confirm it’s plugged in, and what charging power is available, before energising the contactor.

        With a Smart version if the grid says “No” the contactor (probably) won’t be energised. If the grid determines that charging is allowed, but at less than full power, the car would have to do the limiting, as a contactor is either “On or Off”. EV’s must have this ability or they would immediately try and draw 7kW (or more) from a normal domestic socket 3kW with the basic lead supplied.

        I don’t imagine it will be too long before hackers develop alternative firmware or other means to override the “Smart” aspect…

    • January 6, 2022 7:54 pm

      AND Charge you more if they feel like it!

      • Ray Sanders permalink
        January 6, 2022 10:12 pm

        Gosh I never thought of that – makes it even worse. You would have to be a total idiot to use a smart charger to potentially pay more per unit. Could it be the car itself could start ratting on you?! Actually that’s not a joke is it?

    • T Walker permalink
      January 7, 2022 12:50 am

      I think the EV socket in my new garage is great. I have an Austin Seven battery charger plugged into it. The maintenance charger is not much bigger than a packet of fags ( so they tell me ) and it handles the 6 volts with a permanent connection.

      They cut it off at their peril.

      • Dave Ward permalink
        January 7, 2022 2:22 pm

        “They cut it off at their peril”

        And even of they do, you have a good old fashioned starting handle to coax the old girl into life!

    • January 7, 2022 8:17 am

      The same genius as usually employed in the Civil Service

    • ThinkingScientist permalink
      January 7, 2022 10:50 am

      Ray Sanders – absolutely. The law of unintended consequences in action.

      300 years ago we had a window tax. The physical evidence of tax avoidance tax planning is with us still….

  4. suka47 permalink
    January 6, 2022 6:02 pm

    Interesting to say the least. Anyone for a horse and cart?


    • Harry Passfield permalink
      January 6, 2022 8:07 pm

      You sure it’s not a cart and horse? It seems the way the government have been running energy policy for many years.

      • Mike Jackson permalink
        January 7, 2022 10:07 am

        Horses not allowed. ‘Cos of the methane!

      • January 7, 2022 10:39 am

        But if the cart is pulling the horse, in line with Princess Nut Nuts inclusiveness, be ever so kind to poor dumb animals and diversity guidelines, then surely the amount of methane will be much reduced?

  5. Mad Mike permalink
    January 6, 2022 6:17 pm

    Not only when you can charge, it has the potential for limiting the amount you can charge annually and even on what days you can charge. The amount of control here is only limited but their imagination.

  6. John H permalink
    January 6, 2022 6:17 pm

    We own a holiday flat with night storage heaters and a “smart” meter. Last autumn the meter simply stopped working, and so did the heating. Explaining this to the call centre in India was a nightmare, as it wasn’t in their scripts. Eventually the only way out of this impasse was to lodge a formal complaint, when we actually spoke to a lady (by the sound of her voice somewhere in the north east) who sorted it out. This may not sound relevant, but what it does mean is that if you have an electric car charged via a dedicated smart meter, and that meter goes wrong, you will be unable to charge your car. Good luck in getting that sorted out!

  7. A+man+of+no+rank permalink
    January 6, 2022 6:23 pm

    Son-in-law about to pick uo his first works car. He was surprised to find that this perk will be taxed. He added that the tax level is so much lower if he can get himself an E.V.. Yet another hidden subsidy from the taxpayer towards the Net Zero policy. Wonder if he has a smart meter!

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      January 6, 2022 8:10 pm

      Yes, my neighbour has a Tesla as a company cat. He’s chuffed that he pays no tax for the benefit. Which explains why there are so many Tesla 3s around my neck of the woods.

      • Ray Sanders permalink
        January 6, 2022 10:22 pm

        ” a Tesla as a company cat.” Brilliant idea.

      • January 6, 2022 10:46 pm

        With a normal ICE company car, one can charge the company for running costs, particularly fuel. How does this work with an EV. and home charging?

      • January 7, 2022 10:42 am

        And why those of us who are subsidising his “no tax” are mightily pissed off every time we see a virtue siganalling number plate with a green flash on the side

    • Gerry, England permalink
      January 7, 2022 11:00 am

      There is a tax perk for hybrids as well and given that many are now being sold on having reached mileage or age limits, they usually find the charge lead still wrapped up in the boot as delivered.

    • Realist permalink
      January 7, 2022 7:13 pm

      Company cars are not “perks”. They are necessary tools to do the job, i.e, visit customer sites. It is scandalous that any tax is levied on them. It is akin to charging office employees tax on their desks and chairs. TThat said, given that company car tax exists, it should be the same whether petrol, diesel, gas or electric. Punishing people for using practical vehicles is just vindictive.

