Residential Electric Vehicle Charging Systems

Interested in an Electric Vehicle?electric vehicle 

Plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) ownership is gaining speed in Berkeley. A PEV is any vehicle that can operate partially or exclusively on electricity from an on-board battery and can be plugged in to recharge the battery. PEVs can provide many benefits for our community, including substantially less greenhouse gas emissions than conventional cars.  

If you are interested in information about owning and charging a PEV at home, continue reading this webpage. If your business would like to install a PEV charging station in its parking lot, as a service to customers or employees, please see the Non-Residential Plug-in Electric Vehicle (PEV) Charging System Pilot Program.

Consider these issues before purchasing a PEV:

All Charged Up:  PG&E can help determine the best meter & rate options for your PEV. 


1. Research car & get the charging specifications from the manufacturer.  
2. Verify that the car will fit completely on your property while charging. Must be clear of sidewalk.
3. Have your electrical system assessed by a licensed electrician for capacity and to determine if upgrades are needed. For safety reasons, it may be required to have a dedicated circuit for PEV charging.
4. Contact PG&E to apply for service and for help on charging levels & rate options. Call 1-877-743-7782.
5. Apply for permits with City of Berkeley. An electrical permit is required for all residential PEV charging systems when electrical work is needed. A zoning permit (Zoning Certificate) may be required for outdoor installations.
6. Obtain a final inspection from City of Berkeley once permitted work is complete. Call 510-981-7444.
7. Contact PG&E to set-up rate and/or service. Call 1-877-743-7782.

Permitting Requirements for Residential PEV Charging Systems
An electrical permit is required for residential PEV charging systems when electrical work is needed to install the equipment. A mechanical permit will be required if the manufacturer’s installation guidelines require mechanical ventilation. When attached to the side of a building, the charging system must be at least 3’ from the property line. Approval of PEV charging system location does not change the required legal off-street parking space(s).

A Zoning Certificate is required for outdoor PEV charging system installations that are not attached to a building, and may be required for other outdoor locations if the space where a car will charge is less than 8’ x 18’. A charging car or charger component cannot be in the public right of way (i.e. over a sidewalk or at a curb).

Permit Application Submittal Requirements: Applicants must submit four (4) sets of legible plans (11”x17”), drawn to scale, or at least fully dimensioned, with the following information:

Application Submittal: Call 510-981-7502 for an appointment to submit completed permit application. If you have questions about submittal requirements, email

Permit Fees: Most applications can be processed over-the-counter at the Permit Service Center. All residential PEV charging systems require a basic electrical permit. An outdoor installation may also require the standard Zoning Certificate fee. Alameda County will charge a deed restriction filing fee for the “Notice of Limitation of Use” if an additional meter is installed.

Inspection: Call 510-981-7444 or go online to:  

Wiring for the Future: Even if you are not currently purchasing a PEV or a solar photovoltaic (PV) system, consider including PEV charging and solar capability when upgrading electrical systems at home by installing conduit or wiring in an area accessible for charging.

Resources and Incentives:

Back to Office of Energy and Sustainable Development Homepage