Smart charging regulations to take effect as survey shows almost half of EV owners still not using cheaper electricity

Sun 22 May 2022 View all news

New Government regulations to ensure that all new home and workplace EV chargepoints will have smart charging capability come into force at the end of June. The regulations aim to support the electricity supply system by enabling better balancing of demand with available energy as well as reducing charging costs for EV users.

A recent survey shows that almost half of EV drivers are not using cheaper, off-peak charging (which is typically possible using the vehicle's charging settings, even without smart chargepoint capability) despite the significant potential cost savings associated with doing so. 

The new Government regulations are intended to enable and encourage drivers to use smarter tariffs to avoid charging during peak hours, helping to reduce supply challenges at the same time as cutting EV running costs.

The new regulations also mean that all smart chargers need to have a data connection that has the ability to measure and transmit records so that drivers can view their charging history.

The recent report by the EV Energy Taskforce (which is convened by Zemo Partnership) says that the introduction of smart charging is one of five key 'enabling conditions' needed to deliver an effective, optimised EV charging infrastructure in the UK.  

A survey conducted by Smart Home Charge (a leading home charging retailer and installer) found that nearly half (46 per cent) of survey respondents are not taking advantage of off-peak charging times, and could benefit by either installing a smart charging point at home or ensuring they use the smart scheduling features if they already have one.

The study says that a driver travelling 10,000 miles in one year could pay £1071 at peak rates compared with £107 when using off-peak only charging – saving nearly £1,000.

Smart chargepoints provide drivers with more control over their home charging setup, allowing scheduled charging to coincide with cheaper electricity rates, as well as providing information on charging history so drivers can monitor their EV home charging costs.

The new Government regulations mean that all home chargers sold on or after 30th June 2022 will assist with default off-peak charging, but will allow active participants a range of other charging options.

Danny Morgan of Smart Home Charge said: “Educating new EV drivers is key to helping them save on their car charging costs. Traditionally, drivers have not had much choice when it comes to fuel costs other than searching for which petrol station has the lowest price – and even then the difference is pennies.

“However, EV drivers have much more control over the cost of their home EV charging, firstly by finding an energy supplier which offers an EV-friendly tariff with discounted off-peak rates and secondly by making sure they set up a schedule on their smart home charge point that coincides with their off-peak window."

Andy Eastlake, Zemo Partnership's Chief Executive adds: “Having a smart meter is often necessary to benefit from these EV tariffs so we would encourage those considering getting an EV to discuss this with their supplier directly...But it's clear that now - and as time goes on - EV drivers are going to be able to make significant savings by being 'smart'.”



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