Home charging offers the most convenient and accessible form of keeping your EV topped up. Utilising time spent at home and waking up to a full battery remains the first choice of charging by most EV owners. While running an EV is considerably cheaper than filling up on petrol or diesel, those that choose to charge from home will naturally incur higher electricity bills. Therefore, finding the right energy suppliers for EV owners is crucial in making the most out of the economical savings to be had.
If the prospect of higher energy costs is troubling you, fear not. With the ongoing proliferation of electric vehicles, energy companies are beginning to offer tariffs tailored to EV owners. In addition to competing for customers who are likely to consume more electricity, energy companies are seeking ways to reduce pressure on the grid. As a result, many of the EV tariffs focus on significantly reduced off-peak electric prices, encouraging drivers to charge when demand is low.
Here are a few things to keep in mind while researching energy supplier for EV owners…
Photo by Matthew Henry
Factors to Consider When Researching Energy Suppliers
How often will you be charging at home?
Home charging remains the primary option for most EV owners. If you fall into this camp, seeking an EV friendly supplier could prove highly economical. Alternatively, if you have access to a free charge point elsewhere, at your workplace, for example, you may not use your home charge point enough to warrant switching to an EV specific tariff.
Perhaps the most crucial point. Overnight charging, taking advantage of off-peak tariffs will prove the most beneficial option for many. However, if your schedule frequently requires charging during the day, opting for a tariff that reduces off-peak prices but increases on-peak is less than ideal.
Does your charge point allow for scheduled charging times? Some EV tariffs offer the best rates during the early hours of the morning when demand is at its lowest point. To make the most out of these savings, you’d need to have a charger/EV with the capabilities to charge at specific times (or wake up/stay up to put your car on charge).
Households that have higher electricity consumption during the day could prove worse off on an EV tariff. The lower off-peak prices offered are typically combined with slightly increased on-peak rates. Understanding your energy usage at certain times of day will be necessary to find the optimal plan for your household.
Some energy companies offer additional features alongside the EV tariff rates, such as free public charging, a free charger or a set number of free miles. For example, if you frequently charge on the road, opting for a plan that includes a free subscription to a charging company (that you use) could provide extra savings. Keep these in mind when shopping around for a supplier.
While the size of your EV’s battery is unlikely to dictate whether or not you switch energy supplier, it is worth bearing in mind when it comes to calculating your expected energy usage.
If your motivations for going electric were purely environmental, opting for a sustainable energy supplier will likely be top of your list. While an EV is far more sustainable than a traditional motor, you’ll still need to factor in emissions from the UK’s average electricity mix when calculating your overall carbon footprint.
However, with a supplier or tariff-based solely on renewables, you can be sure the running of your EV is genuinely eco-friendly and helping reduce air pollution. Additionally, if you choose to charge on the road and only select companies with the same values, you’ll be opting for the most sustainable form of transport around (aside from, you know, walking).
Photo by Carl Jorgensen
Energy Suppliers for EV Owners
As more people switch to electric, an increasing number of energy suppliers are stepping up with EV-friendly plans. There’s more choice than ever before. It is always worth shopping around and finding a plan that best caters to the needs of your household. As a starting off point, we’ve included a few noteworthy suppliers for EV owners below.
Perhaps one of the most well-known and favoured energy suppliers among the EV community. Octopus was one of the first to offer flexible tariffs for EV drivers. The smart API option allows you to use a charger or cable that chargers at the cheapest times. Four hours off-peak electricity each day between 00:30 am and 4:30 am. With 100% renewable energy matched with good customer service scores, Octopus Energy is an award-winning supplier that’s worth checking out.
Launched in 2009, OVO is established as one of the major suppliers in the UK. As a company, it is committed to sustainability and, to better serve EV drivers created their EV Everywhere tariff. In addition to using 100% green energy, this tariff also includes a membership to Polar Plus and provides seven hours of off-peak electricity every day between midnight and 7 am. If you frequently use the public network, this could be a great option.
Feel more comfortable opting for one of the big six? EDF uses a range of fuel sources to supply its customers; however, with the GoElectric tariff, the company vouches to provide only 100% renewables. With off-peak hours starting from 9 pm to 7 am on weekdays, and all weekend, EDF offers a remarkable 98 hours of electricity at reduced prices. The extended hours could prove helpful if you have a large battery to charge each day or prefer a little more flexibility in your charging schedule.
We’d love to hear from you! Let us know what you’re looking for in an energy supplier as an EV owner in the comments below.