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What Is Economy 7 And Economy 10?

When it comes to your home or business’s energy consumption, every penny counts. And with most regular energy contracts giving UK home and business owners a fixed rate all day long – energy prices can quickly eat into expenses.

But, there’s a solution you’ve likely already heard of – Economy 7 and Economy 10. If you use most of your energy during off-peak hours, these ‘time-of-use’ energy tariffs could be a game-changer for reducing those energy bills and your carbon footprint.

In this guide, we’ll explore the difference between these two tariffs, how they can save you money, and whether they’re compatible with smart meters.

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What is the Difference Between Economy 7 and 10 Tariffs?

Both Economy 7 and Economy 10 tariffs are specifically designed to offer you a lower electricity rate during off-peak hours and at night, while charging a higher rate during peak demand hours. The main difference between the two is the number of hours.

Economy 7 provides you with cheaper electricity for 7 hours while Economy 10 extends it to 10 hours.

Using either of these tariffs effectively can help you save money. But whether you’ll benefit from them or not will depend on your energy use habits.

So, if you’d like to dig deeper into the differences between these two tariffs and determine which one suits you best, keep reading.

What is an Economy 7 Tariff?

So, how does Economy 7 work?

Also known as a multi-rate or differential tariff, Economy 7 is a time-of-use pricing structure that offers consumers the advantage of reduced electricity rates during off-peak hours, typically at night.

Under the Economy 7 tariff, customers will benefit from lower rates for seven hours at night, while energy consumed during the remaining 17 hours of the day is charged at a higher rate.

Most energy suppliers will typically set the ‘off-peak’ window from midnight to 7 am, but this time can vary depending on your location and provider.

Pros of Economy 7 Tariffs

  • Significant cost savings for businesses and homeowners using more energy overnight
  • Up to 50% cheaper energy
  • Lower expenses for heating storage heaters

Cons of Economy 7 Tariffs

  • Could cost more for households or businesses that don’t use most of their energy at night
  • Higher energy prices during peak hours
  • Potentially reduced benefits if circumstances change
  • Only applies to electricity with no off-peak hours available for gas
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Similar to Economy 7, an Economy 10 tariff is a time-of-use tariff that provides consumers with a cheaper rate during specific off-peak times. The main difference is that you have an additional 3 hours. These off-peak periods can be divided throughout both the day and night.

The times may vary depending on your location and your supplier, so it’s worth checking the specifics with your energy supplier.

Generally, off-peak times for Economy 10 may include:

  • 3 hours in the afternoon (e.g., 1 pm – 4 pm)
  • 2 hours in the evening (e.g., 8 pm – 10 pm)
  • 5 hours overnight (e.g., midnight – 5 am)

The Economy 10 tariff is particularly beneficial for businesses that operate late at night, allowing them to make use of their heavy energy-use business utilities. It also offers more flexibility for homes utilizing appliances like washing machines, tumble dryers, or storage heaters during off-peak rates.

Pros of Economy 10 Tariffs

  • Increased flexibility for residents and business owners, allowing them to go about their day without worrying about high daytime rates
  • Great for saving money if your energy usage aligns with off-peak hours
  • Particularly beneficial for homes with electric heating systems rather than gas

Cons of Economy 10 Tariffs

  • Energy use outside the 10 off-peak hours can be higher than usual
  • Switching can be costly unless you qualify for an ECO grant
  • Only applies to electricity with no off-peak hours available for gas
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Can I Get a Smart Meter with Economy 7 and Economy 10?

It is possible to have a smart meter with Economy 7 or Economy 10, but this will depend on your energy supplier. Some of the major energy providers, known as the ‘Big Six’, can install smart meters for customers with an Economy 7 or 10 meter.

However, not all energy suppliers offer smart meters, so you’ll need to discuss this possibility with your specific energy supplier.

Economy 7 and Economy 10 smart meters will provide separate meter readings for your peak and off-peak electricity consumption. They will then send this directly to your supplier, providing you with accurate data.

What Happens with Economy 7 and 10 When the Clocks Change?

When the clocks change, the off-peak hours can vary depending on your energy provider and possibly your tariff.

On an Economy 10 tariff, the off-peak hours in the afternoon may be from 2 pm to 5 pm during British Summer Time (BST), while during Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), they could be from 1 pm to 4 pm. Although, some providers may keep the same hours throughout the year, regardless of clock changes.

Many Economy 7 suppliers operate on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) all year long, which can create an issue when the clocks switch to Daylight Saving Time (or British Summer Time). So when the clocks go forward an hour, the timing of your Economy 7 hours may no longer match the actual time.

If your supplier does not adjust the off-peak hours accordingly, you may find that the times are less convenient for six months of the year. This change in off-peak hours can have a significant impact on the amount of money you can save based on your energy usage habits.

It’s important to consider this aspect when deciding which one of these energy tariffs is best suited for your needs.

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Can I Save Money with Economy 7 or Economy 10?

Both Economy 7 and Economy 10 are specifically designed to offer lower electricity rates during off-peak hours. This can be incredibly beneficial for businesses and homeowners who use more electricity at night. But while they have the potential to save you money, the actual amount you can save will depend on how your specific energy usage habits.

To maximize the benefits of Economy 7 and Economy 10 tariffs and save money, consider these helpful tips:

How to get the most out of Economy 7

  • Maximise your night-time usage: Aim to use a significant portion of your energy during the cheaper off-peak hours.
  • Choose energy-efficient appliances: Opt for appliances that don’t use as much energy to minimize daytime energy use, which can be more expensive.
  • Watch out for clocks changing: Many Economy 7 meters don’t adjust their time when the clocks switch to British Summer Time (BST), so it’s essential to keep track of your meter time.
  • Shop around: Comparing different providers that support Economy 7 tariffs could lead to additional savings.
  • Explore tariff options: Some providers offer specific Economy 7 tariffs tailored to different needs such as those designed for electric vehicle charging.

How to get the most out of Economy 10

  • Align your energy usage with off-peak hours: If your lifestyle allows it, schedule your energy-heavy activities like heating and appliance usage during off-peak times.
  • Electric is best: Electric heating systems work best with this tariff.
  • Upgrade your storage heaters: Newer models are more efficient and require less time to store enough heat.
  • Set timers: Use timer settings on major appliances so they run during off-peak periods.
  • Go solar: Solar-generated electricity alongside off-peak electricity can be great for additional savings.

Compare Business Energy Rates with Business Energy Comparison

Discover the easiest and most convenient way to find the best energy deals for your business with Business Energy Comparison. Our price comparison site is here to help you switch to the most competitive rates for your business gas and electricity, all with minimal stress and hassle.

If your SME or large business uses 40% of its electricity during the night, an Economy 7 or Economy 10 tariff could be a game-changer. By taking advantage of off-peak hours, you can significantly cut costs and maximize savings.

In just a few minutes, you can compare the latest business electricity rates and secure the best deal tailored to your specific needs with the help of our expert consultants.

So take the first step towards cutting costs and maximising savings for your business with a comparison today!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if I'm on an Economy 7 or Economy 10 meter?

You can see if you’re on an Economy 7 or Economy 10 meter by checking your electricity meter or your recent bill. On an Economy 7 0r 10 meter, there are two sets of numbers instead of one for your electricity readings. Alternatively, your recent bill will show two sets of unit rates: one for the daytime hours and one for the nighttime hours.

When is the cheapest time to use electricity?

The cheapest time to use electricity is during off-peak hours, typically between 10 pm and 8 am. Thi is when the demand for electricity is at its lowest, resulting in lower off-peak rates.