Economy 7


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Spiralling energy costs have forced many suppliers to remove their tariffs

What this means for you:

• We probably can’t save you any money right now because there aren't enough tariffs to compare

• We hope we can help you save in the future – but we don’t know when that’ll be

• If you go direct to energy suppliers’ websites you might find better deals

We believe in always doing the right thing for our customers – which is why we’d rather tell you now, so you don’t waste time quoting if we probably can’t help you.

What is an Economy 7 tariff?

An Economy 7 tariff measures your electricity usage based on two different prices per kilowatt; an on-peak rate and an off-peak one.

The off-peak rate applies for seven hours of the night - which is where the '7' in the name comes from - and the on-peak price applies to the other 17 hours of the day.

Economy 10 plans work similarly, but with off-peak prices for 10 hours during the day.

You'll need to have an energy meter installed that can measure your energy in this way.

If you have an electric storage heater and hot water tank, you’re more likely to benefit from Economy 7 plans as you can use the off-peak hours to fill them up for use during peak times.

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What are the times for Economy 7?

Off-peak hours vary between suppliers, but the seven hours generally fall somewhere between 11pm and 8am GMT. They usually change when the clocks go forward or back.

Switching Economy 7 tariffs and suppliers

An Economy 7 tariff isn’t necessarily the cheapest option out there, which is why it’s important to compare energy tariffs. Here are a few things to consider when switching Economy 7 tariffs:

Switching from an Economy 7 meter

Speak to your energy supplier first. It might be able to offer you a non-Economy 7 tariff - if it's competitively priced, it'll save you switching providers, or changing your energy meter.

Alternatively, you can move to another supplier’s standard tariff. You'll need to have a new meter installed by your new supplier, though - which you could be charged for.

If you switch to a standard tariff you'll usually be offered a smart meter. You don’t have to accept it - you can have a standard meter installed instead. Although, this'll probably limit the tariff plans offered to you.

Compare all your options to find the right plan for you.

Switching to an Economy 7 meter

If you want to switch to an Economy 7 meter, you’ll usually have to pay for the installation. Tenants will need their landlord’s permission.

Smart meters are available for Economy 7 tariffs, but not all suppliers offer them.

As Economy 7 is only for electricity, you might struggle to find dual fuel options that include an Economy 7 tariff. Plus, not as many suppliers offer Economy 7 tariffs, so there’ll be less choice – it’s worth comparing a range of tariffs to find a plan and price that suits you.

Will an Economy 7 tariff save me money?

While the Economy 7 off-peak charge is much lower than the standard price, the on-peak rate can sometimes be a lot higher than that of other electricity tariffs.

How to read an Economy 7 meter

You’ll need to take two meter readings - one for the peak normal usage, and the other for the lower nightly usage.

There are two main types of Economy meters, and the way you read your meter depends on which type you have.

  1. One type has two displays, with the day rate shown on the top, marked ‘normal’, and the night rate on the bottom, labelled ‘low’ – you’ll need to take readings from both displays
  2. The second type shows a single row of numbers – the daytime reading. You’ll need to press the red button to take the night reading

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Page last reviewed: 06 February 2023

[1]GoCompare has partnered with Energylinx, part of the GoCompare Group, to help you switch energy. Energylinx Limited is registered in Scotland, registration number: SC244794, registered office: the e Centre, Cooperage Way, Business Village, Alloa, FK10 3LP

[2] According to Ofgem, January 2023.. Infographic: Bills, prices and profits.