1. What are Economy rate meters?
2. What if my meter doesn’t match my times?
3. How will I know if I’ll save money with an Economy 7 or 10 meter?
4. What if I don’t want to be on an Economy 7 or 10 meter?
5. What do “Day” and “Night” mean on my bill?
6. What are GMT and BST?
7. Hints and tips
Multi-rate meters come with tariffs that offer cheaper electricity at certain times of the day. They’re different to single rate meters because they have two rates. The cheaper times are normally called ‘off-peak’. Economy rate meters were made for electrical heating systems, like storage heaters, but they will work in any house. Economy 7 and Economy 10 are types of economy rate meters.
Switching times are when the meter switches between the off-peak and peak rates. These times can vary depending on where you live in the country and which meter you have.
If you're not sure what your switching times are, you can find them by looking on your annual summary or check for a sticker on your meter telling you what they are. If you need any help you can get in touch with us on Facebook or Twitter or call us on 0345 052 0000 and we can take a look at your meter details and let you know. Lines are open 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday, and 8am to 6pm on Saturdays.
There are lots of different multi-rate meters across the country, so there are a few reasons why your meter might not switch at exactly the times you’re expecting. It could be that the clock in your meter is slightly out of sync or it could be that your meter is trying to change with the clocks going forward or back.
They sometimes fix themselves after a day or two, so it’s best to check your meter over a few days if you think there’s a problem (around the time the clocks go forward or back).
If you find your meter is always switching at slightly different times, it’s OK to just change when you use your appliances. So if your meter starts switching at 11pm instead of 12am every day it’ll be okay to start using your cheaper energy at 11pm, you won’t need to do anything. Any heating controlled by your meter changes automatically.
If your meter is switching two or more hours differently to the times we’ve given you, please get in touch so we can look into this for you.
You can check the Could You Pay Less messages on any bill we send you. This'll tell you if the energy you use best suits single rate prices (meters that charge the same price whenever the energy is used) or an Economy 7 or 10 tariff.
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You can keep your Economy 7 or 10 meter but switch to a tariff with one rate, we’ll just charge both your day and night readings at the same price. You’ll still need to give us both readings.
If you don’t want to give two sets of readings or want the meter changing to a single rate meter for any other reason, there are a couple of things to keep in mind:
- Unless you’re getting a smart meter fitted, there’ll be a charge for non-faulty meter changes
- If you have electrical heating or hot water systems in your home you should always check with an electrician before having the meter exchanged, to make sure the new meter type is right for your home.
If you’re happy with the above you can contact us on Facebook or Twitter, or call 0345 052 0000 to arrange a meter exchange. Lines are open 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday, and 8am to 6pm on Saturdays.
The “Day” rate on your bill is usually the standard rate of energy (peak), and is more expensive.
The “Night” rate is the cheaper rate of electricity (off-peak).
GMT is the time zone for the UK during the winter months (October to March). BST (also known as Daylight Saving Time) is for the summer months (March to October).
Your switching times may change when the clocks change, meaning your off-peak times might be different. If this is the case with your meter, we’ll make this clear when we tell you what your off-peak times are.
How to make the most of your cheaper rate hours.
- To benefit from being on Economy 7 and Economy 10, compared to being on one of our other tariffs where we charge the same unit price throughout the day and night, you'll need to use at least 30-40% of your electricity during the cheaper rate, or 'off-peak' hours.
- If you have electric storage heaters and / or a hot water cylinder, then you are more likely to benefit from being on Economy 7 and Economy 10. You can use the cheaper rate or 'off-peak' hours to charge the storage heaters and heat your hot water for the day ahead.
- Use timers to set appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers to run at night during your cheaper rate or 'off-peak' hours, and they'll be ready for when you need them in the morning.
- Charge gadgets, such as phones, laptops, iPads and rechargeable batteries during cheaper rate or 'off-peak' hours, and they'll be ready for when you need them in the morning.
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