Domestic electric supply for EV users - Renault Z.E. Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-14-2013, 04:03 AM Thread Starter
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Domestic electric supply for EV users

Having just renewed my offpeak energy contract (with OVO) for the coming year I have been considering choosing one that particularly suits us EV users.

There's not much around - I found three, BG, EDF and nPower. The BG scheme which allows discounted (offpeak?) electricity most of the 24 hours only gave a meagre discount off their standard prices and did not work out beneficial. It also appears to have bitten the dust, no sign on their website or on comparison sites. I suspect the nPower scheme also was abortive. EDF offer a scheme called 20-20 but doing my sums it proved damned expensive. It looks like the energy companies are either ignoring us or hoping to catch us unawares and rip us off.

I also found recommendations for Good Energy amd Ecotricity. These are "green" providers so I didn't hold out much hope of them being cheap. Dead right, both were considerably dearer than my present scheme. Ecotricity (the dearest) do offer a free card to access their charging points across the country as a perk. Correction - the cards are free to anyone applying who owns an EV and their charge points are in some motorway services. They DO suit the Fluence!

Ordinary offpeak tariffs are useful but only for cars with timers or those who habitually stay up till after midnight. The 7 hour offpeak period is just about sufficient. Incidentally, reading a rival Zoe forum I see that their built in timer facility is flaky at best and cannot be trusted.

There's supposed to be a ten hour tariff but I can't find anyone who offers it to new customers. I used to be on such a tariff 40 years ago when I suffered a nightmare three phase electric central heating system that broke down so regularly I was on first name terms with SEB's engineers. It was reduced to 8 hours (white meter) and then axed. On cold days we used to run out of heat at 4pm!offpeak

With just three of us with Fluences I doubt we would have much clout to negotiate a better deal with energy companies. Shame.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-14-2013, 06:01 AM
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RE: Domestic electric supply for EV users

Ovo has great customer service and competitive prices. Their mix is fairly green but Ovo doesn't invest in building any generation. They buy from others.


For us M&S energy were the least expensive, with Ovo close behind and Ecotricity in a surprising 3rd place.

The annual difference Between M&S and Ecotricity was all of £70, so I've switched from Ovo to Ecotricity.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-14-2013, 06:19 AM Thread Starter
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RE: Domestic electric supply for EV users

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew*Debbie
Ovo has great customer service and competitive prices. Their mix is fairly green but Ovo doesn't invest in building any generation. They buy from others.


For us M&S energy were the least expensive, with Ovo close behind and Ecotricity in a surprising 3rd place.

The annual difference Between M&S and Ecotricity was all of £70, so I've switched from Ovo to Ecotricity.
Interesting, for me Ecotricity worked out amost exactly £100 dearer and wasn't a fixed tariff. I've been with OVO since they were formed and they've always worked out top or almost top of the value stakes, shame they use a ZX81 as their computer.....
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-14-2013, 09:57 AM
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RE: Domestic electric supply for EV users

Yes. Ecotricty just announced they are fixing prices until January 2013. Not nearly as comforting as a the full year that Ovo offer.

We will probably end up buying a BMW i3. At the moment Ecotricity are the only company that have announced they will be installing CCS rapid chargers compatible with the i3. Eventually they hope to retrofit all existing units with ones that can rapid charge Zoe, Leaf, i3 and the upcoming VW EVs.

Ecotricity are just about the only ones putting rapid chargers in truly useful locations.



http://www.ecotricity.co.uk/news/new...until-new-year

http://www.ecotricity.co.uk/news/new...ondon-to-leeds
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-14-2013, 12:51 PM
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RE: Domestic electric supply for EV users

I'm surprised to hear Ecotricity were more expensive as they've guaranteed to price beat any of the big 6, and have held their prices til the new year, with a genuine promise to try and keep them down as long as possible afterwards.

I'm with them and to me it isn't all about cost. Sure it's an important factor, but I'd rather be with Ecotricity than save £63 quid going elsewhere as they practice what they believe in. Their electricity is 100% 'green' and doesn't use nuclear. Important to some and not others, but they reinvest their money in new generation giving them better control of prices and thus gain more price independence in future.

