Updated January 18, 2024

Have you thought about buying a new electric vehicle but are worried about how you would keep it charged? At Golden Rule, we want to help you gain some peace of mind. With the right charger, you can charge your car faster than ever before. You no longer need to spend time looking for a local charging station. Let’s talk about the basics of EV chargers and the process of obtaining a permit in Iowa so that one can be installed on your property.

Types of Charging Stations

You have two options when it comes to the EV charging stations you use at home: Level 1 and Level 2 stations. A Level 1 station is the most basic option. It allows you to use any 120-volt outlet around your home. Your electric car should come with a charger that lets you plug one end into the vehicle and the other into an outlet. Most of these models will charge your battery in about 20 hours and give you more than 120 hours of driving time. You do not need a permit to use one of these chargers.

A Level 2 charging station is bigger and works with a 240-volt outlet. The right one can charge your EV up to seven times faster than a Level 1 station can. This cuts your charging time down to as little as three hours. To install a Level 2 charging station in the state of Iowa, you must have a permit.

Charger Upgrades

A primary reason why you need a permit for a new charging station is that most homes require upgrades to their electrical panel in order to accommodate this service. Some homes in Iowa have both 120-volt and 240-volt outlets, but some only have smaller outlets. You will want to work with a licensed professional for the safe installation of a new outlet.

If you try to use a larger charger with a 120-volt outlet, you risk damaging the circuit breaker. When you contact Golden Rule, we will come out and examine your electrical system to decide what kind of work needs to be done. Some homeowners require a new electrical panel or an upgrade to their existing panel. To install a Level 2 charger, you need a double pole breaker. It’s also recommended that you have a dedicated breaker for your charging station that won’t get in the way of your appliances or other electrical needs.

We recommend that you check with your electrical company or provider. Some of these providers require that homeowners have a dedicated meter that just monitors the power their chargers use. You can talk with the company about whether it will install the meter or if you need to hire a professional for the job.

Why Does Iowa Require Permits for EV Chargers?

The Hawkeye State requires that homeowners have permits before they install EV chargers. If you need to do any work on your electrical system, like upgrading the panel, you must have a permit. The state wants to ensure that you have a professional with electrical experience to handle the job.

You’ll also need a permit if the work includes a new circuit. Any time that you make major changes to your home’s electrical system, you must have a permit. An inspector may even come to your house to verify that the work is safe and up to code. Adding a new EV charger may also require some renovation work that needs a permit, such as:

  • Taking on a construction project to make room for the charger
  • Making major repairs to walls and other surfaces after adding one
  • Building a new exterior structure to store the charging station
  • Removing or moving any parts of your current plumbing system to make extra space

What Do You Need to Get a Permit?

You usually need a variety of information to get an electrical permit. You need to supply your full name and address as well as the type of station you plan on having installed. The application will ask for certification details and information about the installer.

Iowa has inspectors who work in every county. You can conveniently apply and get in touch with an inspector online. Use the secure system to both apply for and pay the permit fee. Iowa accepts check payments via ACH, credit cards and debit cards. It’s usually easier and faster to work with a pro like Golden Rule and let them complete the process for you.

Why Should You Let an Electrician Apply for Your Permit?

When you hire a professional to install an EV charger in the Grimes or Des Moines areas, you reap the benefits of professional installation. This includes protecting your home and accomplishing the job in an efficient manner. Another benefit of choosing us is that we can provide the state with all of the technical details and specifics of your charger before work begins.

Adding an EV charger requires several steps. It helps to have a professional walk you through this process. They can help you pick out the proper charger if you need assistance. This ensures that you can select a model that can handle the type of electric vehicle and battery that you have. You’ll also want professional advice regarding whether or not this process requires major upgrades to your home. Many of the new Level 2 chargers also work with an app. The app lets you check on the status of your battery and see how much time is left in the process. You’ll then need to hire a crew for the job and obtain the right permits. We will be on hand to answer any questions the state has and to help during inspections.

Charging Station Rebates

Did you know that adding a charging station to your home helps you qualify for certain rebates? You only qualify for one of these rebates if you opt for the professional installation of a Level 2 station. We can help you learn more about rebates that are available for members of the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives. You usually need to submit proof of both the charger you picked and who installed it. The cooperative will issue a rebate in the form of a check.

EV Charging Made Easy in Iowa

At Golden Rule we have years of experience helping homeowners in the Des Moines area with all of their electrical needs. Whether you bought a charger and want to know what to do next or you just need help installing one, we’re just a phone call away. We can help you decide on the upgrades your home needs and obtain the right permits for every change you need to make. Learn how easily we make the electrical vehicle charging installation process happen by contacting us today. In addition to installing EV chargers, we also offer heating and cooling services, plumbing maintenance and repairs, and ductwork repairs.

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