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EV drivers encouraged to charge during off-peak times to cut costs

Big savings can be made by charging overnight when suppliers offer cheaper rates

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So, after weeks of campaigning, we finally have a new UK Prime Minister in Britain. Boris Johnson's successor, Liz Truss, has pledged to freeze energy bills to curb the effects of the ongoing cost of living crisis, but with electricity prices having risen for weeks already, EV drivers - like domestic bill payers - are being offered ways to cut costs whatever Truss implements.

In response to the recently announced energy price cap hike by UK gas and electricity regulator, Ofgem, charging firm Ohme has recommended that electric car drivers take advantage of off-peak tariffs to charge their cars at home.

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What is an off-peak tariff?

As the name suggests, you pay less for electricity if you use it at times when there is lower demand, such as during the night. Charging an EV overnight is not unlike setting the dishwasher to work through the dark hours. Compared with daytime charging, and public charging, overnight domestic charging is typically the least expensive way to charge your electric car. Even though prices are high in general, if you utilise off-peak tariffs then it should work out to be better for the wallet than price-capped standard variable tariffs.

How do I change to an off-peak tariff?

If you’re not already signed up to an off-peak tariff, then the first thing to do is check with your current electricity provider if it has one. If it doesn't then switch to one that does because you’ll start reaping the benefits of owning an EV fully. Some providers even have special EV tariffs, so it’s worth shopping around to get the best deal. 

What kind of savings can I make?

Exact savings can be hard to predict, but Standard Variable Tariffs will rise from 28p/kWh to 52p/kWh on 1st October, with a further rise in January. Some off-peak tariffs can cost as little as 7.5p/kWh (Octopus Intelligent). According to Ohme’s calculations, an average UK driver is already paying almost four times the amount to charge their car on a Standard Variable Tariff each year than if they charged off-peak. When the price increase happens this could end up being six times the amount. So that’s a lot of money you could be saving!

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Do I need a smart charger?

No, you don’t need a smart charger because you can physically plug your car in before you go to bed and it will then charge overnight on the reduced tariff. However, we’d recommend one because it’s a neat way of saving money on charging and making your life easier. Smart chargers are connected to the national grid and automatically adjust the car’s charging so it taps into the lowest demand periods. You can remotely programme your car too and even opt to charge on only renewable energy. 

For more electric car charging info check out our EV hub full of electric car guides. And if you’re on the hunt for your first, or your next electric car, then have a browse through our online showroom because your future EV and the savings you’ll make are ready and waiting.

By Freda Lewis-Stempel