      • January 8, 2022 9:43 am

        Company cars used to be restricted to individuals who had to travel for work, e.g. salespeople & engineers and were a an essential tool of the trade. In the 1970s, when inflation was rampant, the Labour Government brought in very tight restrictions on pay rises. This led to an explosion in company cars for employees as a perk and as a way of increasing remuneration outside the Government restrictions.
        The Inland Revenue, as it then was, brought in the idea of the cars being a ‘benefit’ which could be taxed. Initially each car driver would submit a claim on the amount of annual car usage for business and be taxed accordingly. Undoubtedly there was some fiddling in these claims, allegedly!
        So the Revenue then introduced the concept of charging by that wicked CO2 emission figure with the claim they were helping control climate change!! I’m sure the fact that the Revenue don’t give company cars to their masses had nothing to do with the decision.

  8. Ian PRSY permalink
    January 6, 2022 6:27 pm

    ? Implications for smart meter roll-out?

  9. Beagle permalink
    January 6, 2022 6:39 pm

    I’m sure I read that the new breed of smart meters that could take the power from your battery and feed it into the grid would cost about £4000

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      January 6, 2022 11:27 pm

      How long before they are made compulsory?

  10. January 6, 2022 7:32 pm

    Absolutely bonkers. This is what happens when governments end up in thrall to green virtue signalling without thinking of the obvious consequences.

  11. Gamecock permalink
    January 6, 2022 7:50 pm

    A separate meter around here used to cost $35 a month. Before usage charges.

    I assume a ‘data connection’ isn’t going to be free, either.

    And is the power company going to bring in a new feed for the meter? That would at least fix the problem with household power being underrated for the addition of a charger.

    Anywho, it’s looking like saving money on fuel with an EV is evaporating.

    And we haven’t gotten to road use fees, yet.

  12. January 6, 2022 7:53 pm

    That actually came from Vodafone admitting to rationing saying that your electricity in your charged up battery can be stolen if it is required elsewhere?

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      January 6, 2022 8:10 pm

      Presumably they will pay but at what rate? And what will they do about VAT and any other taxes they have put on the charging as a car tax? And will you be expected to work out of you’ve made a profit and declare it for tax?

      I really doubt if they have thought all of this through. It will be chaos I suspect.

      • It doesn't add up... permalink
        January 6, 2022 11:33 pm

        There has been a V2G trial which was designed to see if the concept could be pushed. Here’s the report on commercial viability

        Click to access V2G-Commercial-Viability-1.pdf

        and the one on alleged benefit to the grid.

        Click to access True-Value-of-V2G-Report.pdf

        They bribed participants by offering them a then outlandish 30p/kWh for redelivered power as well as a free device. They didn’t seem to look into the consequences for vehicle battery life too much.

    • dave permalink
      January 7, 2022 8:32 am

      And every time the battery is drained into the grid, it will shorten its life. Perhaps five pounds in depreciation?

      Of course, after a few disastrous pilot schemes, not much of this is actually going to happen.
      Except a few more billions of pounds wasted. And then we can go along with the wisdom of Will Rogers who said, “Be thankful you are not getting all of the Government you are paying for.”

  13. Gamecock permalink
    January 6, 2022 7:56 pm

    ‘requiring domestic electric car chargers be programmed only to work at off peak times’

    ‘Peak times’ being defined as whatever they say it is. ‘Programmed’ is also undefined. Could you have a foreign electric car and charge as you wish?

    Home chargers might need to be able to ask, “Mother, may I?”

    So, you get home from work, and plug your car in. It may or may not start charging. By the next morning, it may or may not have charged. You may or may not get to work.

    The future looks more dystopian all the time.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      January 6, 2022 8:12 pm

      I suspect somebody may have twigged that 20m EVs (including buses, lorries, ambulances…) plugged in overnight does away with concept of “off peak”!

      • It doesn't add up... permalink
        January 6, 2022 11:52 pm

        In reality you will be looking for windy days and nights to recharge. Whether the distribution cables can manage the consequent load is precisely why they have to control it. What things will be like when people want to go and visit relatives over Christmas or head to the beach for an August Bank Holiday is not hard to imagine. Already California sees queues for Tesla chargers that last many hours at holiday times.

  14. dearieme permalink
    January 6, 2022 8:16 pm

    What the two-car family will do is drive one EV and one hybrid. If the EV needs a charge and Gov say “no” they’ll run the hybrid to charge the EV.

    Is there a Gov timetable for abolishing hybrids?

    Actually I suppose it would be cheaper to buy yourself a generator to run on diesel or propane. Especially if someone sells a diesel generator that’ll run on old chip fat and the like.

