All major suppliers now have tariffs specifically designed to meet the needs of EV owners, and there is an ever-growing array of companies which specialise in green, EV-specific supply.
For buyers, the choice is daunting with manufacturer partners, specialist suppliers and the big energy firms all competing for business.
One of the themes emerging in the EV market is manufacturer partnerships with energy companies. This gives EV buyers the ability to throw in a suitable energy tariff and (more often than not) a home charger at the point of sale. Another big theme is energy companies creating tariffs that are designed specifically for EV owners, enabling them to benefit from lower prices overnight when they’d typically charge their car.
But what do you need to get an EV-specific energy deal? What are the main benefits of switching over – and how much could you save?
What do you need?
Well, it’s fairly obvious that a good starting point is to actually have an EV in the first place. Many suppliers simply won’t allow you to get EV-specific deals if you don’t have one, requiring you to provide details from the V5C registration document to prove that you’re the registered keeper.
That being said, unless you’re running some kind of nefarious nocturnal energy-intense industry in your loft, you don’t stand to benefit from making the switch without an EV.
It stands to reason that if you’re planning on charging an EV at home each day, you’ll not be wanting to do it via a standard three-pin (although it is perfectly viable). As such you’ll either have, or want to install a wall box. Typically putting out around 7kW, these will charge an average EV overnight comfortably. Buying outright will cost from £500 without the government’s OLEV grant. But if it’s your first EV and wall box, you’ll likely be eligible for the £500 grant and happily, most wall box makers have a range of chargers that meet the grant criteria for you to choose from.
Many energy suppliers are building wall boxes into their deals (see below) which, depending on your circumstances, is potentially a sweet addition.
The next thing that will be required is a smart meter. All suppliers are giving these away for free these days anyway, and with EV tariffs you’ll be provided with one.
This enables your supplier to understand your energy usage so that you get an accurate bill – important when EV drivers who predominantly charge at home can expect to see their energy use go up by around 50 per cent.