When selecting a home charger for your EV, you’ll typically have the option of choosing a ‘dumb’ charging unit, or a more modern smart charger. The home EV charger that we offer – the Ohme Home Pro – is a leading smart charger.

‘Smart charging’ refers to a system that optimises charging through data connections. It provides a user with the ability to connect their charger to a smartphone through Wi-Fi or 3G/4G, and allows the owner to monitor their charging, check the power being delivered, and review charging statistics. However, the benefits of smart charging extend far further than just being connected to an app on your phone – smart charging is also about optimising your charging… and maximising your savings.

In 2022 one in six of all new vehicles sold in the UK was a plug-in electric vehicle*. And, as EV adoption in the UK continues at pace, the UK Government is keen to encourage smart charging among EV users, as smart charging is widely regarded to be a ‘win-win-win’. This is because: the electricity used when smart charging is typically cleaner and greener; drivers pay less to use it; and – as smart charging helps manage demand on the electricity grid – overall system costs can be reduced, bringing down prices for everyone. Our smart charging guide helps explain.

Please note, the Ohme Home Pro smart charger does require a strong 3G/4G mobile phone signal to work. You’ll still be able to use your charger without mobile signal, but you won’t be able to benefit from Ohme’s smart charging capabilities.


How do I save money using a smart charger?

The best way to save money is to use an electricity tariff that offers periods of cheaper electricity throughout the day or night. There are plenty of options out there, so do have a look at what your current electricity provider has available, or consider switching to a new provider to run your EV for as little as possible.

Here are the main types of tariff you should be looking out for:

  • Time-of-use tariffs. With a time-of-use tariff, electricity prices are lower at certain times of the day when fewer people are using electricity. This encourages customers to use electricity at off-peak times, helping to balance the electricity grid. These cheaper periods are typically 5-6 hour blocks overnight, so you can benefit from these tariffs by charging your EV vehicle while you sleep. Choose carefully though, as these tariffs can sometimes have a higher day or peak power rate to look out for. EDF, E.ON and British Gas are among the providers that offer this time-of-use tariffs with cheaper night time rates.

  • Type-of-use tariffs. A type-of-use tariff offers electricity for lower prices when it’s used for certain purposes, like charging an EV. Type-of-use tariffs are also a strong choice for EV drivers, as they allow will allow you to top up at cheaper rates, at any time of day or night. OVO and Intelligent Octopus are among the providers that offer special type-of-use tariffs for EV charging.

  • Dynamic tariff / hourly pricing. If you feel confident in smart charging, you can choose it all yourself with a dynamic tariff! Dynamic tariffs charge a different rate for every hour in the day. Typically, daytime and nighttime usage will be cheapest. If you have multiple low carbon technologies at home (like solar and a heat pump) and a home energy management system, this could be the best tariff for you. Flexible Octopus is currently the only tariff out there for this.


How do I use the Ohme Home Pro smart charging app to help me save money on charging?

Ohme’s clever smart charging app can use your tariff information to work out the cheapest times for you to charge. When you buy a Home EV charger from Watson Fuels, your installer will show you how to download and access the Ohme app as part of your install. But, once installed, here’s how you can use Ohme’s app to help save money on your home charging:

  • Enabling a Price Cap. Enabling a Price Cap in the Ohme app limits your charging to a certain price. This means that your car will only start charging when the price drops below a certain price, and it will stop charging as soon as the price increases. It’s important to note that limiting your charging with a Price Cap may result in you not achieving your charge target if there isn’t enough time to charge to your desired amount.

  • Enable the Save Money setting. In the ‘My Charger’ section of the Ohme app, you’ll find Charge Schedules which houses three Charge Preferences; Save Money, Optimise for Battery Life, and Favour Green Energy. With ‘Save Money’ enabled, Ohme will use your selected tariff to charge as much as possible at the cheapest rates, but will charge outside of this if necessary to achieve your charge target.


How do I use the greenest energy with a smart charger?

Smart chargers typically offer users the ability to charge their vehicle using lower-carbon electricity, enabling users to access the greenest electricity available.

For Ohme Home Pro users, the Ohme server is constantly communicating with the electricity grid, allowing you to charge when carbon intensity is at its lowest – you’ll just make sure you enable the ‘Favour Green Energy’ feature in your Charge Preferences.

The Ohme charger can adjust energy intake according to peaks and lows in electricity demand. When more renewable energy is being generated, due to more sun on solar panels or more wind on wind turbines, Ohme can start charging to fill up your car with that excess energy that can’t otherwise be stored on the grid. When lots of households and businesses are using electricity at the same time, Ohme can stop charging so that fossil fuel generators don’t need to be fired up to keep up with demand.


How do I look after my EV’s battery with a smart charger?

EV batteries are still pretty expensive, so you’ll want to make sure you take good care of your battery so that you can get the most out of it. Here are some of our top tips:

  1. Don’t overcharge. Most manufacturers recommend that you let your battery run down to around 20% and charge up to 80% where possible. Keeping the battery within this range helps to maintain the battery for longer. You’ll rarely need to use the full range of your EV in your day-to-day driving anyway, so topping up to 80% should be sufficient.

  2. Minimise rapid charging. Rapid chargers are really convenient when you’re out and about and need to top up quickly, but over time they can degrade your battery much faster than an AC home charger. Try to do the majority of your charging at home to keep your battery in good shape.

  3. Use Ohme’s Optimise for Battery Life feature. If you’ve already downloaded the Ohme app, you might have noticed we have a battery optimisation feature. When enabled, this allows Ohme to charge at a slower rate (if there is plenty of time to achieve your target), and delay charging towards the end of your charge session so that the battery is sitting at a higher percentage for less time.


What if I just need to charge now?

If you simply need to plug in and charge right away, you can do so my switching to Max Charge. Max Charge temporarily disables all of Ohme’s smart features and charges your EV as quickly as possible until it is full (or you un-plug). To enable Max Charge, first you’ll need to plug in your EV. Then, click Change Target on the Dashboard of the Ohme app and slide the toggle next to ‘Switch to Max Charge’. You’ll be prompted to confirm your choice and then you’ll notice the Ohme dashboard switches from blue to red.

Get the Ohme Home Pro installed for as little as £36.49 per month with Watson Fuels.

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*Source: Electric Vehicle Smart Charging Action Plan, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

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