Economy Electricity Tariffs Explained
Everyone wants to save money on their electricity bills. One popular option is to switch electricity provider, but there is another option: economy tariffs. Economy tariffs have different price rates depending on the time day electricity is used and can dramatically lower your electricity bill. In the UK, the two economy tariffs are Economy 7 and Economy 10, so named for the hours in which they operate during a 24 hour period.
Electrical appliances which run during this period operate at the lower rate of billing so the cheaper tariff benefits night-time electricity users more. If used correctly, you will use more electricity during the lower rate hours which vary with suppliers but are usually sometime between 12am-8am.
How Do They Work?
As a rule of thumb, to make substantial savings it is necessary to use at least 20% of your electricity during lower rate hours. To use economy tariffs efficiently, every appliance must use a timer to switch on and off during the lower rate hours. Not every appliance has such devices. However, most modern kitchen appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers and storage heaters do.
Although clothes and dishes can be washed overnight, it is important to consider your water and air heating. Early morning water will be nice and hot and room temperature will be high, but as the day progresses water and room temperature will grow colder; a situation which may not suit all family households, for example.
A Lifestyle Decision
It’s worth thinking about how switching to an economy tariff will affect your home lifestyle before deciding to change. Alternatively, there may be ways to change your lifestyle to help you save money and run your home more efficiently.
Depending on your type of meter, it may need to be changed (which your supplier can do for you), but not always. Economy 7 meters for example, are designed to run on both two and single rate tariff and can display both the higher and lower rates as well as having an integrated timer which automatically switches from the high rate to the low rate.
Modern electric boilers are extremely efficient, and as such as becoming increasingly popular. Their energy efficiency can be as high as 99% and more responsive than their gas counterparts as radiators can reach maximum heat within 3 minutes.
Running an electric boiler and central heating system in conjunction with an economy tariff can make significant savings but also to the environment as less electricity is used, what is used is used more efficiently, and has less impact on the environment. Gas boilers can still run on economy tariffs very well, but only on the proviso that most electricity is consumed during the lower rate hours.
With energy prices showing no signs of becoming cheaper, and consumers more aware of the need to save electricity for the benefit of their wallets and the environment, many are looking for ways to change the way they use electricity. If you are considering switching to an economy tariff, it is prudent advice to check with a few price comparison websites before committing. The results can be surprising.