Economy 7 Electricity Heating Meter Times Explained
If you have an Economy 7 meter installed in your home, you get charged a lower rate during off-peak times of the day. Here’s a detailed explanation of how it works:
UK homes usually have single-rate rather than Economy 7 meters; if you want a day and night tariff, you’ll need to change your meter. The Economy 7 times vary slightly by region but are generally between 11.30pm and 8.30am each day. In some rare cases, there are economy 10 meters offering 10 off-peak hours per day.
People use this tariff if most of their electricity gets used during the night or they can manage their household electricity use more efficiently. People programme their water heating, washing machines and other appliances to come on during this time to take advantage of the cheaper rates.
What is Economy 7?
The name comes about because the cheaper tariff is available for seven hours at night and then charged at a lower rate than standard electricity.
Electric Storage Heating and Economy 7
Economy 7 meters are most effective where a home has only electric installed. In these cases, electricity storage heaters heat during the night and release their energy during the day.
They heat a brick-like stone within the unit, and the appliance lets out heat 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. Heating is also usually required when you are getting ready in the morning or in the evenings while at home.
Electric Vehicle Charging
With the popularity of electric vehicles (EV) comes additional tariff options. Most energy companies now offer stand-alone EV pricing that incorporates cheap electricity during the seven hours. You may be able to switch to one of these tariffs and take advantage of charging your vehicle for close to 5p /kWh!
Economy 7 Times
The specific times when the cheaper tariff operates vary by region as follows. These are usually eight and nine-hour slots.
- Between 11.30pm and 8.30am – Eastern, East Midlands, London, Midlands, ScottishPower,
- Between 11.00pm and 8.00am – Manweb,
- between 12.00am and 8.00am – Norweb, SWALEC, SWEB
- between 11.30pm and 1.30am and then between 3.30am and 8.30am – Seeboard
- between 11.30pm and 7.30am – Southern Electricity
- between 12.30am and 8.30am – Yorkshire
Although these times are for 8 or 9 hour periods, normally the cheaper rates start at 1.30am.
Reading Your Economy 7 Meter
Each Economy 7 meter has two sets of figures for day and night consumption.
Some meter reading companies get these figures mixed up, so you may end up paying the wrong rate for the correct 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 daytime rate can sometimes be double the nighttime rate.
These tariffs are most suitable if most of the electricity your home uses is at night, otherwise your bills may be more expensive than even a standard tariff.
If You Want to Move to Economy 7, Then Make The Switch!
If you don’t have an Economy 7 meter in your home, you can request your utility provider to install one for you when you switch tariffs. They may charge you for this service. Currently, over 6 million houses in the UK have such a meter.