Charging at home

Charging a vehicle from your home

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

If you have a driveway, this is relatively easy and you could even get a government grant to reduce the cost of installing a smart charging point at home. Although most electric vehicles come with a cable you can plug in at home to 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'.

If you don’t have a driveway, then East Lothian has over 100 public chargers within a short walk of most residential areas where you can charge from only 16p per kWh, similar to what many people pay for energy at home. We are happy to consider requests for new public chargers – just contact – but sometimes it just isn’t viable for us to provide public infrastructure at or near your normal overnight parking place. The following guidance outlines how you might safely charge your car 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.

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.

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.

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 so 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.