It comes as statistics show that although there are almost 3,500 electric vehicles registered in Northern Ireland, NIE Networks have only received notification of one third of domestic charge points.
The utility needs to be notified if a customer plans to install a domestic charge point, or even if they just plan to charge the vehicle via a normal 13amp plug, so it 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.
With the UK Government announcing a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2035, and a similar target expected to apply in Northern Ireland, 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.
“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.”
NIE Networks has led the way in connecting renewable generation to its network with 23,000 customers
in Northern Ireland now generating energy from renewable sources.
With 46% of the total annual electricity consumption in Northern Ireland now being generated from
local renewable sources, NIE Networks, has played a critical role in making that happen by providing the network connections for the renewable sources and investing £365 million in the network to facilitate the generation.
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.
“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.”
If customers have installed, or plan to install, an electrical vehicle charger, they can submit their notification to NIE Networks online in just a few minutes by visiting nienetworks.co.uk/connections/low-carbon-technologies