Smart Plugs — Bulb Community

Smart Plugs

edited December 2018 in Everything but Bulb
After reading the "How Useful Are Smart Plugs" blog on this site, I've decided to share my experience with the Elgato Eve Bluetooth smart plug. It cost £44.95 from John Lewis

I bought it because I wanted to know how much it was costing me each night to charge the battery in my new Golf GTE plugin Hybrid car. I researched lots of smart plugs with energy monitoring features. The Eve had a simple looking iPhone app which was really easy to use. I had been plugging the Golf's home charger into the weatherproof socket I normally use to plug in my lawn mower. I had reservations about someone stealing the charger from my driveway. So now I plug the charger into a socket inside my garage and use the Eve smart plug to turn the charger off when its not charging the car. Eve was showing that the charger draws between 2 and 3 Watts when its not charging my car, so it means I can turn the charger off without opening the garage door every time. Eve is compatible with Apple Home Kit so as well as the Eve app I can turn the charger on and off using Siri commands. All in all its a great way to control my Golf's battery charger and see how much energy its costing me to charge it. If you are interested it costs 85p in electricity to commute the 20 miles to/from work. This would cost in excess of £3 in petrol.

Now I've signed up to Bulb to supply my electricity and gas I can rest assured that the electricity used to charge my Golf GTE is green too.


  • PeterG76 said:

    Eve was showing that the charger draws between 2 and 3 Watts when its not charging my car, so it means I can turn the charger off without opening the garage door every time.

    Thanks for the interesting comments!

    Regarding the above, do you not think it will take a very long time to recover the £44.95 cost with a 3 Watt standby saving? How much does the plug itself require? Probably more than 3 Watts I'd guess so the saving is probably negative in any case. Also, are you sure it's definitely rated for 10 amps continuous? I'd be hesitant to use something like this in line with my EV charger. I did look at their website but actual technical specifications seem hard to come by.

    Personally I'd have put that £45 towards getting a proper EVSE wallbox installed. My 7kW Pod Point only cost me £95 after the OLEV grant. it charges my Leaf much faster than the "granny" charger and it also includes full energy usage information via the Pod Point app, providing you connect your Pod Point to your home WiFi. It might be a bit more expensive for your GTE, since Nissan also make a contribution towards the wallbox installation. I don't know if VW have any similar contributions.
  • Thanks for your comments, Hooloovoo.

    According to Elgatos Eve specification it’s max current rating is 13A. While charging my Golf GTE draws 9.5 amps which is roughly 2.2KW. This drops to 1 KW when the battery is almost full. It is possible to reduce the amount of current the Golf draws when charging.

    Granted I cannot tell how much the Eve uses in standby but I like to turn off the granny charging cable to hopefully increase the life of its control box.

    As far as I’m aware VW don’t contribute to the cost of a home charger and I feel field my out hundreds of pounds bds just to save an hour in charging time is not cost effective. Besides I set my Golf to charge after midnight when demand in the grid is lower. So a three hour charge from flat makes no difference.
  • edited January 3

    Same car here B)

    There's a £500 grant available from the Gov which the GTE qualifies for. So if you plan to go Full EV in the future and not move property, it does make sense to have a 32Amp (GTE will only pull 16Amp) charge point fitted now.

    I had a podpoint fitted but I plan to use my tp-link smart plug with the granny charger in the summer, which is programmed to turn on/off as solar production reaches/drops to certain levels. I should have probably fitted a zappi rather than podpoint..but I didn't have solar installed at the time.

  • @phproxy

    Wow, I didnt realise the tp-link smart plug could be programmed to turn on/off based on solar production. I've seen on the Fully Charged Youtube channel that the zappi charger is good at controlling solar charging to EVs.

    My employer is about to move to new premises that has solar panels and two EV charging points. So soon I will be able to charge my car using free solar electricity while at work.

    Do you have a battery installed with your solar panels. If I installed solar panels I think I'd probably have a Tesla Powerwall installed so I could charge my car overnight from electricity collected from the solar panels.

  • @PeterG76

    No battery. I looked into it but it doesn't make financial sense for me right now..

    To control the tplink I've just a raspberry pi with CT clips and a simple script to read the values. Then I've used this guys script to change plug states locally, without touching their cloud servers.

    So if the exported power gets above X Watts, it runs the following, with test_.csh been his script from above.


    ./test_.csh on

    rm plugstate.txt
    cat << EOF > plugstate.txt

    Then if import goes above Y watts, it turns off.

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