    • Dave Ward permalink
      January 7, 2022 2:37 pm

      ” Especially if someone sells a diesel generator that’ll run on old chip fat and the like”

      An older style diesel with mechanical injection (such as those installed in the vast majority of smaller gensets) can do that. You’re advised to keep a percentage of proper diesel in the mix as it provides lubrication for the pump & injectors, which chip fat doesn’t. But anything employing electronically controlled “Common Rail” injection is a definite “No-No”

      However, as soon as lots of people go down that route, chip fat will suddenly shoot up in value and scarcity. Considering the numbers of pubs and restaurants which have gone out of business due to Covid restrictions, the most usual source of surplus oil is also going to be limited…

  15. Ben Vorlich permalink
    January 6, 2022 8:34 pm

    Anyone who thought that the VAT and excise duty on petrol/diesel wouldn’t be transferred to electricity used for driving wasn’t!/isn’t living in the real world

    • Gamecock permalink
      January 7, 2022 2:34 am

      Good point. Having a separate, independent meter enables piling on all sorts of charges.

  16. Derek Wood permalink
    January 6, 2022 8:39 pm

    So why would anyone get one? Legislation like this kills of any perceived incentive there may have been to own one one of the damn things!

  17. GeoffB permalink
    January 6, 2022 8:47 pm

    This is just not going to work, here is how to bypass all the car smart meters and schemes to suck the power out of your battery. You need a rather strange extension lead, it has at least 4 long input leads each with a 13 Amp plug on. all connected to a single car charging socket. plug 2 into your downstairs ring main and 2 into the upstairs ring main, if you have a cooker socket put another one in that. that gives 12kW or 15kW if you have a cooker socket. Just be careful not to switch any of the sockets on until they are all plugged in. I do not see anything illegal so far. The more ambitious can bypass the main supply meter, but that is illegal although the cost saving would be high so many will be inclined to do it. Of course this will lead to overloads at the local substation, with tripping out of all electricity to an area, probably gangs of poor people torching your electric car charging on your drive, unrest, riots, a dystopian hell hole of have nots versus the rich with their heat pumps.
    Of course it would make much more sense to continue with petrol and Diesel vehicles.

    • Ray Sanders permalink
      January 6, 2022 10:48 pm

      Are you still trying to pull the ladies with these sorts of stunts?

    • January 7, 2022 7:40 am


      the ringmain has a 32 amp breaker which can only supply 2.5 13 amp plugs, i.e. about 8Kw.

      It is also dangerous if one of the plugs is unplugged while the others are energised as the plug would be live, contrary to how they are designed to be dead when unplugged.

      It is not difficult to provide a 7Kw supply from a cooker outlet (32 amp breaker) for example but there are some peculiarities with the earthing regulations for electric cars so could be hazardous simply providing a supply in that manner?
      I don’t actually know what is different about electric car charging points but there special arrangements so they are safe?

  18. Graeme No.3 permalink
    January 6, 2022 8:51 pm

    As I commented a few articles ago:
    Instead of up-grading the electricity grid, the household switch boxes (and the cables) and trying to find a solution to those without off-road parking space for recharging, I suggest that all car owners be issued with a diesel generator which they can use anytime they like.
No connection overloads, no flat batteries in the morning and if they can find space in the boot a solution to range worries.
    Admittedly jimlemaistre pointed out that “16 % of the Electricity produced by that generator is wasted as HEAT exciting the electrons inside the Lithium Ion battery.
    Environmentally, it would be ‘Cleaner’ and less harmful to the Environment to drive a diesel Car . . .”
    Sorry Jim, I don’t think your “government” is interested in reducing harm to the environment (nor financial harm to the voters).

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      January 7, 2022 3:24 pm

      I see they just banned the sale of portable generators in California. Also included are generators in RVs. They want everyone to share in the blackouts.

  19. cookers52 permalink
    January 6, 2022 9:24 pm

    Next to the cabinet office is a door identified as “you have got to be f*****g kidding me”

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      January 7, 2022 1:12 am

      Notably, since the publication of the Phase Two call for evidence, Government has increased the scope of policy development in this area to take a more holistic approach across a broad range of smart devices, services and systems, beyond EV smart chargepoints alone.

      We will control everything.

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      January 7, 2022 11:23 pm

      I thought it was Dante’s: “All hope abandon, ye who enter here.’

  20. Devoncamel permalink
    January 6, 2022 9:30 pm

    Post 2030 a popular request will be; ‘please please Prime Minister can I have my petrol car back?’

  21. January 6, 2022 10:28 pm

    Hang on you lot. If you read the actual link instead of the Vodaphone message you will see you can override all the control.

    • markl permalink
      January 7, 2022 3:28 am

      Not how I read it. You can over ride the preset factory charging times but the government has the ultimate say when a shortage pops up.

