If you have an economy 7 meter installed in your home this means you get charged a lower rate during off peak times of the day. Here’s how it works:
Generally homes are not fitted with economy 7 and if you want this you’ll have to get your meter changed. The economy 7 times do vary slightly by region but are generally between 11.30pm and 8.30am each day. People use this tariff if most of their electricity is used during the night or if you can manage your household people programme their water heating and washing machines to come on during this time to take advantage of the cheaper rates.
What is economy 7 ?
The names comes around because this cheaper tariff is available for 7 hours during the night time and is charged at a lower rate than standard electricity.
Electric storage heating and economy 7
Most times it’s used where there is electric only installed in a home, generally high rised flats and many new homes so economy 7 storage heaters heat away during the night and are on all day (as they heat a brick like stone within them and it lets heat out over time until they get cold). Sometimes this is difficult to manage because you don’t know what the weather might be like the next day plus heating is generally required when you are getting ready in the morning or in the evenings whilst you are at home.
Economy 7 times
The specific times when the cheaper tariff operates varies around the country as follows by region (although these are 8 and 9 hour slots) :
Although these times are for 8 or 9 hour periods normally the cheaper rates kick in at 1.30am.
Reading your economy 7 meter
Each economy 7 meter has two sets of figures for the day and night consumption but some meter reading companies get these mixed up so you may end up paying the wrong rate for the right usage. Therefore whenever you get a bill you should check to ensure that the readings are correct and you have been charged correctly for your electric usage.
Who offers economy 7 tariffs ?
All the major energy suppliers can offer these types of tariffs which you can see when you check prices on their websites or a comparison website. One thing to check when you use these types of rates is that the day time rate can sometimes be double the night time rate so it’s a tariff for use only if most of the electricity your home uses is at night otherwise your bills may be much more expensive than even a standard tariff.
If you want to move to economy 7 then ….
If you don’t have an economy 7 meter in your home (although over 6 million houses in the UK do have such a meter) then you can ask your utility provider to install one for you when you switch tariffs although they may charge you for this service.