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7 facts about Economy 7 meters, tariff and times

By Laura Davies | Posted October 31, 2017

Are you on Economy 7 meter but not sure how to make the most of it? Here, we answer seven questions to help you understand how it works. Find out what Economy 7 is, what the peak and off-peak times are, if you can still get an Economy 7 meter, how to best use your electricity to make sure your bills stay low, plus more.

What is an Economy 7?

An Economy 7 meter goes with an Economy 7 electricity tariff, sometimes knows as differential plan or multi-rate plan.

Economy 7 tariff gives you cheaper electricity rate for seven hours at night (off-peak) and a higher one in the day. Economy 7 meter itself has two sets of numbers showing the different rates you pay. Usually, one set of numbers will show ‘normal’ or daytime electricity usage, and the other set will show ‘low’ or nighttime electricity consumption. This can also sometimes appear as Rate 1 and 2 or R1 and R2.

If you’re wondering why there’s no Economy 7 tariff for gas, it’s because gas is used mostly for cooking, central heating and hot water - you can’t choose to use it mostly at night.

Why is it called Economy 7?

The meter takes its name from the seven hours of cheaper (off-peak) electricity at night. 

What are the Economy 7 times?

Your Economy 7 times will vary depending on where your home is and who your supplier is. Usually, you get your seven hours of off-peak electricity any time between 11pm and 8am. Sometimes, this could be split up into chunks of time.

It's best to contact your supplier to find out your exact Economy 7 times. Make sure to ask how the clocks going back and forward can affect your Economy 7 times. The meter itself won't normally change its time, so your off-peak times could be different between British Summer Time (BST, when clocks go forward) and Greenwich Mean Time (GMT, when clocks go back). 

How to use Economy 7 meter?

The Economy 7 meters can save you energy (and reduce your bills) if you plan ahead and use your electricity during the off-peak times.

Can I have an Economy 7 smart meter

The current smart meters can work in an Economy 7 mode. So if you have an EDF Economy 7 meter but would like a smart meter, book your installation in MyAccount or call us on 0333 200 5104(1) to chat through your needs. 

Does Economy 7 still exist and can I get it?

Yes, Economy 7 is a supported meter type and is available to new and existing customers.

We offer a great range of energy tariffs and smart meters.

Many people have Economy 7 meters, which may not be right for them anymore. Check your electricity use and compare energy tariffs to ensure you're on the best plan for your needs. If you’re unsure about switching, read our blog about 
choosing the best tariff or have a look at our switching suppliers guide.


Set your appliances for off-peak times

Setting your appliances, such as washing machines, dishwashers, slow cookers, breadmakers, etc., to come on at night can make a big difference. If you have an electric car, make sure to charge it at night. Although, energy suppliers now offer more competitive tariffs specifically for EV owners. 


Storage heaters and Economy 7

If you have storage heaters, then make sure to make the most of your Economy 7 meter and programme them to charge overnight during the off-peak times. They'll then keep you warm during the day without using the day rate. 


Review your energy if you're at home more

If you're now working from and spending more time at home, it'd be worth checking if your Economy 7 is still the best choice for you. The peak time electricity rate is usually more expensive than on a single-rate tariff, so switching to such tariff might work out better for you. A lot of suppliers, us including, can provide you with single-rate electricity without having to change your meter. 


What is the difference between Economy 7 and Economy 10 meters?

In a nutshell, Economy 10 gives you 10 hours of electricity at a lower rate. But it's a bit more complicated than that. There are actually different types of 'complex meters' - anything other than a single rate or Economy 7 meter that has two or more time-of-use rates. These include Economy 9, Economy 10, Heatwise, Warmwise and Weathercall.

As an example, Economy 10 is a differential tariff that offers lower rates during ‘off-peak’ times. Depending on the time of year, this could break down as follows:

  • Three off-peak hours in the afternoon (e.g. 1 pm - 4 pm)
  • Two in the evening (e.g. 8 pm - 10 pm)
  • Five overnight (e.g. 12 am - 5 am)

You need to be really organised when on Economy 10 because the electricity tariff during peak hours will be significantly higher.