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Electric vehicles

  • Q.  How does a vehicle lease work? 

    A. Leasing is a cost-effective way of driving a new vehicle. Under a lease agreement you pay a fixed amount per month in return for exclusive, long-term use of an electric vehicle. Leases available through ReFLEX Orkney are either personal contract hire (PCH) for individuals or business contract hire (BCH) for a company.

  • Q. Is there a limit to the number of miles I can drive under the lease? 

    A. You can decide the annual mileage before entering into the lease agreement, typically 5,000, 10,000, 15,000 or 20,000 miles. The higher the annual mileage the higher the monthly lease rate will be. If you don’t use these miles by the end of the lease you will not get any refund, and if you exceed the mileage there will be a pence-per-mile payment to make. This depends on the individual vehicle and will be included in the lease agreement so you know how much this is from the outset.

  • Q. If I have an electric vehicle but no charger can I plug the car into a standard wall socket? 

    A. A 3-pin plug can be used but we do not advise this. It will also take longer to charge your vehicle than an EV charger. EV chargers for your home or business are available through ReFLEX Orkney, and there are also locations around Orkney where public chargers are available.

  • Q. Can I buy the vehicle at the end of the lease period? 

    A. There is no formal option to buy the vehicle at the end of the agreement. However, at the discretion of the finance provider, you may be able to request a “driver price to purchase” at the end of your contract. This price is non-negotiable and set by the finance provider.

  • Q. How long do I have to decide if I want to go ahead with this offer? 

    A. Individual lease quotes from DriveElectric are valid for 28 days. The discounted prices promoted since launch in December 2020, will be available until the beginning of June 2021 or first 200 EVs leased, whichever comes first. At this point the discounts going forward will be reviewed.

    This is because the discounted leases ReFLEX Orkney offers are supported by the Innovate UK grant, which is finite and covers spending on the wider integrated energy system. Therefore, offers will be time - and volume - limited as shown on the website. We will try our best to extend offers as much as possible to meet demand but this will need to be within the rules of the Innovate UK grant.

  • Q. I’m worried about running out of charge. 

    A. The range on electric vehicles is improving all the time, with more and more vehicles achieving more than 200 miles per charge. The charging infrastructure in Orkney and the UK is improving all the time too. There are more than 25 public charging points around Orkney with more to be installed soon.

    Our team can provide you with a map of charge points and help you set up a mobile app to see where and when chargers are available.

    If you lease an electric vehicle suitable for your needs in Orkney but are worried about longer-range journeys to the mainland, you will be able to use one of the alternative vehicles ReFLEX Orkney has available too.

  • Q. Why aren’t the ReFLEX Orkney discounted lease rates shown on this website? 

    A. The lease rates are exclusive to the ReFLEX Orkney project and they are therefore only available to ReFLEX Orkney members. There are also financial regulations that we need to follow on the advertising of lease rates and financial products.

  • Q. Can I pick and choose which of the benefits listed I would like? 

    A. No, the lease offering is fixed and designed to meet the requirements of the Innovate UK grant to develop and demonstrate a smart local energy system.

Electric vehicle chargers

  • Q. What is the approximate cost after grants for a smart EV charger?  

    A. For a standard installation, over and above the grants, the ReFLEX Orkney cost will be £500 - £650.

  • Q. Is the myenergi  zappi charger suitable if I have microgeneration? 

    A. Yes. We would also consider installing a harvi (energy harvesting device), which would help ensure you are maximizing the use of the energy you generate.   

  • Q. How long does the installation process take?  

    A. The installation will take around half a day. Before that we’ll send someone to carry out a technical assessment, which may take an hour. Some installations we would hope to complete within 8 weeks of the first customer engagement, but some may take in excess of 12 weeks if a grid connection application or planning application is needed.  

  • Q. How does my smart EV charger help support the local grid?  

    A. If you have a flat-rate electricity supply tariff and a smart EV charger, the ReFLEX integrated energy system platform may instruct your EV charger to change the rate of charge in order to reduce constraints on the local electricity network. You can always use the ‘Boost’ setting on the myenergi app to manually override this function.

  • Q. What is deemed a ‘standard install’?

    A. The following guidelines represent what we would expect within a ’standard install’

    • An available ‘spare way’ in the consumer unit / no alterations required at consumer unit

    • Up to 10m cable run

    • No stone walls to penetrate (block is standard)

    • Clear access to cable routes (no flooring to lift etc.)

    • Charger can be directly fixed to building structure (no additional posts required)

  • Q. What if I do not have off street parking?

    A. Unfortunately, at present, the OZEV and EST grant schemes and the ReFLEX EV charging offer is only available to those who have off street parking. If you do not, details on the location and type of public EV chargers available in Orkney can be found in the map tab of our website. If you do not have an EV or off-street parking we would also encourage you to take a look at our car club offering.  

Car club

  • Q. Do you have to be a ReFLEX Orkney member to join the Car Club? 

