Do i need a permit to install an EV charger in my home?

A home EV charger is essential for seamless charging of your electric vehicle. Installing it at home guarantees convenience and ensures you don’t compete for charging space at public stations.  

However, in most instances, you must obtain a permit from the local authorities before installing this charger. Today, we highlight the details of obtaining the permit, why it's essential, and the risks involved in installing an electric vehicles charger, among other insights.

Do i need the permit?

Yes. In most US jurisdictions, a permit is a crucial prerequisite before installing an EV charging point at your home. Its issuance ensures you’re compliant with the building and safety codes. 

What is the installation permit?

In most jurisdictions, installing the Level 2 charger plug requires a permit and inspection by local authorities. The permit requirement may also apply to hardwired installations and plugin types. It all depends on your locality's rules. 

What if I don't Have a Permit?

You must always have a permit if your jurisdiction requires it. Otherwise, you will be fined as this would be a violation. It is also dangerous as it means your installation will not be inspected by a qualified person. This means you could run into fatal electrical accidents. 

In addition, you risk being denied an insurance claim if an electrical accident occurs in your home. 

When do i need a building permit?

You will need a building permit if you’re altering an existing building structure to accommodate the EV charger. On the other hand, you will need an electrical permit to install a 240V electric charger outlet. 

The risk of a home EV charger

There are no real risks with an EV station if well-installed and inspected. Proper installation ensures it is well set to handle the power requirement without any hitches. This is why, in addition to obtaining a permit and inspection, you need professional installation.  

However, you must check out for cable damage over extended use as this is a precursor to accidents. 

Why do i need to install EV charger at home?

It's recommendable to have an EV station at home for the following reasons? 

  • The primary upside is that it guarantees convenience since you can charge your EV anytime. 
  • Moreover, charge your car at home is cheaper than public electric charging points. A home charger lets you use off-peak charging hours to power your EV cheaply. 
  • Thirdly, having your charge point means you can modify the outlet to give a better charge rate than a public station. For instance, a 7kW home wall box requires an average of 14 hours to charge a 100kWh battery fully. Conversely, the standard three-pin plug that you’ll find on most public stations takes at least 43 hours for the same. 
  • It ensures you have a reliable charging system for your EV, as you don’t have to share the charging spot with others. 
  • You can also provide charging services at a fee to other EV car owners with a home EV charger. 

The ideal home EV charger

When you buy your electric car, you will be issued a Level 1 charger for use with typical 120V home power outlets. Is it advisable to keep using this home charger, or should you upgrade to the Level 2 charger?

We recommend installing a 240V outlet to accommodate the level 2 charger. A Level 2 charger delivers more output (6.2 to 19.2 kW) than the 1.2 kW delivered by the Level 1 charger. Hence, the Level 2 charger is way faster than the (Level 1 EV Charger) home charger. 

Also, an hour of charging using the Level 2 charger guarantees you about 32 miles of driving range. Conversely, the Level 1 charger provides only a measly 4 miles of driving range for an hour of charging. This difference is massive, making the Level 2 charger installation worth the cost and installation hassle. 

How to apply for a level 2 charger permit?

The application process varies from State to State, but here is the primary application procedure. 

  • Make a permit application to the relevant department in your locality. You will be informed of the amount to pay for the permit fees. 
  • Next, submit the necessary paperwork, including the application forms, site plans, and proof of payment. Then, wait for the permit to be issued to commence the installation. 
  • Once given the go-ahead to initiate the installation, engage the electrician to start the work. 
  • You will need to involve the permit issuance body for inspection while the work is ongoing and the final inspection after everything is fully set up.

How much does the permit cost?

There is no rough figure for this as it all depends on the State requirements. For instance, in California, it’ll cost you $147.67 to get the building permits. 

 When factoring in the labor costs and other miscellaneous expenses, the total installation costs will range between $1,000 and $2,500.

Upkeep hacks of the home charger

  • You must regularly inspect your EV station for signs of tear and wear and wipe off dust and dirt. 
  • Do not expose your charging station to weather elements, especially rain, as this can lead to electrical shorts and system damage. 
  • Monitor the electric vehicles closely for signs of overheating and seek professional repair immediately when you detect anomalies. 
  • Finally, monitor the charging system’s power use to identify and fix irregularities before they become too late. Check whether the power use is consistent or subject to irregularities. 

Conclusion

Installing a home EV charger will undoubtedly pay dividends, so if you have been thinking about it, go ahead with the idea. Most importantly, ensure you have obtained the relevant permits before installation and inspection after installation. So, all the best as you embark on your home EV charger installation. 


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