Citizens Advice response to call for evidence on the role of Vehicle-to-X Energy Technologies in a Net Zero Energy System
We welcome the opportunity to respond to this consultation. As the statutory consumer advocate for GB energy consumers, Citizens Advice has unique insight about consumers' emerging problems with and barriers to getting their homes ready for net zero.
As the consultation notes, flexibility will be a key way of meeting Britains net-zero targets, in a cost-effective way. The potential for electric vehicles (EVs) to contribute to a flexible energy system goes beyond charging them when renewable energy is both plentiful and cheap. The next step is to store and export energy from an EV back to a system to be used elsewhere - whether that's a home (V2H) or a building (V2B) such as a business or back to the electricity grid (V2G). This is called V2X, where “X” stands for everything, and is the umbrella for all forms of this technology. V2X technologies, alongside other demand-side response technologies, have the potential to make a significant contribution to achieving net zero.
In 2022, the government plans to set out a regulatory approach towards flexibility service providers and other load controlling companies. It’s important that the regulation protects consumers and creates a market that enables innovation and incentivises people to engage with confidence. Citizens Advice research shows that consumers understand in principle the positive impact of V2X services, both for the energy system as a whole and its ability to save them money on their energy bills. However, it is clear that much more work is needed to ensure people feel confident engaging with these services. Concerns include the complexity of offers, unclear costs and financial risk, being left without charge, and being locked in to unfavourable arrangements. It is vital that these and other risks are addressed proactively, to ensure that positive customer outcomes encourage others to adopt these technologies.