Economy 7 tariffs are a special type of electricity tariff where you pay a different amount for the electricity you use at night compared with the electricity you use during the day. For seven hours each night the unit costs for your electricity will be lower than the unit costs you pay during the other seventeen hours of the day.
If you are looking to switch economy 7 tariffs, the table below shows the cheapest tariffs currently available in the market:
|Supplier||Tariff||Average Annual Bill*|
|Online Fixed Saver November 2017||£458|
|Bristol Energy 1 Year Fix Issue 5 Paperless Billing||£464|
|SSE 1 Year Fixed v8 Paperless Billing||£466|
|SSE 1 Year Fixed v8||£472|
|Together - October 2017 - fixed 36 (Paperless Billing)||£475|
|Bristol Energy 1 Year Fix Issue 5 Paper Billing||£476|
|Flex2 12month Fixed Direct Debit||£478|
*Based on usage of 4,300kWh of electric per year. Shows average price across all regions. Assumes payment is made by Monthly Direct Debit. Only showing tariffs which are generally available across most of the UK.
To make Economy 7 worthwhile, approximately 40% of a household's electricity consumption would need to happen during the night time ‘off-peak' hours.
These Economy 7 tariffs also actually charge more for energy used during the daytime hours than a standard energy plan would, so your house should be vacant during the daytime hours most days of the week and it's best not to use appliances regularly during the day time. This type of meter may therefore be best suited to someone working shifts or who is at work late in to the evening.
There are a couple of really important things to consider before you decide if Economy 7 is right for you.
Which hours are charged at the peak rate and which are charged at the off-peak rate is dependant on which part of the country you live in and who your energy provider is. Generally speaking, the seven off-peak hours will fall somewhere between 10pm and 8:30 am, but to be certain of your peak and off-peak times you should check with your energy provider or see your latest energy bill.
Economy 7 benefits most those who have electric storage heaters and a hot water tank. These people would then be able to use the off-peak electricity hours to ‘charge' the storage heaters and heat all of their hot water for the following day.
If you need to run appliances regularly during the day then you may find Economy 7 quite costly. Ideally you would set appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers to a timer so that they run at night when the energy is cheapest.
If you are not currently an Economy 7 customer you will need a special type of meter that is capable of separately monitoring the electricity you use during the night and day before you can move to an economy 7 tariff. Your energy supplier will likely be able to arrange this for you at the time of application. You can find the cheapest economy 7 tariff for you using UKPower.co.uk's energy comparison service. Click here to get started.
If you wish to change from an Economy 7 tariff to a standard tariff, you will need to give your Economy 7 energy provider a call and speak with them.