Economy 7 is the name of a differential tariff provided by United Kingdom electricity suppliers that uses base load generation to provide cheap off-peak electricity.
Houses using the Economy 7 tariff require a special electricity meter which provides two different readings - one for the day period and one for the night period. The night (off-peak) period lasts for seven hours, hence the name. This off peak period is from 11pm to 6am OR 1am to 8am; dependent on the supplier.
Homes that have economy 7 meters were often installed with storage heaters to provide the main source of heat to the home. If you live in a home with an economy 7 meter but have gas central heating and your storage heaters have been removed you will still benefit from cheaper electricity at night.
All electric tariffs have an Economy 7 variation. Economy 7 tariffs have a higher rate charged for electric used during the day and a much lower rate for electricity used at night (between 11pm and 6am); the unit rate for night time usage can by up to two thirds cheaper than the day rate.
Night Time Usage
If you have an economy 7 meter it is important that you use as much of your electric appliances at night as possible as economy 7 tariffs are only cheaper if you use more than 20% of your electric at night.
Households with storage heaters use approximately 55% of their electric at night; where customers who do not have storage heaters but use their electric appliances (washing machine, dishwasher, tumble dryer) during the night to benefit from the cheaper rate use approximately 25% of their electric at night.
To switch to an economy 7 tariff you must have an economy 7 meter. Click here for more information on energy tariffs
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