Guide to applying for the Workbased Charging Scheme for Charities and Small Accommodation Businesses

The Workbased Charging Scheme is run by the Office for Zero Emissions and administered by the Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA).  The WCS is a voucher-based scheme that aims to provide eligible applicants with grants to help pay for the purchase and installation of electric vehicle (EV) chargepoints. 

There have been some changes made to the scheme recently and from 1st April 2022 Charities and Small Accommodation Businesses are also able to apply for this grant to provide chargepoints for their guests and visitors.  This makes the WCS now open to businesses, charities and public sector organisations.  Applications can be made through the WCS portal providing the businesses are in Wales, England, Ireland or Scotland and that the owner meets certain criteria. 

What WCS will cover

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The WCS grant will cover up to 75% of the total cost (Including VAT) of buying and installing an EV chargepoint.  The total is capped at £350 per socket.  As long as you meet the criteria you can have up to 40 sockets installed across any sites that you own (providing that they are situated in Wales, England, Ireland or Scotland).  If you apply for less than 40 sockets, you can submit new applications continuously until you have reached the 40-socket limit.

Eligibility

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Under this extended scheme, to be eligible to claim the WCS voucher the applicant must be either a registered charity or an accommodation business with fewer than 249 employees and the site where installation is planned must have:

  • Designated off-road parking with spaces suitable for chargepoint installations.
  • All spaces where chargepoints are to be installed must be designated to the applicant. If the applicant is not the owner, then they will need written permission from the owner to have chargepoints installed.
  • Each site must have a minimum 3kW power supply to each individual socket that does not diminish when/if several sockets are being used at once. (It is wise to have a WCS registered installer carry out a site survey before applying for the grant to check this supply)
  • Only one socket can be installed per each parking space.

 

NB: Only existing designated off-road parking is eligible for the scheme.  Parking areas that have not yet been built will not be eligible.

Other Criteria to be met

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When applying for the WCS you can only apply to install a WCS approved chargepoint and you can only use an WCS approved installer.  As well as this, the chargepoint unit must be brand new.  A second-hand unit will not be acceptable.  You must also apply for the grant before you have a chargepoint installed as you will not be eligible to claim the WCS voucher afterwards.

Once you have applied successfully you will be issued a voucher with a unique code by email.  You give this voucher code to your WCS approved installer who will then claim the grant on your behalf once installation has been completed.  Expired vouchers will not be accepted so your install/s need to be completed within 180 days of the date of issue.

Small accommodation businesses

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These are businesses that have less than 249 employees such as hotels, bed & breakfast establishments, holiday and other short-stay accommodations, camping sites, recreational vehicle parks and trailer parks.

De minimis rules

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Some funding to organisations through the WCS may be classed as state aid which is normally prohibited under European Union (EU) law.  Small amounts of help have been accepted as being within EU law under the de minimis rules.  These rules state that you must not have exceeded €200,000 of public support within the last 3 financial years, including any funds that may be pending. If you are not defined as a public authority, then you will have to make a de minimis declaration when applying for the WCS.  (See Commission Regulation (EU) No. 1407/2013  if you are unsure).

Evidence

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The evidence you will need for the application is your Companies House reference number.  If you do not have this, you can use your VAT registration number and if you have neither you can use your HMRC registration letter.  Charities who do not possess any of these documents can upload a copy of their registration to the Charity Commission or a letter from a principal regulator. 

NB: Without any of these documents you will not be accepted for the grant.

Overview of application process

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  • Applicant completes application online, declares any support received under de minimis state aid rules and agrees to the terms and conditions of the WCS scheme.
  • Applicant receives emailed decision within 5 working days and if successful will receive a voucher code at the same time.
  • Installations must be completed by WCS approved installer and unit/s must be installed within 180 days of the voucher issue date. Installer will then redeem the voucher online.
  • If further checks are needed the applicant will be informed by the DVLA and their claim will be put on hold.
  • If unsuccessful applicant will be informed why by the DVLA and can then appeal if they wish to.

 

For any further information please contact the DVLA at workplacechargingscheme@dvla.gov.uk.

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