What is Economy 10?
Economy 10 is an electricity meter that entitles you to cheaper rates during 10 off-peak hours. It’s like Economy 7, just with three more hours of off-peak energy hours for each 24-hour period. Economy 10 is also the name of tariffs (or deals) these meters run on.
How does it work?
Your Economy 10 tariff provider sets the off-peak hours for cheaper electricity. The rest of the time, you’ll pay a normal price for it.
These hours tend to be split into seven hours overnight and three hours during the day. The hours could change when the clocks go forward and back in spring and autumn. Your provider will tell you if this is the case.
Off-peak rates on an Economy 10 tariff could be up to half the price of peak-time rates.
Economy 10 runs at unsociable hours, so you’ll need to tweak your lifestyle to make the most of it. This will involve running appliances like your washing machine, dryer and dishwasher during off-peak hours.
Economy 10 tariffs could be more expensive if you use electricity mainly during peak hours.
Can anyone get Economy 10?
Economy 10 is best if you have an electric heating system. It’ll also work in your favour if you’ve got a modern storage heater or underfloor heating. You can use off-peak electricity to build up heat at night, for release during the day.
Larger appliances need timers so you can set them to come on at night when electricity is cheapest.
Economy 10 meters
You’ll need to have a meter installed for an Economy 10 tariff. These are different from standard meters as they have readings for energy usage during peak and off-peak hours.
In most cases you’ll pay for installation. You might have to pay to switch to a non-economy tariff in future or if you switch Economy 10 providers. It’s important to consider these costs when comparing energy tariffs.
Do I already have Economy 10?
If there are multiple rates on your energy bill or more than one reading on your meter, chances are you’re on an Economy tariff. See how many off-peak hours you get to work out whether it’s Economy 7 or Economy 10.
Make the most of Economy 10
To benefit from Economy 10 you need to use most electricity during off-peak hours. This will probably involve you changing your routine to run appliances when electricity is cheapest.
Think about what you’ll do in winter when you want to switch the heating on earlier. A modern storage heater will come in handy, but you could look at other heat sources. For example, an energy-efficient fan heater will help keep you warm during the day.
There are things you can do to boost energy efficiency at home:
- Use energy-efficient light bulbs and appliances
- Make sure your loft is properly insulated
- Upgrade your boiler
- Invest in double glazing
What’s the difference between Economy 10 and Economy 7?
The main difference is the number of hours. Economy 7 provides cheaper, off-peak electricity usually through the night. Economy 10 tends to provide cheaper electricity for seven hours during the night and a further three in the day. This is usually in the afternoon.
Which energy suppliers offer Economy 10?
Unlike Economy 7, there are few energy suppliers offering Economy 10 deals.
You do still have options though: you could just switch to an ordinary single-rate tariff. You'll give your supplier your dual-rate readings and they'll simply add them together, or they may change your meter to a single rate one.
If you still want to benefit from off-peak energy rates but don't want to be limited by the small number of Economy 10 suppliers, you could switch to Economy 7, which will probably involve having your meter re-calibrated for different off peak hours.