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      January 7, 2022 11:25 pm

      “You lot”! Pah! Try engagement.

  22. January 6, 2022 11:37 pm

    Yes, inevitable really, bound to happen with the current dictatorial Mindset. Have to have you by the short and EVs. If zero emissions is the way forward.
    Best put your smart meter into a faraday cage if you want to survive; but quickly removable for inspections if you are wise.

  23. January 7, 2022 8:57 am

    I am so glad I have refused every offer of getting a “smart” meter. Hopefully within a couple of years, I shall be living off grid completely.

  24. Gerry, England permalink
    January 7, 2022 11:11 am

    Going to the Lease Plan site you find this gem:

    ‘Grid capacity isn’t as big a problem as most people think.’

    Well informed people would beg to differ on that given all the other demands to be placed on the fragile grid. It is worth reading a bit more on their site as I found a link to a report by Electric Nation titled Powered Up – how to charge EVs without crashing the grid which may be worthy of scrutiny to see what fairytales it contains.

  25. January 7, 2022 11:22 am

    Great, now just need to pair this with smart meters for the house (w/ backdoor access for power co’s), and digital currency from the Fed. What could go wrong?

    • January 7, 2022 2:40 pm

      What could go wrong? Well, if your ‘smart meter’ is as ‘smart’ as the gas one we inherited when moving house, plenty! One day the ‘smart’ gas meter decided to block any gas entering the house. The supplier replaced it with another ‘smart’ meter which cannot be read remotely, unlike the electricity meter.

      • Mikehig permalink
        January 8, 2022 2:53 pm

        Even the latest versions may not be “smart” for much longer. Apparently they use an old frequency band to communicate. Said band is going to be re-allocated in 2025……
        (I read this on a blog by Nick Huhne. Maybe someone knowledgeable in the field could confirm this – or not?)

      • Mikehig permalink
        January 8, 2022 3:04 pm

        Here’s a blog post by Nick Hunn (correct name!) which covers the dire state of the Smartmeter programme:

      • Colin R Brooks AKA Dung permalink
        January 8, 2022 5:54 pm

        The government is shutting down 2G and 3G and that is the reason ALL smart meters will need to be changed (AGAIN!)^.^

  26. January 7, 2022 11:53 am

    Ahhhh….the fine print!!!!

  27. Micky R permalink
    January 7, 2022 1:41 pm

    The existing remote disconnect function in a smart meter already permits our glorious leaders to control energy use and could currently be used to disconnect households who are a drain on the grid.

    • Gamecock permalink
      January 7, 2022 3:00 pm

      Clap for the grid.

    • January 7, 2022 5:29 pm


      There is a good TV series developing here as the govt of the day uses smart meters to turn off power to political dissenters and anti vaxxers.

      • Micky R permalink
        January 7, 2022 6:34 pm

        There was a time when any proper dissenter would have shunted the leccy meter and arranged for the gas meter to run backwards

      • Harry Passfield permalink
        January 7, 2022 11:29 pm

        I have an image of Asian cities with spaghetti-like wiring over the streets – all running on 15 Amp cabkes with no fuses!

      • January 8, 2022 9:46 am

        And sparking out all over the place when it rains!!

      • Micky R permalink
        January 8, 2022 11:05 am

        Many years ago, I would occasionally work in social housing tower blocks (UK) where there were 3 pin socket outlets in the “common” areas e.g. corridors; these mainly for use by cleaners. The tenants were trusted not to use the sockets, hah! In the evening, the corridors used to be a spider’s web of extension cables that mysteriously appeared through the letter boxes for the various flats.

  28. Cheshire Red permalink
    January 7, 2022 3:16 pm

    Whatever this information says or doesn’t say, remember government can and will change course on any whim they want.

    They’ll be particularly sensitive to being made to look like total chumps, so expect them to rig all outcomes in their favour as events develop.

  29. Bloke down the pub permalink
    January 8, 2022 2:48 pm

    As long as you are only on a slow trickle charge, how can they stop you from just plugging into the household circuit? This sounds like a measure to raise revenue that will be easy to avoid, as long as you don’t need a quick recharge.

  30. Nial permalink
    January 10, 2022 12:45 pm

    So you’ll come out to drive to work in the morning with no guarantee your car has been charged?

    That’s going to work well.

  31. Realist permalink
    January 10, 2022 2:03 pm

    Why anybody would even buy a vehicle that needs recharging so often in the first place is strange to say the least. Somebody needs to do the sums on how many hours of actual use there are between recharges of electric vehicles. And don’t forget EACH of those recharges takes a lot longer than the ten minutes to refill a diesel or petrol vehicle..
    Also the EVs still haven’t reached the range of petrol (let alone diesel) vehicles of the 1960s.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: