Why choose an electric vehicle-specific tariff in the first place though? Nick Arnott, senior commercial manager at OVO Energy, says customers can benefit from not only home charging but public charging too, “OVO Energy’s EV Everywhere keeps costs down and benefit from additional services. The tariff offers energy customers the option of either a smart home charger or membership to the largest nationwide electric vehicle charging network”
Jo Scott, product owner at E. On adds, “Drivers of electric vehicles typically use more electricity than non-EV households – and often at different times of the day, such as when trickle charging overnight. Our Fix and Drive tariff provide a reward each year of £30 credit which is the equivalent of driving 850 miles.”
Electric cars are expected to put added pressure on the National Grid because of charging cars, but if it is done overnight through encouragement by way of cheaper tariffs, then it can help balance the whole system. Phil Valarino, senior manager of electric vehicles at EDF comments, “Not only is it beneficial when it comes to cost, the electricity for our GoElectric tariffs backed by zero-carbon electricity. What’s more, whilst EV charging is expected to add to the demand on the UK’s electricity system, the demand on the National Grid tends to be lower overnight. So, by charging during off-peak hours EV owners add less pressure on the grid than charging during peak times.”
Of course, the equation as to whether an electric vehicle tariff will suit you or not has been made all the more complicated with working from home. Customers who used to disappear to work each day leaving an empty home in the daytime that would incur slightly higher costs per kWh/unit may now be seeing a reversal of savings as they find themselves at home using energy at peak rate.
To counter this, energy suppliers are mixing up what they offer constantly. Valarino says, “Our GoElectric single rate, which offers one fixed price day or night, is perfect for customers who wish to charge their car at any time of day. The zero carbon renewable GoElectric 35 tariff offers [one of] the cheapest off-peak rates on the market at just 4.5p/kWh during off-peak hours of 12am5am; perfect for those who charge their vehicle little and often. Or there’s the GoElectric 98 tariff, which offers 98 hours of off-peak electricity per week at just 9p/kWh, makes it perfect for those drivers with high consumption households and high mileage drivers with bigger batteries that need to recharge for longer periods. All zero-carbon.”
Similarly, OVO Energy offers a flexible approach to customer needs, Arnott adds, “EV Everywhere is competitively priced and available as either a simple single rate, applicable whenever you charge your car, or as a dual-rate tariff with a cheaper off-peak rate for overnight charging.”
In addition, smart chargers can make the best use of energy when it is cheapest during the day, saving the driver the hassle of having to work it out themselves. “The OVO Smart Charger option is a home charge unit which gives customers control whilst optimising charging at cheaper and greener times of the day. The OVO Smart Charger comes with access to the Kaluza app, enabling customers to set a charging schedule and view a breakdown of their charging history.”
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