Electricity tariffs are the key to lowering your energy costs

Of course you may also have gas on a dual fuel tariff, but electricity is set to dominate over the coming months and years, as gas is gradually phased out. Being on the right electricity tariff can have a big impact on:

Electric vehicle running costs

If you have a fully electric vehicle (EV), its wheels are turned by one or more electric motors which are powered by a lithium-ion battery. When the battery gets low on charge, it needs to be recharged with electricity.

If you charge your EV with electricity on a typical day rate of 40p per kWh, you will make a big annual saving over petrol/diesel costs in your old vehicle.

However, if you charge your EV at a cheap, off-peak rate of say 7.5p per kWh, the cost of your annual electric miles can be five times less than at 40p per kWh.

You can see how electricity tariffs are the secret to the ultra-low motoring costs that electric cars and vans can deliver.

Please note: the electricity and battery tariffs described on this page are subject to change at short notice and we cannot guarantee all of the details are correct. Always talk direct to the relevant energy supplier to check their latest terms and conditions.

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Battery storage management

If you have battery storage, such as the Tesla Powerwall, installed at your home or workplace, you can:

  • Store surplus solar electricity for later use, and
  • Store cheap, off-peak electricity for later use.

Remember the Economy 7 meter tariff? It allowed you to heat up your storage heaters at night on a low, off-peak rate. You then paid a higher rate during the day for your normal electricity needs.

Electric car owners can now do something similar with an electricity tariff like Octopus Go combined with battery storage. Charge the battery during the night at 7.5p per kWh and then discharge the battery during the day to cover some or all of your energy needs. The discharged electricity has only cost you 7.5p per kWh, whereas if you had to import that electricity during the day, you would pay your  higher day rate instead.

Please note: you must have a qualifying electric car and charging point to go on the Octopus Go tariff.

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Home or workplace energy

Even if you don’t yet have an electric vehicle, battery storage or solar panels, it’s worth hunting around to find better rates.

It’s a very volatile market. The cheapest energy deals one month are soon replaced by a better deal the next.

Innovative energy suppliers to look out for include Octopus Energy, Good Energy and EDF, although energy tariff comparison websites don’t always include the best rates for your situation.

We go into more detail about four special electricity tariffs below: Octopus Go, Octopus Intelligent, the Tesla Energy Plan and Octopus Agile.

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The best electricity tariffs for EV drivers

Octopus Go

The Octopus Go tariff is ideal for electric vehicle drivers.

It’s a dual rate tariff, with – at the time of writing (Sept 2022) – both a day rate of roughly 39.84p per kWh, depending on your region, and a cheap night rate of exactly 7.5p per kWh. The 7.5p rate runs for a 4-hour period from 00:30 until 04:30 every night. There is a standing charge of 43.12p/ Day. You must have both an EV and a suitable charging point to get on the Go tariff – check with Octopus for all current terms and conditions.

Using your electric vehicle’s software, or even the app controlling your charging point, you can programme your vehicle only to charge during that cheap 4-hour slot. In 4 hours, you can put about 100 miles of range into your EV. That should be plenty to cover most people’s daily driving needs.

If you have battery storage as well as an electric car and charging point, you can also charge the battery up during those precious 4 hours. The Tesla Powerwall, for example, can store 13.5 kWh (units) of electricity. Charge the Powerwall at 7.5p per kWh at night and then let that cheap electricity discharge to the home or office during the day when you would normally be importing electricity at 39.84p per kWh. That would represent a 75% saving over the day rate.

If you are interested in signing up to Octopus Energy Go, you can use our referral code to get £50 off your first bill.

EV electricity tariffs - Electricity Tariffs

Intelligent Octopus

This tariff is like Octopus Go – but more intelligent!

At the moment the tariff only works with Tesla, Jaguar and Land Rover EVs, though more brands are on their way. You get the same day rate of roughly 39.84p per kWh (depending on where you live), but the off-peak rate of 7.5p per kWh now lasts for 6 hours instead of 4.

The time period covered at the 7.5p rate is 11:30pm to 5:30am. This gives you more time to charge your car, so you can get about 150 miles in per night instead of 100 miles with Octopus Go.

