If you have, or are switching over to, an electric vehicle (EV), accessing the cheapest kilowatt hour (kWh) will be a high priority.
But how can the big energy suppliers help with this? Can Octopus Energy really change charging costs for the better?
How can Octopus Energy save you money on each charge?
Thanks to new initiatives designed specifically for the expanding EV charging network, there are two new tariffs for electric car owners, designed to help them save money on each charge – Octopus Go and Intelligent Octopus.
Octopus Go is an electricity tariff designed to give drivers a 9.5p kWh for four hours every night, from 00:30- 04:30 am.
If you charge outside of these hours, you’ll trigger a Bump Charge, which is billed at the normal unit rate – which changes depending on the area you live in.
Charging at this time allows EV owners to recharge for as little as 2p per mile, depending on your area.
Things to be aware of with Octopus Go:
- Octopus Go is a beta product – which means although it has passed through the alpha testing phase, it has not reached full release, so some kinks may still need to be worked out. This can result in delays, installations and processes can take a while, and there may be issues with smart meters.
This is relatively standard practice and allows problems and errors to be fixed once identified. Generally, after a while, all errors will be fixed and the service will be fully rolled out so that everyone can access a complete, issue-free service.
The latest evolution of Octopus Go, Intelligent Octopus is a smart time-of-use tariff that gives drivers a 7.5p kWh for six hours every night, from 11:30 pm till 05:30 am.
If you charge outside of these hours, you will also trigger a Bump Charge, which is billed at the normal unit rate for the area you live in.
Intelligent Octopus pairs with your car’s compatible charging system, using KrakenFlex machine learning, to find the best time to charge your car while you sleep. Using the app, you tell Intelligent Octopus what time you need the car charged by and how much charge you need, and the app does the rest.
Octopus reckons you could save up to £1,000 per year charging this way vs their standard tariff.
Things to be aware of with Intelligent Octopus:
- Intelligent Octopus is also in beta testing – this means that it may not be 100% reliable just yet and other issues can occur while the developers get it ready for general release and rollout.
The Intelligent Octopus FAQs from Octopus Energy are very detailed and can answer a lot of questions you may have if there are issues with the system.
- You need a compatible car, including Tesla, Jaguar, Land Rover, Ford, Kia, Audi, BMW, Mini, Skoda and Volkswagen (excluding ID models) or an Ohme charger and an iOS or Android smartphone to manage charging.
Octopus Energy is working to expand this range and plans to involve all makes of EV.
It is important to note that you must use Octopus Energy for at least your electricity supply to be eligible for either of these EV-specific tariffs and will also need a smart meter – either a Secure SMETS1 or SMETS2 smart meter – and a smartphone to be able to access their innovative pricing.
Luckily, changing electricity supplier is relatively simple nowadays, and once you have joined, changing to a smart meter usually takes around 14 days.
Similarly, for those worried they will have to leave the warmth of their beds in the middle of the night to access such prices, worry not!
Most home EV chargers now, including Ohme chargers, now allow you to set timers that automatically instruct your EV chargepoint to begin charging, without you having to get out of bed.
Just ensure your charger is connected before you go upstairs and rest easy knowing your car will be charged and ready to go come morning.
Can Octopus Energy get you free recharges?
Interestingly, there is a proportion of the UK who are now making money from recharging their electric car.
Although it sounds like fiction, selling electricity back to the grid from your EV’s battery is entirely plausible.
Drivers would charge their batteries when electricity is cheap and in low demand, then sell it back to the National Grid when it’s expensive and demand is high.
Not only can this earn you real money, meaning you could in fact end up recharging for free, but it supports the Grid, levelling out the peaks and troughs of demand.
Do you need EV charging cables to recharge your electric car?
These Octopus Energy tariffs rely on home charging through dedicated domestic EV chargepoints – which are facilitated through Type 2 to Type 2 charging cables.
Whether you plan on using public chargepoints or need to use your 3-pin electricity supply, EV Cable Shop can help.
You can browse by cable type or model, allowing you to quickly find the right cables needed to keep your EV moving. If you have any questions, email us or fill in our quick enquiry form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.