Charging at home

If you are looking to invest in an electric vehicle, there is a useful comparison tool on the Energy Saving Trust website, which illustrates how the initial purchase cost is usually off-set by the fuel savings over a number of years. They also offer interest free loans available for individuals and businesses to purchase electric vehicles.

Depending on your mileage, you may need to charge your electric car several times a week.

If you have a driveway

If you have a driveway or other safe place to park and plug in close to your house it is relatively easy to install a smart charging point, and you could even get a government grant to reduce the cost. Although most electric vehicles come with a cable which you can plug into a normal 3-pin socket, a smart charging point will allow you the greatest control over your energy use, with access to an agile tariff and options to charge when grid energy is 'greenest'.

Council tenants should contact if you are looking to install a charger on a council house. Private tenants should discuss with their landlord.

Homeowners should be aware that although Planning Permission is not normally required, it will be if you live in a Conservation Area or if you are installing a new driveway.

If you use an communal private car park

Communal car parks in modern housing estates are often managed by a property factor, and you could approach them with a request that they install chargers. The Energy Saving Trust currently offers support towards the cost of buying and installing electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure at factored developments in Scotland.  

Property factors can apply for up to 50% of the cost of buying and installing charging infrastructure for the residential property.

Charging in public

If neither of thse options are attractive to you, then you can use one of over 100 public chargers in East Lothian which have been installed within a short walk of most homes. We have set the cost of using our Destination chargers (mostly in residential areas) at a level similar to what people pay for energy at home, although a rapid charge at a Journey charger will cost more as these are more expensive to install and maintain. We are happy to consider requests for new public chargers – just contact

What's the alternative?

But when it isn't viable for us to provide public infrastructure at or near your normal overnight parking place, you might need to find your own solution. We have produced guidance outlining how you might safely refuel if you do not have a suitable place to park off-street at home and yet still want to plug into your own electricity supply. We suggest that these solutions are most suitable for people charging a fully electric vehicle. It would likely not be acceptable to be charging a hybrid car every night in this way.

Your responsibilities

It is always your responsibility to ensure that your actions do not cause a danger or a nuisance to the public. You must fully consider public safety and existing legislation when plugging cables from your home power supply into your vehicle parked on the public road, and you will be liable for any claims arising if you do not do this. You may wish to speak to your vehicle insurer to confirm that your policy covers this situation.

You must follow any parking restrictions and refrain from obstructing other road users. Whenever you are charging your vehicle, you must follow all safety guidance and recommendations from the manufacturer.

You must not put yourself or others at risk when trailing a cable across a footway or an area people may cross. The Highway Code is clear (Rule 239) that you should avoid creating a trip hazard, and should highlight the presence of cables when using chargepoints.

You should consult a qualified electrician to ensure that the installation is safe and suitably protected e.g. in compliance with the Requirements for Electrical Installations, IET Wiring Regulations 18th Edition and The IET Code of Practice for Electric Vehicle Charging Equipment Installation, 4th Edition.

Placement of cables

Vehicles should be parked as close to the property as possible. Where a vehicle cannot be parked immediately outside the property, the cable must be run in the road against the kerb. It is good practice to ensure that your cable is as visible as possible by choosing one in a contrasting colour to the road or adding coloured banding. The Highway Code (Rule 239) advises you should display a warning sign if you can.

Cables must not cross the carriageway therefore your vehicle should always be parked on the same side of the road as your property. You may not hang a cable from any street furniture including lamposts or trees, and you must not lay them across areas with high footfall.

Any extension leads must be suitable for external use, and must be used as recommended by the manufacturer.

Cables should only be connected while the vehicle is charging and must be removed from public areas when not in use.

Cable protectors

You must use an appropriate cable protector. Cable protectors are regularly used in public spaces to cover cables or wires on a temporary basis. Your cable protector should cover the area that may be walked across by the public, your neighbours, and visitors, including the full width of any pavement and verge between the property and the vehicle. It must be non-slip, have contrasting colour markings e.g. yellow, have anti-trip sloped sides which do not form a an obstacle to people using mobility aids, and be of a tough construction suitable for outdoor use. The images on this page are for illustration purposes and do not form a recommendation.


Image of typical outdoor cable cover

Example of typical outdoor cable cover

Removal of cables

Although no permit is currently required, where a location is not suitable then the Council has powers under Section 129 of the Roads Scotland Act 1984 to seek to have the cable removed.

Other options

If none of the above applies to your home, and it is not viable to charge from your own home, you may be able to come to a charger sharing arrangement with a friend or neighbour - even those using cable covers. A number of services exist to make this easier (in terms of cost reimbursement or booking), and the links below give some examples of these: