Solar PV, Batteries and Electric Vehicles are taking off in the UK in a big way. Buyers of these innovative technologies are driven by two things – savings on energy, and the significant carbon reductions these technologies offer.
However, the often overlooked key to unlocking these technologies’ maximum potential is electricity tariffs.
This article will briefly go over the options available to you if you have PV, battery, or an EV in the UK, to help you get the most out of your system.
If you’re on just PV and looking to save money, your best import tariff is the best value import tariff. We highly recommend using a energy provider switching service (such as Which’s Switch) to find out which deal is best for you, as there are factors such as contract length and whether you want a dual-fuel tariff that may affect your decision.
If you’re looking for maximum carbon reductions, we’d recommend going for the 100% renewable tariffs available from providers such as Octopus, or Ovo.
If you’re looking for the best standard SEG tariff for your solar, then Octopus (15p/kWh) and Scottish Power (12p/kWh) are the best rates available as of April ‘23.
For battery-only systems, saving the most money means charging the battery on cheap electricity, and then using that energy when the price is higher. This can be done on Economy-7 tariffs from most providers.
If you own just an electric vehicle, then by far the best tariff available on the market are either the Intelligent Octopus or Octopus Go tariffs. At 41.11 p/kWh day rate and 7.5 or 9.5p/kWh respectively overnight, you’ll save on your energy during the day too. We estimate you’ll pay around a third less on your net energy costs than on a comparable Economy-7 tariff from a Big Six provider.
For the majority of battery owners, as long as you can use the energy in the battery to avoid the peak rate between 16.00 and 19.00, we’d recommend the Octopus Flux tariff for PV+Battery setups.
The decent rates during the day are better than most flat rate tariffs, let alone all other variable rate tariffs (such as Economy 7 tariffs from Big Six providers). The cheaper rate between 02.00 and 05.00 allows you to top up the battery ready for the next day.
The added benefit is the variable export rates as high as 35p/kW during peak times.
The best tariff, in this case, is still likely to be the Intelligent Octopus or Octopus Go tariff – as mentioned above. This tariff lets you charge your car and battery overnight at the cheaper rate per kWh, which results in a great cost per mile – and with solar providing energy during the day, your overall daytime use is likely to be minimal.
Please note that both the tariff details and tariff prices are volatile and likely to change from time to time so please check the rates directly with the supplier as part of your research.