• EV tariffs
  • Sep 12, 2022

Until recently, people were only ever likely to be under the energy price cap cover of a ‘standard’ tariff if they’d never switched, or at least hadn’t got round to switching after a fixed tariff had ended. Fast forward to 2022, and the energy crisis has changed all that – making the day rates in EV tariffs higher than your supplier’s current price-capped, SVT or ‘default’ tariffs. And October will see a two-year freeze at a higher price cap which is still likely to be much lower than the wholesale cost of energy.

The details are far from certain, but Money-saving hero Martin Lewis has reportedly persuaded the big firms – British Gas, Ovo (SSE), Octopus, EDF, E.on and Shell (though notably not Scottish Power yet) – to let customers who have fixed at a higher rate than the price guarantee to move back to the price guarantee tariff, with no early exit penalties, until at least 15 November. This takes the risk out of switching to an EV tariff in the meantime.

Should EV drivers consider staying under the price cap?

EV drivers, many of whom are coming off fixed EV-friendly ‘time-of-use’ tariffs with cheaper overnight rates in the coming months, will be wondering what their best course of action will be. EV tariffs, except traditional Economy 7 tariffs, weren’t covered by the price cap. Renewing your tariff will cost you more than it did before, but maybe not more than staying on a default tariff. If you can shift enough of your use into the off-peak, you may find the higher day rates of an EV tariff are made up for by off-peak rates that have stayed (relatively) low.

From October, an EV tariff from Octopus could still be the best option for most EV households

How is the energy price cap calculated?

The price cap sets a cap on the total bill for each level of consumption. It doesn’t set a cap on the unit rate, but it is easy enough to work backwards to pull out the figure for any level of energy consumption.

Best tariff for an average EV household?

We ran the numbers for two homes, both with an EV charged at home most of the time. First, showing the frozen price cap then comparing how the bill looks on an EV tariff for three patterns: 

  1. Using all their energy during the expensive peak, but charging overnight.
  2. Charging overnight and using 25% of house electricity off-peak.
  3. Shifting half their energy use into the off-peak window, and charging overnight too*.

* For a household using 10kWh per day, that’s shifting over 5kWh each day: For example. a washing machine cycle uses between 1-3kWh, a dishwasher may be around 1.8kWh, an immersion heater timed to heat water overnight uses 3kWh in an hour

House #1: Large household, typically consuming around 4,000 kWh per year just in the home and driving the average 7,400 miles per year (using around 2,000 kWh, all charged overnight).


Flat rate: 34p
Standing charge: 46.36p/day

Total bill: £2,209

Octopus EV tariff – Go (September ’22)


Day: 40.04p Night: 7.5p
Standing charge: 47.88p/day
4 hours/night off-peak, 12:30-04.30

1. Only EV charging is off-peak: £1,926
2. + 25% of home use also shifted: £1,600
3. + 50% of home use also shifted: £1,275

House #2: Higher use household, typically consuming around 5,000 kWh per year in the home and commuting 10,000 miles in an EV (2,900kWh).


Flat rate: 34p
Standing charge: 46.36p/day

Total bill: £2,855

Octopus EV tariff – Go (September ’22)


Day: 40.04p Night: 7.5p
Standing charge: 47.88p/day
4 hours/night off-peak, 12:30-04.30

1. Only EV charging is off-peak: £2,394
2. + 25% of home use also shifted: £1,987
3. + 50% of home use also shifted: £1,580


For an average household, an EV tariff is clearly the better deal. Particularly if your house can shift quite a bit into the off-peak hours. At lower EV mileages, the price cap tariff may fare better. If you use less in the  home and more in your car the EV tariff tends to save you more. Choosing between EV tariffs based on your own daily consumption pattern is more important than ever.

How the price cap varies by region

The cap also has different levels of standing charge and unit price for each region.

The rates are different if you have an Economy 7 meter, or have a credit or prepayment account. There are also price cap rates for gas.

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