What is economy 7?
Economy 7 is a specific type of energy plan which gives you cheaper rates at night and more expensive rates during the day.
The ‘7’ stands for the number of hours at nighttime when the cheaper rate is available. These tariffs are intended primarily for people with storage heaters which are charged up at night and then release their heat in the day. So households with storage heaters or if you often use appliances like dishwashers or washing machines overnight, having an economy 7 meter could reduce your energy bills.
What is an economy 7 meter?
In order for you to use your cheaper hours with your economy 7 plan, you will need to have an economy 7 meter installed. Many people believe that electricity is automatically cheaper at night time, however, this is not always the case. If you want cheaper electricity at night it’s best to look into having this type of meter installed.
When can I use my economy 7 meter?
The times that your meter is active and inactive is dependant on your supplier and where you live. In order to find out your off-peak hours, it’s best to get in touch with your supplier and ask them directly as there are varying factors.
Also, take note of the clocks going back and forward as this can affect when your off-peak times are.
Will an economy 7 meter help me save money?
This is somewhat of a grey area. On the one hand, yes, an economy 7 meter might be ideal for you if you use a lot of electricity at night time. Money Saving Expert recommends that it’s best practice to use around 40% of your electricity at night time in order to successfully benefit from having an economy 7 meter.1
However, more often than not, people don’t take full advantage of the cheaper electricity available to them. This is because they simply don’t use enough electricity at the cheaper rate to balance out the expenditure of the more expensive energy used in the day.
As the prices for the daytime rates can be as much as 50% more expensive, people need to use more electricity at night in order to balance out the costs.2
In order to make a success of an economy 7 meter we’ve put together some tips that you should follow:
- Storage heaters are an excellent way of using lots of electricity during off-peak hours. As they can be set to heat up water when the cost to do so is much lower. Then you can use the heated water during the day at no cost.
- Do as much washing, drying and charging of appliances as you can during the off-peak times.
- Get cheap timer switches installed so you can set your appliances to turn on when you know you’re getting the cheaper rate.
The major disadvantage of these meters is the lack of freedom to use your energy. It takes a lot of forward thinking and planning in order to make the plan work for you. For example, you wouldn’t be able to give the house a quick blast of heat in the winter without incurring extremely high costs.
Can I use an economy 7 meter for gas?
Currently, you can’t use an economy 7 meter for gas. This is because these meters were designed for use on appliances that can be active at night such as dishwashers and washing machines. Opposed to gas-reliant appliances such as cooking, hot water and heating.
Am I already on an economy 7 meter?
It is common for economy 7 meters to be present in homes with no access to a gas supply, such as flats or properties in rural areas.
The easiest way to see if you’re on an economy 7 meter is by looking at your electricity meter. If you are, there will be two separate sets of dials or numbers, denoting the usage and price for normal and off-peak hours.
If this isn’t clear on your meter, then you can find what energy plan you’re on by looking at your bill. If you’re still struggling then you can always get in touch with your supplier, and they can inform you of your current energy plan.
Can I switch energy supplier if I have an economy 7 meter?
The answer is 100% yes! You’re free to switch to any energy supplier if you’re switching to another economy 7 plan.
In order for you to switch to a non-economy 7 plan then you will have to get the economy 7 meter removed.
To do this, you’ll have to get in contact with the supplier of the meter. Usually this service is free, however, in certain circumstances, you may have to pay a removal fee, which is usually around £50. Once your economy 7 meter has been removed, you are free to switch to different suppliers and tariffs on the market.
Can I automatically switch supplier with an economy 7 meter?
With Migrate we can switch you to the best deal every year for free, and that includes economy 7 plans. The process is incredibly easy. You set your preferences, select that you’re on an economy 7 plan and then we search to find you the best economy 7 plans every year – Take the hassle out of energy switching and Migrate today.References
1. Money Saving Expert, ‘Is Economy 7 Right for You?’ Available at https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/utilities/economy-7/