Do I need a smart meter to get an EV tariff?

BLOG Smart meter EV Tariff

Smart meters for an EV tariff.

If you’ve switched or are in the process of switching to an electric vehicle (EV), a hearty ‘Well done!’ It’s one of the best moves you can make – for the environment, but also in the long term, your pocket. That's because EVs have so far proven cheaper to run than an equivalent petrol or diesel model.1

If you haven’t already, you’re probably going to look into the best-value way to keep your vehicle charged up and ready to go, with a home charger and appropriate tariff. 

What is an electric vehicle tariff?

It differs from the conventional kind of energy tariffs, which probably supply the electricity to wherever you live. EV tariffs are designed specifically to suit EV drivers who charge at home and especially focusing on charging overnight or ‘off-peak’.

As a rule, EV tariffs fall into two categories: 

  • A “dynamic two-way tariff”, with different unit prices for peak and cheaper off peak charging.

  • A “single-rate tariff”, with consistent pricing 24 hours a day. These are less common nowadays, and whilst they won’t get you a big discount during the off peak, they may provide a single discounted rate, or other benefits such as bill credit.2 

Get the lowdown on finding the best EV charging prices.

If you’re thinking of buying an electric vehicle (EV), or you’ve already made the switch, you’ll want to know the cost of charging it. Check out this explainer video.

Could an EV tariff help save me money?

It certainly could. If you plan to charge your electric car overnight when you’re less likely to be using it, the right EV energy tariff could save you money on your electricity bill. That’s because, unlike a single rate tariff, it will supply electricity at a lower rate per unit during the small hours when there’s less demand. Think of it like an Economy 7 tariff, just for your car. 

But in case you see yourself getting out of bed to switch on your charger at 2am, don’t worry – you can schedule your charging time in advance. Depending on the tariff you choose, you can do it via your mobile using something similar to our E.ON Home app. Many new EVs also give you the option to do it through their infotainment system – but either way, you’re assured of efficient electric vehicle charging, and a peaceful night’s sleep.

Do I need a smart meter for EV charging?

Whilst you don’t need one to have an EV charger installed, a smart meter is the key to unlocking the benefits of EV tariffs and making the most of those lovely, lower overnight charging rates. 

It also means you can say goodbye to estimated bills, because with a smart meter your bill can be calculated down to the last penny. 

Can I get an EV tariff without a smart meter?

Most, if not all EV energy tariffs will require you to have a smart meter. This makes sense, because the purpose of a smart meter is to tell your energy supplier how much you’re using – and just as importantly, when. That means they can be sure to bill you the cheaper, off peak price for electricity that comes with your EV tariff when you charge up overnight. 

Over 5 million smart meters are now benefiting our customers, and if you don’t have one already you can get one for free. It will only capture and store data about your energy use every half hour, and nothing else. Your data is completely safe, because it’s handled in full compliance with data protection legislation and your supplier’s privacy policy. 

If you’re worried about this, or any of the myths you may have heard about smart meters, our mythbusting guide to smart meters can help put your mind at rest. You can also read about what other E.ON Next customers have to say about their smart meters.

Smart meter customers have their say.

See what our smart meter customers say about their experience with smart meters. Meet Elizabeth & David who call their smart meter a 'brain in a box' and they use it to better monitor how much they spend on their energy.

The benefits of smart meters for EV charging.

A smart meter means you’ll have access to a home EV tariff, which is one of the most economical ways to charge your electric vehicle and it’s better value than plugging into a public charging station. And far more convenient. Just park up when you get home, plug in your EV, and you’ll be all ready to go in the morning.

Smart meters also live up to their name, by the way they can distinguish between different types of electricity usage, like regular household consumption and electric vehicle charging. This means that when you plug in your electric vehicle to charge, the smart meter can identify it as a separate entity and record the energy usage specifically for your vehicle.

Since you’ve almost certainly opted for an EV because they’re better for the environment, you can keep track of your energy use and build better habits at home. By charging your EV at night, you’re helping to reduce strain on the National Grid during peak hours, leading to a more efficient energy system.

Home charging for your electric car.

At E.ON Next, we offer a choice of attractive home chargers. They can all be used in conjunction with an EV tariff for cheaper overnight charging rates – like our very own Next Drive tariff. With that, you can count on:

  • Lower-priced electricity, 6.9p per kWh, when you charge between 12 and 7am.4

  • 100% renewable electricity at no extra cost.

  • Fixed energy prices for one year.

  • No exit fees.

All in all, by combining the benefits of a smart meter with an electric car tariff, like Next Drive, you could reduce your electricity bills and your carbon footprint.

Feel the Community power.

The E.ON Next Community is a space for customers just like you, to share experiences and offer advice. Find support or suggest your own energy topics, plus get involved in discussions on the latest energy news.

Join the conversation



3Average cost to charge based on an electricity rate of 75.1p/kWh at a non-subscription public charger v maximum domestic rate of 28.62p/kWh under Ofgem's January 2024 price cap

4Next Drive Fixed V2 offers fixed prices overnight EV charging 6.9p/kWh between 12am and 7am versus Next Flex standard variable tariff at 24.499p/kWh.

Published 17/04/2024