They also offer a dual fuel discount if you use their gas, which is the greenest in the UK, using a proportion of renewable gas (only 2% but plans to build new plants). Again, you're getting green for less than the big 6.

Finally, they're the ONLY ones actually bothering to offer a free charge network, with plans for many more and offer them free to customers (and even non customers).

To me that dedication warrants some support, by using them as my supplier. Ovo don't bother, SSE don't bother, M&S Energy don't bother, yet Ecotricity do and such support isn't free (even if it is good PR).
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-14-2013, 02:32 PM
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RE: Domestic electric supply for EV users

I agree that Ecotricity are worth supporting. But that being said, everyone's bills are currently funding Gov grants for renewables, and 'at the end of the day' I'm currently on 10.134p/kWh guaranteed until end 2014 and it doesn't look like there is anything near to challenge that.

Offpeak/Eco7 never worked out as being useful for my EV mileage - my monitor gadget on my charge station* daily average (I commute 3 or 4 times a week) is 5.8 kWh/day. We use about 25 kWh per day total, so it is adding ~25% to the bill. I don't think off peak works out as remotely useful to an average family household to charge an EV.

*(that is to say, my gadget - the Chargemaster unit is sending no data back to the monitoring software/website to report, for me to see)

Not only would off peak be no use to me on a cost basis, but the flexibility/convenience of being able to charge up for a few hours as soon as I get home without having to worry about whether I should wait for lower rates is good too.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-15-2013, 03:40 AM Thread Starter
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RE: Domestic electric supply for EV users

I had offpeak installed years ago when I had electric central heating. It might not make much difference now but seeing that offpeak is still providing me with cheap hot water without the cost of changing boiler and re-plumbing the house, having offpeak available for the car means electricity for the car at just 7.3p/Kwh which can't be bad. Put it another way: the service charge is paid for by my hot water so that's why the car costs only 7.3p. Alternatively I could shell out £2-3000 to update my system. And don't tell me a new system will be more efficient, my neighbour's combination boiler has been utterly unreliable while my boiler hums along after 30 years.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-15-2013, 05:17 AM
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RE: Domestic electric supply for EV users

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Originally Posted by GrumpyCabbie
I'm surprised to hear Ecotricity were more expensive as they've guaranteed to price beat any of the big 6, and have held their prices til the new year
The fine print is they beat the Big Six standard tariff. If you shop around it isn't hard to do better than that.

The big six count on people not shopping or switching. Safe bet since most customers don't switch or even change to a less expensive tariff with their current supplier.

What is surprising (at least to me) was that shopping around only a handful of plans were cheaper than Ecotricity. And the premium wasn't large.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-15-2013, 12:46 PM
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RE: Domestic electric supply for EV users

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Originally Posted by Andrew*Debbie
What is surprising (at least to me) was that shopping around only a handful of plans were cheaper than Ecotricity. And the premium wasn't large.
That's what I found. I think the totally cheapest in my area for my usage was about £60 a year less than Ecotricity. That works out at £5 a month, before taking into account the dual fuel discount and a nation wide (their words not mine) charging network. A small extra price to pay as the profits get turned into new capacity and there are no massive shareholder dividends to pay, just some hippie (sure he won't mind being described such) owner who drives an electric car! I also object to the attitude of many suppliers who make £billions of profit a year, not £millions but £billions just because they can. Ecotricity seem genuine in their quest.

To me these big profits in the £billions is taking the p*ss big time and everybody moans but few do anything. Same as the folk who grumble about the price of petrol, yet drive a 3 litre 4x4.

The hippies were right; if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-15-2013, 01:41 PM
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RE: Domestic electric supply for EV users

Quote:
Originally Posted by GrumpyCabbie
The hippies were right; if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem.

But understanding the problem is part of the solution, and it is better to gain an understanding of a thing if one practices that thing.

The corollary of
"understanding the problem is part of the solution"
and
"if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem"
is
"if you don't understand the problem, you can come on board and be part of the solution"

... I bet politicians think juust like that, and is how QUANGOs are born !!! Might also help explain how some of the misdirected energy initiatives get off the ground!

I suspect relying too heavily on sound-bite sayings might get one into philological trouble!

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