    A. You have to become a member of Co-wheels, but you don’t have be a member of ReFLEX Orkney.

  • Q. Can I take an Orkney car off-island if I book it for a few days?  

    A. Yes, you will just need to ensure you’ve booked it for long enough to get it back to Orkney. There are over 60 Co-wheels car club locations across the UK, so travelling by alternative means and then booking a car at your destination is also an option.

  • Q. What happens if the car breaks down?  

    A. Call Co-wheels Member Service Team on 0191 375 1050 or the cars are fitted with a contact button so you can speak to the member service team directly. If this happens out-of-hours then call the 24hr Emergency Helpline: 0191 375 1051. These numbers are found in the Member Manual in the glovebox of each car.   You can also use the Co-wheels mobile app to contact Co-wheels.

  • Q. What happens to me if I’m involved in an accident while using a Co-wheels vehicle? 

    A. If you are involved in an accident, prioritise the safety of yourself and others first. Then, as soon as you’re able, give Co-wheels a call so that they can make sure you get home safely if the vehicle is not roadworthy. If you are deemed to have been at fault for the accident, you will have to pay an excess fee of £600 excess. You can pay more monthly to reduce this down to £100 excess.  

  • Q. What happens if I’ve booked the car, but the car isn’t in its designated spot?  

    A. Check nearby, especially in Stromness, as the last user may not have been able to park it in the designated space. Call Co-wheels’ Member Service Team on 0191 375 1050 and they will help locate the vehicle or sort alternative transport for you.  If this happens out-of-hours, call the 24-hour Emergency Helpline: 0191 375 1051.  You can also use the Co-wheels mobile app to contact Co-wheels.

  • Q. If I am running late, what are the penalties? 

    A. You need to let Co-wheels know and extend your booking if possible. There are a few ways to do this. Either use the unit next to the rear-view mirror to extend the booking, use the Co-wheels mobile app, or call Co-wheels' Member Service Team. If this results in another car club member being inconvenienced, you’ll be charged a £25 fine.

Tariff

  • Q. Why is ReFLEX Orkney working with Shell Energy as the project electricity supplier given the company history in oil and gas? 

    A. An important part of tackling the climate crisis is for all businesses to change the way they work and become part of the solution, that includes the world's biggest energy companies. Shell Energy's 100% renewable tariffs and their involvement in ReFLEX is part of the company’s transition. ReFLEX intends to create a smart local energy system that can be replicated and in doing so convince more large energy companies to transition to a low carbon future.

  • Q. What is a fixed price tariff?

    A. A fixed price tariff means you guarantee your tariff rates, which is the price you pay in standing charge and per kWh for your energy. They are set for the full length of your tariff.

  • Q. What does 100% renewable electricity mean?

    A. The ReFLEX tariffs are delivered by Shell Energy and their electricity is certified by Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGOs) as 100% renewable electricity generation. This means that all of the electricity you buy from us is matched with the equivalent amount of units from 100% renewable sources in the UK like wind, solar and biomass.

  • Q. How can I switch?

    A. Once you have become a ReFLEX member, contact the ReFLEX customer service team directly and they can provide you with further details and help start the switching process with Shell Energy.

  • Q. If I currently have two meters or have ‘THTC type’ tariff, can I switch to the ReFLEX Orkney tariff?

    A. Yes. We understand that switching away from restrictive meter set ups has proven very difficult for some customers in the past. For this reason we have made an extra effort with Shell Energy to ensure that they will be able to accommodate people with these meter configurations on the ReFlex Orkney tariff.

Battery and Solar

  • Q. When can I get a battery / battery and solar through ReFLEX?

    A. The new Battery / Battery and Solar and Tech Tariff offering is coming soon. First get in touch with the ReFLEX team to become a member, then our team will provide further detail on how to register your interest in this offering. By registering your interest, there is no commitment to proceed with an installation.

  • Q. Can ReFLEX help if I already have microgen?

    A. Yes. ReFLEX can help if you already generate your own electricity or if you plan to do so in the future. We can retrofit batteries to existing microgen or offer a battery and solar install, both alongside a Tech Tariff and at no upfront cost.

  • Q. Do I need a grid connection agreement?

    A. Yes, ReFLEX have been working with SSE Networks in order to provide a route for customers to secure a grid connection agreemeent. This process can take a few months so please get in touch with the ReFLEX team and they can provide you with a template for a Letter of Authority for you to sign and return. This will enable ReFLEX to submit a grid application on your behalf.

  • Q. What happens once I have signed a Letter of Authority?

    A. ReFLEX will submit a grid application on your behalf and then be back in touch when SSE Networks provide a connection offer for your property, we expect this will take around 3 months. At that point, if your property and grid connection offer is deemed suitable, ReFLEX will propose details of an installation of battery / battery and solar alongside a Tech Tariff offer with T&Cs for your agreement.

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