Vehicle to Grid: Your electric car as a power station.

Vehicle to grid technology | OVO Energy

The electric vehicle revolution will do more than reduce carbon emissions. Vehicle-to-grid technology (V2G), can give you ultimate control over your energy, and even make you money. Fancy getting your own mini power station? Then read on. 

What’s ‘vehicle to grid’ technology?

‘Vehicle to grid’ technology, also referred to as 'V2G' enables energy stored in electric vehicles to be fed back into the national electricity network (or 'grid') to help supply energy at times of peak demand. It’s just one technological advancement in a slew of new initiatives like ‘smart charging’ and ‘demand side response’ that are aimed at changing the way individuals, and businesses, use energy in the future. In short: the electric car revolution is tied into a whole new way of consuming energy1

How does this V2G technology benefit me?

We’re hurtling towards a place where ‘two-way’ electric car chargers can enable homeowners with electric cars to sell their energy back to the national network. It’s a smart idea when you consider that over 90% of cars are parked at any one time2 – which is a lot of energy just sitting there doing nothing. This technology will give you the opportunity to manage your energy your way, and potentially become energy self-sufficient, reducing everyone's reliance on energy companies. Get solar panels fitted, then adopt vehicle to grid technology and your home could become a private mini-power station!

What else can vehicle-to-grid technology do?

This game-changing tech is about far more than potentially making EV owners money3, it also plays an important part in helping to ‘balance’ the national electricity network. And it feeds into a national initiative called demand side response (DSR): a programme that aims to rebalance our energy needs around the country by changing how we produce, supply and use energy. 

DSR works on all levels. On an individual scale, smart meters are being rolled out to help homeowners control and reduce their energy use. While on a macro level, businesses and large public sector organisations, are being encouraged to save energy costs, reduce carbon footprints and adopt new ways to use lights, appliances, air-conditioning, and fridges etc. As part of this initiative, they're also being empowered to:

  • Increase their onsite generation of renewables like wind and solar PV
  • Adjust the times they use energy (in order to help national network balance energy demand)
  • And even feed excess energy back to the network. 

What do you mean by ‘balancing the grid’?

We take it for granted that if we flick a switch, our lights will come on. Or our oven will heat up. But the odds are that when we do this, millions of others will be doing the same. ‘Balancing the grid’ is about making sure there’s enough electricity on the network when we all need it, so the country doesn’t ‘blackout’, but not so much that we experience ‘surges’. These occur when excess energy surges into our homes, potentially damaging our equipment or causing electrical fires. 

And it’s not just about satisfying our demand for energy. Getting renewable energy onto the network, while maintaining this ‘balance’ makes for a challenging future. Think about how fickle our weather is and it’s easy to understand how tricky it is to predict how much wind power, for example, might be generated at any one time. Why is this so important? Well, a network that’s flush with renewable energy mean lower carbon emissions which, in turn, helps build a cleaner, greener country for us all. 

As electric cars become ever more popular, and more and more people adopt cheaper off-peak energy tariffs allowing them to charge their cars overnight, we could see nighttimes becoming the new ‘peak demand’ for energy. That’s where another new initiative called ‘smart charging’ will come into its own...

What’s ‘smart charging’? 

Smart charging is the intelligent charging of electric cars4. It’s essentially where energy suppliers incentivise car owners to opt into a programme that allows the supplier to curtail charging when energy demand is particularly high. 

A piece of tech is fitted to the diagnostic port of your electric car, which communicates with your supplier, letting them know whether charging could be cut short at times of high demand. Owners also use an app on their mobiles which will tell the supplier things like; what times and days of the week you need your car to be fully charged by, and whether there are days that you’d like to opt out of the intelligent charging programme altogether – if you’re planning a long journey to visit the in-laws, for instance. 

Smart charging is very much based on mutual benefits. Electric car owners enjoy monetary rewards from the suppliers, along with the feel-good factor that they’re helping to ‘balance the grid’ in order to make way for more renewables. Suppliers, on the other hand, are better able to serve everyone when demand is high. And the knock-on effect is that there will eventually be fewer power plants needed, particularly back-up stations that sell dirtier energy at higher prices to suppliers who can’t fulfil demand without them.  

