Homeowner Blog

What’s the Best Electricity Tariff?

George Riley 13 Aug 2020

We’re often asked by our customers which is the best electricity tariff, especially when they’re investing in their own renewable energy systems. There are lots of energy suppliers, with prices varying by location and various contract commitments. But there are particular types of tariffs that we’d recommend looking at, depending on your circumstances:

The best electricity tariff for solar panels

The payback of your solar PV system is linked to the cost of your incoming electricity - the higher that rate, the greater the savings made by using free solar power. But since solar panels only generate electricity during daylight hours, it’s worth considering a tiered tariff so that your nighttime power is cheaper, while you displace the more expensive daytime power.

Under the Smart Export Guarantee, big suppliers must also offer to pay for any excess solar power you export to the grid. The rates they give you vary, but are usually around 5.5p/kWh. Some suppliers insist that you are also signed up to one of their import tariffs to qualify.

The best electricity tariff for home batteries

Batteries come into their own when combined with a time-of-use (ToU) tariff. This could be a traditional peak/off-peak tariff such as economy 7 or economy 10, or a more dynamic tariff with variable rates linked to wholesales prices (supported by smart meter monitoring). Most battery systems come with an app control, allowing you to sync with your tariff for off-peak charging and peak discharging to maximise savings.

The best electricity tariff for EV owners

Powering your car with electricity will generally be much cheaper than petrol or diesel. But to really maximise the savings, it’s worth switching to an EV specific time-of-use tariff. Most suppliers now offer such a tariff, with low overnight charging costs, helping to top up cars cheaply when they’re sitting on the drive anyway and avoiding a drain on the grid during peak times.

best ev charger for tesla cars

The best electricity tariff for Tesla owners

If you’re a diehard Elon Musk fan and you have a Tesla vehicle, Powerwall, solar PV and smart chargepoint, you could take advantage of Octopus’s Tesla Energy Plan. It uses high level automation to control your battery, car charging and solar, maximising energy and bill savings. The headline figures are zero standing charge, 8p/kWh import rate and 8p/kWh export rate.

The best green electricity tariff

In recent years there have been more and more energy suppliers offering green tariffs, matching your energy requirements with renewable generation. Some claim to be ‘greener’ than others - sourcing clean energy directly from suppliers rather than relying on certificates, exclusively offering renewables to all their customers etc - the more details they provide on their website the better! It can be a great way to support more investment in clean energy across the grid.

The best electricity tariff for heat pumps

Heat pumps are harder to match with a specific cost-saving tariff, as they often have a high energy demand and are needed at the times of day and year when solar generation is lowest. Recently, Good Energy has announced the release of a specialist heat pump tariff that it claims will save customers money, but the details are yet to be revealed.

In summary

Here’s what we’d recommend depending on what you have at home:

I have...

and...

Nothing else

EV

Solar PV

SEG friendly tariff

EV tariff

Battery

ToU tariff

ToU tariff

Solar + battery

SEG friendly ToU tariff

SEG friendly ToU or Tesla tariff

None of the above

Green tariff

EV tariff

If you’d like to find out more about investing in solar PV, battery storage or EV charging, please give us a call on 0118 951 4490 or request a quote:

Request a quote

Topics: Battery storage, EV charging, Tariffs, Solar PV

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