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May 21, 2024

Understanding Electric Vehicle Energy Tariffs

Some energy suppliers offer tariffs specifically designed for electric vehicle (EV) users, but many EV drivers are uncertain whether these tariffs are actually beneficial. We’ve outlined what these tariffs are and what they offer to help you make an informed decision.

What are electric vehicle energy tariffs?

These tariffs are tailored for electric vehicle owners who charge their EVs at home using their household electricity supply. Tariffs are subject to frequent changes and new ones are introduced regularly, but they generally fall into two categories:

Two-rate tariff: This is the most common and often the cheapest type of EV tariff. It offers two different electricity rates depending on the time of day, with lower rates at night – similar to an Economy 7 tariff.

Single-rate tariff: This means you pay the same rate throughout the day and night, but it is usually a discounted rate for EV owners or a credit may be applied to your bill.

How to calculate the cheapest option

Experts at MoneySavingExpert suggest that two-rate tariffs are typically the cheaper option for EV drivers, although they are more complex to compare.

To estimate which option is cheapest for you, follow these steps:

  1. Determine how many kWh it takes to charge your car.
  2. Calculate the cost based on the rates – noting that rates at night may be lower than during the day, and consider any additional costs.
  3. Calculate the cost of a regular tariff.
  4. Compare the two to identify any savings.

What is smart charging?

Many electric vehicles come with the option for smart charging, which allows you to charge your EV when the national demand for electricity is at its lowest – such as at night or when there is abundant renewable energy, resulting in lower rates.

You can set your charger to activate only at the best times and to charge only to a certain battery level. If your car does not have this feature automatically, you can install technology that remotely controls your charger via an app, although this may incur an additional charge.

Do I need to notify my supplier?

Unless you are on a EV specific tariff, you do not need to notify your supplier that you have an electric vehicle. However, by doing so you may be able to save some money off your bill as they may advise on tariffs better suited to your needs.

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