When you’re trying to reduce your energy bills, there are a few different ways that you can look to do this. One of the most common ways people have looked to bring down their overall costs each month is by switching to a different tariff. In the past, an Economy 7 meter was definitely the first thing people looked to switch to from their standard energy model.
And whilst moving to using an Economy 7 (often abbreviated to E7) meter isn’t as common nowadays, you can still do it with some of the big suppliers. This is likely due to the increase in smart meters & lower tariffs (check why we like smart meters here). But for now, we’re going to explain exactly what they are, and whether you should consider switching over to one to reduce your bills.
What is an economy 7 meter?
An Economy 7 meter is simply the meter used by people that have switched over to an Economy 7 tariff. An E7 tariff will effectively split your energy rate into peak and off-peak times, charging you less throughout certain periods of the day. Typically this is during the night time, for example between midnight and 7am.
Because less people are using energy at this time, your supplier can afford for you to pay a lower rate if you’ll be using a lot of energy. Most meters are not capable of charging two different rates at different times, which is why an Economy 7 meter is a little bit different.
As mentioned before, they’ve definitely declined in terms of popularity in recent years. There are a few reasons for this, but for some people, an Economy 7 meter may be worth investigating. Here’s a few of the reasons why.
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Upsides of Economy 7 meters – Who will benefit
For some late shift workers, seeing if your energy supplier offers an E7 tariff is a bit of a no brainer. If you live through the night and plan to do all your daily chores throughout this time – like using your washing machine and tumble dryer, which are really energy suckers – then you’re going to want to check out Economy 7. But they’re not the only people that may want to check them out.
- As above, night owls who stay up extra late (or alternatively wake up ridiculously early) will be able to save some cash from switching to Economy 7.
- If you have a lot of appliances that run during the night, then they’re going to get the cheaper electricity rate during this time. This will definitely appeal to people with underfloor heating, as often this is set to come on during the nighttime anyway. It may also work if you have a storage heater too.
- Another key demographic that could cut some cost by flipping over to an E7 tariff is the increasing amount of people that drive electric cars. Obviously, you’ll want to charge your car during the night time to benefit from this properly, but over the course of a year, it can end up saving you a lot in cash.
Downsides of switching to E7
One reason that many people don’t use an E7 is that it’s used for those that power their heating by electricity. As many people in the UK use gas for their heating, they’re effectively excluded from switching over to an Economy 7 tariff.
- Obviously, you’ll get your cheaper rate during the daytime. But if your circumstances or sleeping patterns change, then when you do use more electricity during the day time, you’re going to be paying a higher rate than your standard fixed tariff.
- If you’re going to be at home during the daytime, then an Economy 10 meter may be the better choice. This will typically give you the same night time hours as well as a few during the day too.
- Not all suppliers will give you the ability to switch over to using E7. And even if they do, there’s a chance they may charge you for the installation of your new meter.
In conclusion, there are definitely some people who will want to check out whether an Economy 7 meter can help save them cash. They tend to be a better choice for single people who have a pretty ritualistic lifestyle, as if you can reduce your electricity usage to just specific times, you can bring down your bill cost. Though for families and those with a lot of people in the household, they tend not to work so well.