How does having an electric vehicle impact your energy bill?

In 2030, every new car sold should be an electric one (source: NRC).
The next few years we expect an increase in tax and policy incentives for zero-emission transportation. For an increasing number of households, having a plug-in EV is becoming a viable option.

We know that charging a car with electricity is cheaper than filling it up with gas. But what does owning an EV and charging it at home mean for your energy bill? How does its consumption compare to your homes electricity usage?

Home charging

A big advantage of having an electric car is that it can be charged from your house. This is slower than fast-charging in specific public charging stations, but charging your car at home is convenient and relatively cheap. Do you get ennoyed when one of the family members forgets to turn the light off? Well, chances are that your car will become the number 1 energy consumer!

Placing a fast-charging installation at home is not possible yet. Home electricity circuits do not have the capacity that is necessary for fast-charging. If you want to charge your electric vehicle at home, it will take a few hours. When using a regular power plug, charging a car battery will take approximately 6 hours (depending on the type of battery and the ampere of the circuit).

How does having an electric car impact your energy bill?

Regularly charging your electric vehicle at home will have a substantial impact on your energy bill. Here’s an example: An electric car with a 24kWh capacity battery and an average consumption of 0,2 kWh/km has an operating range of 120 km. With electricity prices being 20ct/kWh, charging this battery will cost €4,80. This equals 4 eurocent per kilometer. This is, at the time of writing, less than half of what a kilometer would cost in a gas-fuelled car. Let’s say that a person drives 20.000 kilometers per year. This would mean an increase of €800 on the energy bill.

In the Netherlands, the average family energy bill was €1.750 in 2018 (source: Milieucentraal)

Combined with the calculation of the average electricity costs per year for at-home charging, a household with a medium sized EV would end up having to pay €2550 on energy costs (gas and electricity). That would mean that the electric car would be responsible for a third of the total energy budget. If you’d drive more than the average 20.000 per year, or if you’d have a heavier EV, this number will increase further.

 

An electric car in Aurums energy app

One of the Aurum employees purchased an electric car recently: a Fiat 500 electric with 23 kWh. The app shows us that his home electricity usage went from an average 130 kWh per month to almost 500 kWh per month. This is a substantial increase in electricity consumption.

screenshot of Aurums energy app

In the combined energy bill (including heating) of this app-user we see that the EV accounts for 30% of the total energy bill.

Our team member is very interested in monitoring the costs of charging his EV. So far, it has been far less than what he used to pay for driving his previous gas-fuelled car. He now averages 7 km per Kwh. That is really efficient.

When you choose to charge your car at a public charging station, tariffs are higher. Electricity at a charging station currently costs around 35 cents per kWh.

These electricity costs are directly paid for and naturally don’t show on your homes’ energy invoice. If you opt for always charging at public charging stations your domestic energy bill won’t be affected.

 

The future

In Aurums eyes, the developments in electric transportation will give way to some interesting new shifts:

  • Double rates will become relevant again. Switching on your laundry machine at night (at discount rate) isn’t going to do much. However, charging your car battery could be significant given the capacity.
  • Monitoring for-work and private usage. If you use your EV strictly for work it makes sense to add a separate fuse box in your home. That will allow you to separate the electricity you use for mobility, and for living. This is required in the Dutch tax forms.

We expect an increase in demand for monitoring domestic energy currents. Also: dynamic control of electric appliances – with the car being the main consumer – will become very relevant. Aurum is proud to play a role in this development.

Take note: energy prices fluctuate. It is expected that energy rates will decrease the next few years. However, tariffs and distribution taxes will increase. It remains difficult to predict whether the calculation in this article still is accurate next year.

 

IoT helps residents gain control over energy at home

We are moving towards a decentralized energy infrastructure. Consumers become producers, neighbors form local energy cooperatives and companies generate their own renewable energy. These developments demand a more advanced and connected energy system. Utilities and grid operators increasingly feel the need for realtime data in order to facilitate the growing percentage of renewables in our energy mix. Internet of Things can contribute a great deal in this transition.  

Although grid operators and suppliers can benefit from integrating IoT in their infrastructure, the biggest gains might be for residents. According to Renewable Energy Magazine, IoT developments in the energy field will change how consumers interact with energy and will empower them to minimize energy costs. Households will be better informed about the energy currents in their house, which will allow them to optimize efficiency. “Residential customers could potentially benefit the most from these [IoT] technologies.”

Source: Renewable Energy Magazine, 2019

So how does Aurum use IoT to help improve residential energy efficiency? IoT allows us to perform measurements in charging stations, gas meters, batteries, heat meters and other energy sources, and communicate realtime data back to end users via an app and to suppliers’ databases. We connect the energy data to the backend system of utilities to help them automate billing and forecasting. This results in lower operational costs and increased customer satisfaction.

Specifically, Aurum uses Narrowband IoT (NB IoT) in its solutions. The advantage of NB IoT is the strong reception. Even energy sources in hard-to-reach places such as basements can now easily be tracked. Secondly, the energy consumption of the NB IoT devices is very low. That allows for our measuring devices to be small, energy efficient and low maintenance.

NB IoT truly is a welcome communication technology for Aurum. Previously our measurement units were dependent on the wifi network of the household. Because Aurum wanted to have a closed loop and a higher data accuracy, we started experimenting with new IoT technologies. Narrowband IoT in collaboration with Vodafone turned out to be the best solution. We work together with our partner Vodafone to further deploy NB IoT in the residential energy market. Our sensors on the energy meters are connected through NB IoT and send high-frequency data to our dataplatform and back to the end-user through our app. This realtime information about their homes’ energy usage helps residents to gain an understanding of what happens in the building – based on real data, not assumptions. This allows them to make data-driven decisions on optimizing their home and behavior in order to establish a higher energy efficiency and a lower energy bill.

IoT in residential energy

Aurum sees a big opportunity for IoT in the residential energy market. Currently, visualizing energy data in an attractive way to help influence consumer behavior and to provide tools to cut home energy wastage is key. However, in the future, processes could be more automated. Aurum CEO Marc de Beijer: “Aurum and Vodafones’ solutions enable us to visualize energy consumption of appliances and homes in a simple, meaningful way. Eventually, we will further connect this data on our platform in order to make control possible. We’re switching from helping residents to understand their homes’ energy, to helping them control it.”

As an example: A washing machine can be automatically switched on at a moment when solar production peaks and dynamic energy prices are lowest. In the nearby future this will immensely shape the role of utilities and energy suppliers.

Marc: “If we do our job correctly and connect and enrich the way energy sources work together in the home, consumers don’t have to worry about from who, when and at what rate they receive energy. That will all be automated and optimized through connected data.

IoT Frontrunners by Vodafone

Since Aurum is one of the few companies in the Netherlands that deploys IoT on a large scale, Vodafone Business did an interview with Aurum Founder and CEO Marc de Beijer. You can watch the short documentary here (in Dutch).

Curious what Aurum can do for your organization? View our recent work here.