This all means…

With electric cars and the raft of innovative technology being developed to realise their potential as energy storage systems, the future is bursting with possibility. Cleaner air, smarter homes, energy self-sufficiency. It’s seriously exciting stuff. 

Own an EV, or thinking of buying one?

We can help you charge your electric car everywhere, for less. Our EV Everywhere tariff is designed specially for owners of electric (and plugin hybrid) cars, and comes with fixed energy prices for two years, 100% renewable energy and free membership of Polar Plus, the UK's biggest EV charging network.

Curious about V2G and the future of EVs?

Our exciting new partnership with Nissan is driving forward the future of mobility and energy. If you want to be the first to know about our upcoming smart charging and vehicle-to-grid products, register your interest here and we'll be in touch.



O​VO​ Energy Ltd, registered office 1 Rivergate Temple Quay Bristol, BS1 6ED, company no. 06890795 registered in England and Wales, VAT No. 100119879

Additional terms and conditions
Please see below for full terms and conditions on 33% renewable electricity, 3-5% interest rewards, exit fees and saving claims.


1Monthly cost - Representative monthly direct debit costs based on a non-economy-7, dual-fuel, medium user (3100 kWhs elec. and 12500 kWhs gas) paying in advance by direct debit, including online discount.  All rates correct as of 2/3/2018, but may go up or down.

2Weekly cost - Representative weekly costs based on a non-economy-7, dual-fuel, medium user (3100 kWhs elec. and 12500 kWhs gas).  All rates correct as of 22/11/2017, but may go up or down.

3Pay Monthly Savings claims: Saving based on the estimated annual cost of OVO Two year fixed tariff for a non-economy-7, dual-fuel, medium user (3100 kWhs elec. and 12500 kWhs gas) paying monthly in advance by direct debit, including online discount. Comparisons made against the average of the Big 6 standard variable tariffs with equivalent features. All rates correct as of 2/3/2018.“The Big 6” are British Gas, Scottish Power, SSE, Npower, E.ON and EDF.

4Pay As You Go Savings are based on the average estimated annual costs for new PAYG OVO customers quoted through the OVO website (based on household and/or consumption information provided by those customers), compared to their current supplier and tariff. Comparisons taken between 01/01/2016 and 11/10/16. Incl VAT. Actual savings may vary according to your current supplier or tariff, individual tariff options, household information, consumption and location. 

We include almost twice as much renewable electricity as the national average: At least 33% of electricity in all of our tariffs comes from renewable sources. The national average, according to Ofgem as at March 2014 was 16.7%. For more information please visit this page.

33% of your electricity comes from renewable sources: 33% renewable electricity as standard as of 1st April 2015. Renewable electricity is generated from wind, solar, geothermal, wave, tidal, hydro, biomass, landfill gas, sewage treatment plant gas and biogas.

OVO Interest Rewards: Interest Rewards are paid on credit balances of customers paying by monthly Direct Debit. It is calculated at 3% in your first year, 4% in your second year and 5% in your third year (and every year thereafter) if you pay by Direct Debit. Interest Rewards are paid monthly based on the number of days you’re in credit and the amount left in your account after you’ve paid your bill. Full terms apply:

95% of new customers save when switching to OVO: Savings based on the average estimated annual costs for all new OVO customers quoted through the OVO website, compared to their current supplier and tariff. Comparisons taken between 01/05/2016 and 11/10/16. Incl VAT.

94% of surveyed customers would recommend us: OVO conducted a survey of their customers in between 1st January 2016 and 15th April 2016. Out of 15,312 customers who responded, over 94% rated OVO 6+ when asked 'how likely would you be to recommend us to a friend and family, on a scale of 1 to 10.

uSwitch's Energy Supplier of the Year 2017: OVO energy was voted and awarded  'Energy Supplier of the year' and best for: Overall Customer Satisfaction, Most Likely to be Recommended, Value for Money, Best Deal for You, Customer Service, Billing Services, Energy Efficiency, Meter Services, Online Services, Green Services and Transfer Process. OVO Energy scored a 96% customer satisfaction score.

* EV - Everywhere, full terms and conditions:

* OVO SolarStore (Beta), full terms and conditions:

Pay Monthly unit rates

PAYG unit rates

Read more Read less

Like most websites OVO Energy uses cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on this site. Accept and Close