Green Energy UK customers with smart meters are now being offered a ‘Time of Day Tariff’ that sees prices vary between low and peak periods of electricity demand, in what the energy supplier claims is a first for the UK energy market.
Using smart meter technology, customers on the new TIDE tariff – which launched yesterday – will be charged more for using electricity during peak evening periods compared to rates charged overnight, which the company hopes will encourage better energy demand management in the home.
In particular, the company said the tariff would enable its customers who drive electric vehicles to charge their cars overnight and gain “more control over their electricity bills”. It comes amid fears that the surge in electric vehicle numbers in the UK could put excess pressure on local electricity grids if the cars are charged during periods of peak demand.
Customers with smart meters signing up to the TIDE tariff will pay 4.9p per unit/kWh from 11pm to 6am, which is around 30 per cent less than the standard tariff, according to Green Energy UK.
Customers can then help the environment by reducing their demand for power during the peak time of 4pm-7pm on weekday evenings, the company added.
Doug Stewart, Green Energy UK chief executive, said the new TIDE tariff was about customers “being savvy and smart” and that simply offering the cheapest flat rate energy deal was neither profitable nor sustainable.
“The mantra of ‘switch to the lowest tariff’ has done nothing for energy efficiency and encourages higher use by those who can’t necessarily afford it,” said Stewart in a statement. “The introduction of a Time of Day Tariff is the first step into the new world of energy infrastructure; a step which puts consumers in charge, lets them take control and decide when they use energy and what that means to their bill.”
He added: “Choosing when you do certain things around the price of the electricity, like when’s the best time to charge your EV, is an obvious way to control your consumption and in turn your bill.”
It follows a trial project launched last April in the Cornish town of Wadebridge by Wadebridge Renewable Energy Network (WREN), where residents were given access to cheaper electricity prices during the sunniest parts of the day when solar power generation is highest.
WREN, in collaboration with Western Power Distribution (WPD), Tempus Energy and sustainable energy industry group RegnSW, hoped the trial would help to better match local supply of clean energy with nearby demand.