Centrica has announced the expansion of its digital service, Local Heroes, to help homeowners find electric vehicle (EV) charging installations.
Courtesy of Centrica
Designed to help people find trusted local trades people, the British Gas backed service hopes to gain around 10-15 percent market share of all domestic charge point installations in the UK, helping users to pick their charger and unlock government grants towards the cost. The company is training its smart meter engineers to help meet the growing demand for home chargers, much of which is expected to come via the Local Heroes application process.
Building on the launch of its Responsible Business Ambitions earlier this year, Centrica has also today joined EV100, a global initiative by the Climate Group, which brings together companies committed to accelerating the transition to electric vehicles. As the owner of the third largest commercial fleet in the country, Centrica has committed to electrify its 12,500- strong fleet of vehicles by 2030, having already racked up over one million electric miles over the last five years.
“British Gas already offers time of use tariffs for electric vehicle owners, so they can benefit from cheaper electricity off peak and we can now also help consumers find a cost effective and efficient way to install their electric vehicle charger” said Dave Kirwan, Managing Director UK Home at Centrica. “We are committed to this market and so made the decision to upskill our engineering workforce in preparation for the shift to electric vehicles. We were one of the first to start installing domestic charge points and are a preferred supplier for the large car manufacturers.”
The Local Heroes digital service will help customers identify what type of charger they need for their home and find a trusted tradesperson to install it. All work that is undertaken is backed by a 12-month British Gas guarantee and the chargers are covered by a 3-year manufacturer warranty. Customers will need to complete a quick digital survey which allows the engineer to understand what parts and labour are required for the install, without the majority needing a physical visit to the customer’s home. The OLEV grant application is done on behalf of eligible customers which means the cost of installs start from £249.
The home charging offer follows the launch of a package of solutions from Centrica Business Solutions designed to help businesses tackle the challenges of the EV transition, which could require up to 18 GW of additional power by 2050, equivalent to an extra 30 percent on top of the country’s current peak demand.
Forecasts predict 85,000 electric vehicles will be sold in 2019 and by 2030 there will be over 5 million electric vehicles on the road.