Electric vehicles could be at the heart of a smart energy revolution that will save the UK up to £40 billion by 2050 as more than eight million people consider buying or leasing an EV in the next five years, the department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has said.
Energy and Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry praised OVO Energy’s electric vehicle offering which rewards EV owners with low tariff off-peak energy usage as she spelled out plans to promote vehicle-to-grid technology which could push power back into the national grid at peak times to balance the nation’s energy demands.
During a visit to OVO’s headquarters yesterday, Perry hailed the energy supplier for its “innovative” EV products – enabled by smart meters – which, she said, could see millions save and even make money from their electric cars.
She said: “More than 11 million meters are already empowering consumers to reap the rewards of a smarter energy system, putting homes and small businesses on the road to a smarter future.
“Smart meters will be the cornerstone of a cleaner, flexible and efficient energy system, saving the country tens of billions of pounds.
“New innovative products and tariffs like these will put consumers in the fast lane when it comes to control of their energy use, saving and even making them money when using their electric vehicles.”
BEIS believes that smart charging and V2G charging could become a cornerstone of the way energy is used in the UK, with more than eight million people in Britain considering buying or leasing an electric vehicle in the next five years.
With this technology, customers will not only be able to choose to use energy at the cheapest times but also make money by selling energy from their vehicle’s battery at times when it is most in demand. This will support the growth of renewable energy generation in the UK.
Smart energy innovations, such as smart tariffs and smart charging, could save the UK as much as £40bn between now and 2050, BEIS has said.
Stephen Fitzpatrick, chief executive and founder of OVO, said: "Getting the smart meter rollout right should be the top priority for the Government and the energy sector in the UK right now so it’s encouraging to see the minister here today.
“The smart meter rollout is a huge and complicated programme. However, there’s no question it needs to be done as we can’t build the energy system of the future unless we know accurately how much energy people are using and when.
“OVO is using technology like electric vehicles, smart electric heat and batteries to help lower energy bills for consumers and enable us to use more renewable energy. None of this technology will work without smart metering.
“We welcome the Government’s recent efforts to improve the delivery of smart meters but there is still more work to do.”
More than 400,000 smart meters are being installed by energy suppliers across Great Britain each month. Consumers can call their supplier and book and appointment to have one installed.
More than 500,000 households in the South West have already had a smart meter installed and those still without one could save a collective £50 million if they had a smart meter installed, BEIS said.
A statement added: “If every household in Great Britain got a smart meter, we could save enough energy to power every household in Exeter, Plymouth and Swindon for two years.”