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What is Economy 7?

Posted on 16 August 2018

Economy 7 (sometimes known as Economy Seven) is a type of electricity tariff which could help you reduce your energy bills. However, whether it will actually benefit you depends on your lifestyle and energy habits. If you’re thinking about switching your electricity tariff to an Economy 7 alternative, use the information below to work out whether Economy 7 will be cost effective for you.

What is Economy 7? 

Economy 7 is a type of electricity tariff which charges you different prices for the electricity you use during the day and at night. With Economy 7, you’ll receive seven hours of cheaper electricity at night.

How does Economy 7 energy work? 

Economy 7 is designed to benefit those who are able to heat their homes and use their appliances at night. As there is usually less demand for electricity during these hours, energy companies will offer a cheaper rate for electricity usage during off-peak periods.

However, the rate for peak hours can sometimes cost more than a standard tariff to compensate for the reduced off-peak rate. So, before you decide to switch, it’s important to properly consider whether an Economy 7 tariff is a good fit for your lifestyle.

If you want to switch to an Economy 7 tariff, you’ll need to get an Economy 7 meter installed. This is so that energy companies can track your energy usage during both on and off-peak periods and charge you different rates accordingly.

What time are the Economy 7 peak and off-peak periods?

The off-peak period for Economy 7 (when you get charged a cheaper rate for your electricity) will depend on your energy supplier. The most common off-peak time periods are usually between the hours of 11pm and 6am, 12am and 7am, or 1am and 8am, but this can vary. It’s important to check with your energy supplier when your exact off-peak hours are so you don’t accidently use your appliances during peak hours (the rest of the day).

What is an Economy 7 meter? 

Economy 7 meters work by tracking the electricity you use during the day and at night separately. So, instead of only having one meter reading, your Economy 7 meter will have two sets of numbers. These will either be displayed one above the other, or there will be a switch to flick between the two readings.

When you take a meter reading, you’ll need to submit readings for both your day and night electricity usage. This is so your supplier can apply a discount to the electricity you use at night.

Is it worth having Economy 7? 

Having Economy 7 is most beneficial for people who have hot water tanks and electric storage heaters. This is because you can set your electric storage heaters and hot water tank to heat up overnight, then they’ll slowly release the heat during the day. You can also save money on an Economy 7 tariff by using appliances such as dishwashers, washing machines and tumble dryers at night.

However, you will need to decide whether this heating method fits in with your lifestyle. Setting your electricity to run overnight will mean that you have more hot water in the morning, and less hot water in the evening. You also need to think about whether you can realistically set most of your appliances to run during off-peak hours. If you can’t, Economy 7 might not be a cost-effective option for you.

Economy 7 can be a cost-effective option for people who can take advantage of off-peak energy hours. At Co-op Energy, all our electricity tariffs are 100% green as standard. If you’d like to switch to us, take a look at our electricity tariff options.

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