For many electric vehicle drivers, charging at home is a crucial part of ownership. The convenience of plugging in overnight and waking up to find a fully charged car is familiar to a large number of owners.
Charging at home, whilst cheaper than petrol/diesel or public charging, means that electricity bills will increase, which prompts many EV drivers to look at ways to maximise their savings.
In response to this demand, and to add incentives for EV drivers to charge at off-peak times, several energy companies have introduced energy tariffs tailored specifically for electric vehicle owners.
These tariffs typically have lower unit costs during the night – when there is less demand on the national grid – a renewable energy promise, and some offer added benefits for the EV driver.
Home energy EV rates
Zap-Map has created an EV energy tariff tool to help highlight the key costs, benefits, and off-peak hours available from suppliers with a dedicated electric vehicle product.
Figures last updated February 2020, but subject to change, with tariffs and/or costs able to be altered or withdrawn by each energy supplier.
Tariff details for sponsored listings have been provided by the energy provider, quoting a UK average unit electricity cost (p/kWh). For unsponsored listings average tariff details are sourced either direct from the energy supplier, through desk research from the costs per kWh quoted by the energy provider in marketing material or, where this has not been available, costs are calculated on a young family in a medium-sized house, based in south east Wales.
Some tariffs listed may be able to offer lower prices via Economy 7 or Smart Meter-based systems. Where off-peak or peak pricing has been displayed, this is part of the ‘standard EV tariff’, rather than an option available for all customers. Individual quotes could vary from those above, depending on circumstances. Always research personalised quotes carefully before signing up to an energy supply tariff, factoring in any on- and off-peak prices, plus standing charges, costs vary by region and household.
All the renewable energy EV-tailored tariffs above include a renewable energy promise, with the supplier matching energy used by the customer with electricity from renewable sources.
Please visit individual providers websites to see full terms and conditions for any of the EV-tailored tariffs above.
EV tariffs, smart meters, and Economy 7
The increased use of smart meters and smart chargers means that energy suppliers are able to tailor their tariffs increasingly towards EV drivers.
With energy costs typically higher for EV owners than non-EV drivers – though usually more than off-set by fuel cost savings – energy firms are looking at passing on reduced off-peak energy prices to encourage drivers to charge when demand is lowest.
By charging smarter, the UK electricity grid will require less investment in upgrading the infrastructure – costs that would otherwise inevitably be passed on by the Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) through energy companies to the customers.
As always, it’s worth looking around for the best deal for you personally. By switching to a low off-peak tariff – suited to EV charging – those households with higher electricity consumption during the day may end up worse off overall, since peak costs per unit typically increase a little on such plans.
The use of a Smart Meter could be one way to improve electricity use when charging an EV without any additional cost or change over of tariff. These are free to be installed by your energy provider (provided conditions are met) and help home owners keep track of their costs, energy usage etc.
Typically though, switching to a tariff that has an overnight off-peak rate will likely reduce your home energy costs, since this is when the majority of an EV’s charging is carried out. Those that regularly need to charge at home, and rely on domestic charging rather than support from workplace or public charging, will see the greatest benefits here.
All of the EV-tailored tariffs included in our tool feature a renewable energy promise, with the supplier matching energy used by the customer with electricity from renewable sources. It means that those who take up one of those tariffs are not only reducing their costs, but also their ‘well-to-wheel’ emissions.
Electric vehicles may be much greener than ICE models, but there are still emissions to be taken into account from the UK’s average electricity mix. With a renewable-based tariff, EV drivers can rest easy in knowing that powering their electric vehicle is not adding to air pollution – even when taking electricity generation into account.
By opting for a tariff that is backed by renewable energy, combined with charging on a number of public networks with the same ethos, it means running an EV is the greenest way to drive when considering lifecycle emissions.
EV tariff benefits
A number of tariffs offer added benefits for customers. Some provide credit for a number of ‘free miles’ in your EV, while others can provide the likes of public charging network membership, environmental incentives, or tickets to events. While many of these are unlikely to drive you to looking at EV tariffs, they could help sway you to one network over another.
There are a number of other energy tariffs available, with some that may suit EV owners but without being labelled as such. Those companies forming the ‘Big 6’ but not mentioned within the tool, will be able to offer different costs. However, those included are pitched as being particularly suitable for EV drivers.