A Guide to Green EV Charging at Home and Workplace

A guide exploring environmentally-friendly electric vehicle (EV) charging options for workplace and home charging.

Last updated: Apr 10, 2024 6 min read

Both home and workplace charging are environmentally-friendly charging options for EV drivers. Home chargers offer you more control than charging at work because you can choose your own energy provider and let a smart charger handle charging schedules to optimise energy efficiency.

Green EV charging made easy

We believe that charging shouldn’t cost the earth – in both the monetary and environmental sense. Using renewable energy to charge your EV at home is the best way to maximise the environmental benefits of battery-powered driving while saving money.

You’re likely already aware of green energy tariffs, meaning providers who use renewable sources to generate energy. But there are a few more ways to keep your EV running on green energy while saving you a pretty penny.

How to charge your EV using renewable energy

You can make your EV charging greener by using sustainably sourced, renewable energy and avoiding times that strain the electricity grid. We’ll explain three ways to do this:

  • Solar charging

  • Smart charging and scheduling

  • Vehicle-to-grid (V2G)

Solar charging

You could bypass the grid and directly tap into one of the most well-known sources for renewable energy – the sun. Whether you already have a domestic home solar system or you’re considering investing in one, there are plenty of home chargers that can be integrated and can save you money while charging.

The Solo home charger is compatible with most home solar systems. For more advice, read our guide on how to use solar panels to charge your electric car.

Smart charging and scheduling

Most EV home chargers are smart chargers, meaning they come with plenty of features that help you manage and control your charging to your benefit.

Using smart charging, you’re able to charge at times of low demand on the electricity grid, when prices are low (if you’re on a tariff with dynamic pricing), and you’re scheduled to need a charged battery.

Smart charging helps you make your driving even more sustainable overall and save you money. Learn more about the benefits and tips on how to use a smart EV charger in our guide.

Vehicle-to-grid (V2G) charging

The core principle of V2G charging is to use your EV’s battery like an energy storage unit. It’ll feed electricity back into the grid when you have more energy than you need and demand is high. It’s a promising concept that could reduce the reliance on fossil fuels to prop up supply during times of peak demand on the grid.

But why would you do it? Well, you’d be able to sell surplus electricity for more than you bought it for, meaning you can earn some extra money.

However, adoption of V2G is currently limited. There are a few electric cars like the Nissan Leaf and home chargers that can operate the two-way flow of electricity that is needed to make V2G work, but compatibility is still generally low.

Learn more about how V2G works and what the benefits are in our vehicle-to-grid guide.

Do all EV chargers use renewable energy?

No, not every EV charger uses renewable energy only. Most EV chargers will use electricity from the National Grid, which is often referred to as the grid or electricity grid. It’s the system supplying energy to homes, public buildings, factories and other places across the UK.

The grid supplies a mix of renewable and fossil fuel energy. In 2022, 51% of electricity in the grid (more than ever) came from renewable sources such as:

  • Solar

  • Wind

  • Hydro

  • Biomass

So whether you choose a renewable energy tariff or a conventional tariff at home, you’ll receive the same grid mix.

The key difference is that for a renewable tariff, your provider will match the electricity you consume with the same amount of green energy it produces, making it the far better option for the environment and home charging.

Generating your own renewable energy

You could power your EV home charger with 100% of renewable energy if it was connected to a domestic solar system. The Solo home chargers and a number of other available chargers on the market allow you to do this.

Check out our guide on how to use solar panels to charge your electric car for more information.

What about workplace chargers?

The type of energy workplace chargers use depends on the energy tariff the business has chosen. If it’s a green tariff, workplace chargers will use renewable energy supplied by the grid. This means they use a general mix from the grid, which contains electricity from renewable and fossil fuel sources. However, the energy provider balances this by supplying the exact amount of energy sold into the grid from renewables like solar, wind, hydro or biomass.

The environmental impact of home charging

If done right, home charging has no environmental impact. It can be the most eco-friendly way to charge your EV.

Home charging gives you the most control over where your energy is sourced from. Just as you want to know where your food comes from, knowing if your energy is generated from green or fossil fuel sources is essential.

Charging at home also means you don’t have to make any trips to a charging station to top up your battery. It saves you time and energy. Simply keep your EV plugged in overnight and let the smart features control the charging process and schedule, so it’s done when demand on the grid is low and before you get in the car to drive. This way the environmental impact of home charging is virtually none.

The environmental impact of workplace charging

The environmental impact of workplace charging is tricky to assess. There is currently no public data on the environmental sustainability of every company registered in the UK. However, with a push toward a greener future, we’re confident that many businesses have or are moving to eco-friendly tariffs to power their operations and workplace charging with 100% renewable energy.

If your workplace offers EV charging and it’s not clear where the energy is sourced from, you can contact your employer to find out.