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Economy 7 and Economy 10 tariffs explained

Economy 7 and Economy 10 tariffs explained

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Last updated: 12 April 2021

Economy 7 and Economy 10 tariffs are slightly different energy plans which can, in some cases, help you pay less for your electricity. They work by having two different rates of tariffs, ‘low’ and ‘normal’. The numbers simply differentiate the amount of time each tariff has a ‘low’ value. These plans are useful for those who use a lot of energy at night as it gives them a cheaper rate. 

What is an Economy 7 tariff?

Economy 7 is a specific energy plan that is designed to be cheaper during certain periods of the day, generally during the night. This is why it’s often referred to as a ‘time-of-use’ tariff. Generally, energy suppliers will have an ‘off-peak’ period from midnight to 7 am where they will charge you a lower rate. You will have to get a specific meter installed which will take separate readings from the day and night. 

What is an Economy 10 tariff?

These tariffs are known officially as ‘differential tariffs’ which may help you pay less for your electricity. Economy 10 tariffs work in much of the same way that an Economy 7 does. It will have a certain off-peak period which is normally the same 7 hours, but 3 hours on top of that during the day. You will need to have a specific meter installed, so that it can take multiple readings per day, and there may be a charge for this. 

Why should I get an Economy 7 or 10 tariff?

Both of these tariffs are specifically designed to give you cheaper electricity rates during the night and more expensive during the day, you cannot use these with gas rates. Whether or not you should get these tariffs depends entirely on your energy usage. Broadly, they are for people who use a lot of electricity at night, such as watching TV, washing machines, or storage heaters which heat up overnight. 

Except for having a different price during the day and at night time, Economy 7 and Economy 10 tariffs are relatively similar to other tariff types; you can get an Economy tariff that acts like a Standard Variable Tariff, where the day and night prices change with market prices, or you can take them on a fixed price energy tariff, that will set your day and night rates for the duration of your contract.

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What are the downsides of an Economy 7 or 10 tariff?

As outlined above, the downsides of these tariffs really depend on your energy usage. If you don’t have a storage heater or use electricity in the night, then it may not be beneficial to switch. Additionally, installing an Economy 7 or 10 meter may incur a charge, and should you want to switch back, you could be charged again for the meter installation. It’s important to therefore compare energy tariffs against your general consumption habits to see which tariff fits you the best. 

How do I know if I’m on an Economy 7 or 10 tariff?

There are two simple ways to find out if you are on these tariffs already. Firstly, if you check your electricity bill, there will be a section called ‘your electricity use in detail’, this will be divided into day and night readings if you are on an Economy 7 tariff. Secondly, you will have a specific meter which will have two readings and might have a label on it too.

How do I read an Economy 7 or 10 meter?

There are two types of meter for Economy 7 and 10:

  • There is one type that shows your day rate, and to get the reading for night time electricity you have to press the red button 
  • The second type has a top row marked ‘normal’ which is your day rate and a bottom row marked ‘low’ which shows your night rate 

How can I switch to an Economy 7 or 10 tariff?

This is not a completely straightforward process because the provider will have to come out and install a new meter, which can mean additional charges. It’s important to contact your energy supplier to see what this cost will be and compare energy tariffs depending on your own personal energy consumption. 

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Michael Quinn

Author: Michael Quinn

Michael is a dedicated author helping usave to write guides, blogs and news for the last four years. When not writing articles, you can usually find him at wine tasting events or having a political debate on the night tube.

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