Do you have an Economy 7 meter?
Should you be on an Economy 7 tariff? I have met quite a few people recently who shouldn’t be. The result is that they are paying more for their electricity than they need to.
Check which tariff you are on.
Economy 7 electricity meters were originally mainly used by people who had storage heaters. This is because with an Economy 7 meter there are 2 rates – day time and night time. The idea was that the heaters would store heat during the night when the unit price was cheap and let the heat out during the day. This was actually very economic.
However storage heaters are now out of favour and many people have installed gas central heating instead, but they have not necessarily changed the electricity tariff they are on. This is a problem because day time units on an Economy 7 tariff are much more expensive than those on a general domestic electric tariff i.e. where the unit price is the same throughout 24 hours. Therefore if they are not using enough units over night they are probably paying more for their electric then they should be.
Night time units are midnight to 7 am. There are a few Economy 7 tariffs where they are cheap for a short period in the afternoon, so individual tariffs should be checked. Generally speaking you need to be using around a third of your kilowatts during the night time period to benefit from an Economy 7 tariff.
So what should you do if you are on an Economy 7 tariff and don’t think you should be? Firstly, phone your current supplier and find out exactly what tariff you are on. Second, if you shouldn’t be on Economy 7 then ask your current supplier if they will change your meter over to standard domestic for free. Finally if they do charge to change the meter then you can ask them if they will change your tariff charge. For example Utility Warehouse makes a £15 administration charge to allow Club Members to be billed on a standard domestic tariff without changing the meter. Both day and night figures will still have to given when providing meter readings. N.B. If you switch suppliers and you haven’t had your meter changed you will have to ask your new company to change your billing method as well.