Recent record-high petrol prices have made electric cars much more appealing. Average pump prices meant a litre of petrol cost £1.59 per litre, and a litre of diesel cost £2 in some service stations in recent weeks, as the UK government began phasing out Russian oil.
Petrol prices meant that two out of three motorists have been considering switching to electric. However, heavy energy cost rises that have come into play this week with the price cap rising to 54% on April 1st, and due to rise again in October, mean that now neither petrol or electric looks that appealing.
With rises in both sides the growing cost per mile will hit us all, regardless of what we drive. However, the reality is that it costs half the price to fully charge a battery (even with significant new energy increases) than it does to fill a petrol tank full. And this is likely to remain true for the foreseeable future. (A Nissan Leaf costs up to £11.33 to fully charge, while a petrol equivalent cost £26.25 to fill).
So despite the price rises on either side of the fence, there are still huge fuel savings to be had from driving electric. The best option is to have solar panels to charge your car for free (after the initial outlay for solar panels), which we talk about below.
But for now, when energy and electricity prices are looking bad, we wanted to share the suppliers who are the best, in terms of using renewable energy only, and scoring highly on customer reviews, so that if or when you change, that you keep the greener options in mind, which have often been cheaper than the “Big 6” well-known energy companies.
Good Energy is one of the UK’s leading renewable energy suppliers. As you can see, they offer “100% renewable energy for your home.” Like Martin Lewis, Good Energy says the best thing you can do for now is to stay with your current provider, as your existing tariff is probably the best you can get compared to the current rises. However, if you need to change they are ready to help.
Good Energy offers 100% renewable electricity from certified renewable sources like wind, solar, hydro and biogen. And for gas, they offer 10% renewable biogas, with the rest offset through supporting green energy projects in Turkey, China, and India. They install smart meters for free for their customers. And they offer electric vehicle tariffs too, which is what you should look for if you are switching to electric car and switching electricity provider.
You cannot switch to the EV tariffs for the moment. But this is an excellent choice, and when the market (hopefully) settles over the next twelve month, then this is a great company to look at if you want to use renewable energy to charge your electric car at home.
Octopus Energy is another British energy provider that specialises in sustainable energy. They won the Uswitch Supplier of the Year, and Which Recommended Provider of the Year 2021, due to having prices cheaper than the old “Big 6”, and doing so through renewable energy sources.
Again, for now they recommend you stick with your current energy supplier, and if your fixed term is coming to an end, to not switch but let your current supplier move you to their default tariff, so that the price is protected by the government’s energy price cap.
For current customers they are offering a new flexible tariff from April 2, which is £50 below the price cap for loyal customers. They have also put £5m into the Octopus Assist Fund to aid customers that need it the most, and they have even sent out electric blankets to customers in need for free. Kudos to them.
OVO also offers 100% renewable electricity as standard, and if you join them they’ll plant a tree in your name every year, so by using them you’ll really be cutting carbon. And they offer tech and tools to help reduce and manage the amount of energy that you use.
OVO Drive is latest EV tariff, with fixed rates to protect you against price rises. They also offer money off a home smart charger for your electric car, and offer electric car leasing too.
OVO are also doing Vehicle-to-Grid trials, which means home charging that works to charge electric cars when electricity demand is low, and then give electricity back to the grid when demand is high. This means that electric cars get charged with green energy, and if excess goes to the grid when needed, that the customer gets paid for it, and therefore saves money overall.
These are the best sites to look at when it comes to finding a new energy provider or getting clued up…
Uswitch has a Quick Checker that lets you find out how the current energy market affects you. The site lets you compare energy prices, and switch if you wish to, to whatever provider and tariff looks the best for you.
They are the go-to-site for switching, with a 4.8 TrustScore out of over 21k reviews.
Again, Uswitch, like everyone else, tells you that now might not be the best time to switch, as high energy costs mean there are fewer deals, but you can give them your email address and they will let you know when more deals become available.
With Uswitch you can also compare broadband and mobile too, to find the best deal and save on those bills too. So it’s certainly worth a look.
Money Saving Expert
We love Martin Lewis, who doesn’t? He’s lobbying against the price cap rise and gives great advice on what to do on all financial matters.
The site highlights that October’s price cap later this year may be higher than expected, meaning it may be worth fixing now if you can, at a price no more than around 25% above April’s price cap.
The message is that if you are on a cheap fixed tariff, to stick with it, but if you have to change and are wondering about a fixed rate, then only go for one between 15-25% above the April cap, to protect from the October rise that is likely to be 25% or higher than the current cap.
Or in simpler terms, if you can find a 1-year fixed-rate at the current April cap rate, or not too much higher than it, then it’s worth it, as prices will go significantly again in October. However, these deals aren’t openly out there, and it may be a case of asking your current provider if they have anything available for you. E.on were offering good deals in this respect (V11, and V12), but then increased prices again for V13, so it depends on exactly what you are offered.
Consider solar panels
The best ways to get electricity, for free! (once the system is set up) is to use solar panels, that generate electricity for you, and your system can also make money for you, by getting money back from the grid for the excess electricity that you generate.
There is a significant outlay cost for solar panels (several thousand pounds, see our guides for more info), but if you are in your forever home, the investment is certainly worth it, and will save you money in the long run compared to cheaper energy rates, now with much higher energy prices in play, and more to come in October, they become even more appealing as a green and cheap form of electricity to power your home and charge your electric car.
Here are the best solar panel brands to consider in our recent guide Best solar panels for UK homes 2022.
And our most recent guide gives you tips on the best installers to use in the UK, to get quotes and compare your options, so you can save on electricity, and make your electric car a truly green car too…