Could an EV tariff save you money? With UK electricity prices now frozen at around 34p/kWh, you might wonder if makes sense to pick a tariff that charges more for daytime energy.
Despite some higher costs, EV owners typically pay less overall for their energy once they sign up for an EV tariff than they would under the Energy Price Guarantee cap. Octopus Energy calculates that households on their ‘Go’ tariff use around 42% off-peak, so may pay 29.5p/kWh for their electricity overall. We’ve also run some of our own numbers to show how an EV tariff can cost less.
Can I still get an EV tariff?
The energy crisis has reduced the number of EV tariffs available. Others, like Octopus Go, are available but rates are no longer guaranteed for 12 months. Luckily there are other solutions for you if you are looking to get cleaner and cheaper energy for both car and home. We’ve added them to our list.
Some you may have considered, like installing solar or getting a home battery, others may be new to you – like buying a share in a wind farm or getting paid to share your charger. If you need any help deciding what’s right for you, try our free EV energy comparison to assess your energy use and explore your options.
Best EV tariffs (and more)
Typical 3.8kWp system
Cost to install: £4,500
Could save (this year): £1,413
Payback: under 4 years
Typical 3.8kWp + 2kW system
Solar + battery
Cost to install: £6,500
Could save (this year): £1,716
Payback: under 5 years
Buy share in a wind farm
One-off cost: £3,462
Could save (this year): £254
Net lifetime savings likely: £2,888
Share your charger
One-off cost: £0
Could earn (this year): £421
(Based on renting your charger overnight for 3 hours/week)
These are the quoted energy prices for a home in South Wales, which is slightly higher than the UK average. We regularly check prices and tariff availability with suppliers.
Looking to compare EV tariffs?
What is an EV tariff?
Electric Vehicle (EV) tariffs basically offer cheap unit rates for overnight charging, usually in a four-hour period in the middle of the night. The drawback of these and other types of ‘time-of-use’ tariff are higher day-time energy costs and sometimes a higher daily standing charge. Most are fixed for one year, meaning your unit costs are typically locked in for 12 months.
Which providers offer EV tariffs?
Octopus Energy continues to offer two main EV tariffs, ‘Go’ (and ‘Go Faster’ time slots) and ‘Intelligent’. It has paused the dynamically priced tariff, Agile, which had averages above the EPG cap. EDF has halted its four ‘GoElectric’ tariffs, and Ovo has stopped updating its EV tariff prices online. British Gas, E.On Next and Scottish Power have also pulled out of the EV tariff market for now.
Is an EV tariff right for me?
This depends on how much energy you use during the day and how much charging and home energy use you could shift into the overnight window. EV tariffs might not offer the best value if you use lots of electricity in your home that you can’t realistically shift off-peak or if your driving patterns mean you aren’t doing much charging at home.
For many EV households though, an EV tariff could still be a good option. The more energy use you can shift overnight, the more you will save with an EV tariff. That doesn’t mean changing your waking hours, just think about timing an immersion heater, dishwasher or other energy hungry appliances to the off-peak window.
An EV tariff gives you a motive to avoid the energy ‘rush hour’, so it means you’ll be using less gas-powered energy and more lovely truly green electrons from renewable sources.
Some extra tips on choosing a tariff
The first move, if you haven’t already got one, is to book a smart meter installation. If you aren’t ready to switch tariff yet, book this with your current supplier.
Some tariffs offer ‘free miles’, but don’t forget that 2,000 miles is a discount of less than £10 per month. Check the rates they quote for electricity at any other time of the day, and the standing charge. Depending on all your normal home use you might end up paying more for that cheap overnight charging.
Some offer a free or discounted home charger installed at your home. This might suit you if you are considering buying your first an electric vehicle, but the unit rates might not stack up if you are already set up to charge at home.
Looking for a home charger?
Who are the best energy providers for electric vehicle owners?
Octopus Energy have been hard to beat in terms of price and customer service for EV drivers. However, EDF and Ovo have tariffs that are competitive on price and offer more flexibility for EV charging and different home energy use patterns.
Although it’s currently limited in terms of compatible car and charger types, E.On Next has a super low off-peak rate and a clever app to help you keep on top of your charging costs and track the carbon intensity of your energy.
Big 6 providers, like Scottish Power and British Gas, make it very difficult to obtain a quote until you are already an energy customer.
How green are EV tariffs?
All EV energy tariffs in the UK guarantee 100% renewable energy, although the way in which they back this promise does vary. Read more on how green your ‘green’ energy really is for all our top tips on choosing a green energy supplier.
Can I use an Economy 7 meter to charge my EV?
Most electricity suppliers will require you to fit a smart meter to your property before you can switch to one of their EV tariffs. They will generally do this for free. However, if you can’t do this yet (generally because of lack of mobile phone coverage) it’s also worth looking into having an Economy 7 or Economy 10 meter fitted to your property. This will allow you to take advantage of cheaper rates at off-peak times on several tariffs.
Does an electric car mean paying more on electricity bills?
Running costs for electric cars are much lower than a conventional car, but charging your car increases your home electricity consumption considerably. One unit (a kWh) will allow you to drive 3.5-4 miles. Some high-mileage drivers nearly double their energy use with home charging. If these drivers don’t switch, their bill with double too.
An average driver will see their use going up by around 50%. Switching to an EV tariff can mean paying about the same as before, especially if you can shift other use into the off-peak hours. As well as switching tariff, check out our top tips for saving money on EV charging.
Sometimes there’s even more you can do to save the planet and help your wallet. With record prices for energy, would solar pay? Does a home battery start to make sense? As well as finding the best EV tariff, our free EV charging and home energy assessment can show you how to squash your home’s energy carbon footprint and become more energy self-sufficient.