Using the Octopus app, you decide how much you want the battery to charge, say 90% full, and when you want the car ready, perhaps 7am. The software then works out exactly when your car will charge – basically when electricity is cheapest during the night.

Tesla Energy Plan

The Tesla Energy Plan is an interesting option if you have both (a) solar PV panels, and (b) one or more Powerwalls.

The exact eligibility criteria at time of writing are:

  • One or more Powerwall 2 home battery storage units
  • An MCS-certified Solar PV installation (up to 9 kWp in size, per Powerwall installed)
  • A standard residential electricity supply
  • Smart meter
  • Daily energy consumption from 7am to 7:30pm of less than 9,500 kWh per year (per Powerwall installed)

If you meet all of these criteria, then you will enjoy:

  • A rate of 24.91p per kWh (exact rate depends on your location) for any electricity you import, 24 hours a day
  • The same rate of 24.91 per kWh (exact rate depends on your location) for any electricity you export, 24 hours a day
  • A standing charge of 45.07p per day

This type of deal – very unusual in the UK market – is known as a ‘symmetrical’ tariff, where the export and import rates are identical.

Exported electricity could be from either your solar panels or your Powerwall battery storage. In other words, you are being paid a very generous rate for sending electricity to the grid.

Normally, under the Smart Export Guarantee scheme, you would only be paid a maximum of about 7.5p per kWh for exported solar electricity.

The Tesla Energy Plan import rate is also the lowest single rate tariff currently on the market.


If you’re on the Tesla Energy Plan, Tesla estimates you can reduce your electricity bills by up to 64%, compared to the ‘Big 6’ energy suppliers.

The calculation is based on a household energy demand of  8,000 kWh per year. Your actual savings will depend on a variety of factors and you should double-check their assumptions to make sure there are no surprises.

UK Tesla Virtual Power Plant

These tariffs are unique in the market. But there’s more to it than just rates. With the Tesla Energy Plan, you are effectively becoming part of a ‘virtual power plant’. What does that mean?

Basically, all the homes signed up to these tariffs form part of a connected grid. You then share your renewable solar energy to other connected members when you have more solar electricity than you need.

If your solar generation is low in relation to your home’s needs, extra stored electricity will be delivered automatically by your Powerwall, and/or electricity will flow in from the grid.

The Tesla Virtual Power Plant concept ensures as much renewable energy is generated, stored and shared as possible, in order both to lower your bills and help the environment.

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Octopus Agile

The word ‘unique’ is overused these days, but we can apply it to the Octopus Agile tariff with confidence.

Octopus Agile is basically a commercial ‘half-hourly’ tariff applied to a residential setting. The rate you pay for your electricity as a home-owner varies every 30 minutes. The 48 daily tariffs are tied to the wholesale cost of electricity.

The tariff encourages you to avoid importing electricity between 4pm and 7pm each day. These are the peak hours for energy demand around the country when the grid is under stress.

On Octopus Agile, you pay a very high rate between 4pm and 7pm. It could be 77.99p per kWh, for example. But outside of those peak hours, the tariffs drop and can go as low as 2p per kWh.

In fact, there are occasions when Octopus will even pay you to use electricity! If the grid has too much renewable energy such as a wind and solar, Agile Octopus will set a negative rate for that half hour period, and you will be paid for consuming energy. Radical stuff.

Please note: rates, terms and conditions, etc., for all of the tariffs described above are subject to change. Please talk direct to the energy suppliers to check all of the details before you proceed.

octopus agile - Electricity Tariffs


To get the best out of your electric vehicle, battery storage or solar PV system, you should switch to an electricity tariff that matches your particular circumstances.

Here are some general pointers as to which tariff you could go on for different customer profiles, though always do your own home-work and calculations as well:

  • Home-owner with a non-Tesla electric car who wants to play it safe:
    Octopus Go
  • Tech-savvy home-owner with a non-Tesla electric car who is comfortable with risk:
    Octopus Agile
  • Home-owner with a Tesla electric car, solar panels, and Powerwall battery storage:
    Tesla Energy Plan
    Octopus Go
    Intelligent Octopus
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