Complying with the Electric Vehicles (Smart Charge Points) Regulations 2021


This guidance is for sellers of electric vehicle charge points in Great Britain.


The Electric Vehicles (Smart Charge Points) Regulations 2021 (“the Regulations”) mandate that, subject to some minor exceptions, new private (domestic and workplace) charge points sold in Great Britain must have smart functionality and meet certain device-level requirements.


Smart charging describes when the charging of an electric vehicle (EV) is shifted to a time when either there is less demand on the grid or to when more renewable electricity is available. This could mean optimising against a price signal from a time of use (ToU) tariff (including an Economy 7 tariff) or signing up to a service so that a charge point can be remotely managed to help balance the grid.


This guidance has been produced by the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) to assist those selling electric vehicle charge points in complying with these new statutory obligations.


The Regulations will come into force on 30 June 2022, except for the security requirements set out in Schedule 1 of the Regulations, which will come into force on 30 December 2022.


A charge point is a device intended for charging electric vehicles such as cars, vans, or both.

Electric vehicles are those that are capable of being propelled by electrical power derived from a storage battery.


The Regulations apply to the sale of private charge points sold in Great Britain after 30 June 2022. They do not apply to charge points sold in Northern Ireland. The Regulations apply to the sale of smart cables sold in Great Britain after 30 June 2022. They do not apply to smart cables sold in Northern Ireland. A smart cable is defined as an electrical cable which is a charge point and is able to send and receive information. All references to “private charge points” in this document are applicable to smart cables. The Regulations do not apply to public charge points.


Guidance on business obligations

Guidance on business obligations is covered by this document. In terms of safety, the regulations state that charge point must be designed or configured in such a way that the owner or other end-user cannot carry out specific operations that may result in a risk to the health and safety of themselves or others.


Existing product legislation sets out safety legislation that charge points will be subject to, including product safety legislation.


The Regulations set out additional safety requirements specific to smart functionality only. This means a charge point must prioritise safety over the following operations:

  • Overriding the default mode of charging during the default hours.

  • Overriding the provision of demand side response services.

  • Overriding the random delay.

Information in this section is also given on smart functionality, electricity supplier interoperability, loss of communications network access, measuring system, off-peak charging, randomised delay, security, assurance, and register of sales.


British Standards

The Regulations were developed alongside commissioning the British Standards Institute (BSI) to develop Publicly Available Specification (PAS) 1878 and 1879. PAS 1878 provides a technical specification that allows domestic appliances to operate in a DSR system. PAS 1879 provides recommendations for the provision of DSR services by service providers.


Together, these standards provide a framework for Energy Smart Appliances (ESAs) and DSR operation, and address gaps in the previous standardisation landscape.


The requirements set out in the Regulations are outcome-based and describe the functionality required of smart charge points. While both PAS 1878 and 1879 are intended to be read together and are both relevant to the Regulations, PAS 1878 has a similar device-level focus to the Regulations and therefore is most relevant.


The technical framework set out in PAS 1878 prescribes how domestic DSR can be implemented. This provides an option for smart charging but is not a complete solution for meeting the Regulations as there are additional requirements in the Regulations that are outside the scope of PAS 1878. These additional requirements are:

  • electricity supplier interoperability

  • loss of communications network

  • safety

  • off-peak charging

  • assurance.

Reference to PAS 1878 may be useful when considering the smart functionality, measuring system, and randomised delay requirements of the Regulations. However, attention should still be paid to the remaining differences.


The full guidance is available here.


Office for Product Safety and Standards February 2022



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