#2 Home Electricity Tariffs: How can I reduce my fuel costs the most?
If you run an energy tariff comparison on websites such as Moneysupermarket or Confused.com, you are often presented with a bewildering array of results. And working out how your electric car fits into the overall picture is even more confusing.
What do you need to bear in mind? If you have just one flat rate tariff for 24 hours a day, then you can charge your car at any time. It's very convenient and you don't have to plan ahead.
Alternatively, you can choose a dual rate tariff which will give you a higher day rate and a lower night rate. In this case, you would set your electric car, or charging point, on a timer to charge at night on the lower rate.
Dual Rate Example
Let’s assume you drive 20,000 miles per year. In a petrol car, that will cost you roughly £2,500 per year in fuel. The exact cost depends on how many miles to the gallon your car is capable of and the price of petrol.
In a pure electric car (BEV), those 20,000 miles equate to about 5,714 kWh of electricity (assuming a battery/motor efficiency of 3.5 miles per kWh). If you always charge your car at night on an off-peak rate of say 8p, the 5,714 kWh will cost you only £457 a year. That’s a massive saving of £2,042 per year on fuel – a reduction in costs of around 82%.
Flat Rate Example
Now let's imagine instead you are on a flat rate electricity tariff and pay 15p per kWh, 24 hours a day. You can charge your EV whenever you want – the cost will be the same.
Those 20,000 miles in the example above will cost you £857. A reduction of about 65%. The savings are not as good as with the off-peak rate, but you still save £1,642 per year on fuel.
Here’s a quick summary of what to do for maximum savings:
- Lease a 100% electric car (BEV)
- Sign up to a dedicated EV electricity tariff
- Charge your car to coincide with the low rate (only required for dual rate tariffs)