“I enjoyed driving the electric car so much, not to mention the dramatic reduction in running costs. I got rid of the Land Rover and Alfa Romeo, neither of which had moved out of the garage in a year, followed by the motorcycle a year ago.”
When Leo bought the updated 40kWh Nissan Leaf two years later, he decided to make the car work for him as more than just a way to get around. Through V2G (vehicle-to-grid) technology, Leo now makes money from his car when it’s sitting in the garage.
“I had my V2G charger installed in the garage. As well as a £75 credit for initial sign-up, I get 30p for every kWh I export to the grid, which is a profit of more than 10p for every kWh.”
Leo’s taking part in the V2G trial – a collaboration between OVO Energy, Nissan and 2 other companies. With the trial, Nissan Leaf owners can export energy stored in their vehicle back to the national grid – and get paid for it, too. Current energy plans pay 26p/kWh (solar) and 30p/kWh (non-solar) for people’s energy exports. So it’s a good deal for the grid, and for V2G trial participants like Leo.
“The improvements to household efficiency reduced my running costs by a third. However, I was continuing to pay my old rates. This meant that I was overpaying, so I now have a tidy sum in credit – which OVO Energy pays me interest on (1). Also, at the end of the trial, I can pay just 1p to keep the £5,000 charger.”
More cash in your pocket
Earning money through your car might sound too good to be true, but Leo’s been pleasantly surprised about the financial perks of V2G.
“The credit for the energy you export is paid a month in arrears. Last month, the credit exceeded the amount I spent in gas and electric for the house and car – this meant I received a credit of £28. The credits and interest will leave my payments over a year in advance, so my gas, electricity and fuel bills for the car will all be free.”
Want to know how much you could save by taking part in our V2G trial? Our team can take you through our savings calculator to help you estimate how much you could save based on your current energy use. If you want to learn more about the trial and how we calculate your savings, give us a call on 0330 102 7423 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
V2G couldn’t be simpler
Using your new vehicle and V2G charger is a doddle. Take it from Leo.
“When I’m not using my car, it’s in the garage and plugged into the grid. This means electricity can flow both ways – topping up when there’s lots of electricity and exporting to the grid when there’s not.”
Your V2G charger gives you total control. You can personalise how much energy you want to export, and how much energy you want to keep in your battery. It’s easy to set up and change anytime with the Kaluza web app. Leo uses the app to set when he needs to have 100% battery charge available.
“The charger software calculates how long it will take to charge to 100%, and stops exporting at this point.”
Leo’s also discovered a hidden benefit of charging the electric vehicle.
“The heat in the battery not only gives me a warm and toasty garage to work in throughout the year, but also ensures the car is both warmer in winter and at the optimum temperature for efficiency. My consumption has improved from 3.5 miles per kWh to 4.5 miles per kWh.”
One big concern of V2G critics is the potential impact of cycling the battery charge level on such a regular basis. However, Warwick University research suggests it actually has a positive effect. Leo’s been keeping close tabs on his car battery health.
“I’ve monitored the battery daily (initially – I soon got sick of it!) and compared with previous running, the battery appears to be degrading at a slower pace. The constant charging and discharging seems to be good for the battery’s health.”
Just plug in
Although V2G is a planet-saving technical marvel, your part is simple. Just plug in.
“There’s nothing else to do other than plug the car in every time you get in and unplug it when you go out. Everything else is done for you.”
If you’re a Nissan Leaf owner and interested in joining our V2G trial, head to ovoenergy.com/v2g and we’ll set you up. It’s your chance to join Leo and over one million OVO members on their journey to zero carbon – simply by charging your car.
1 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.