What is an economy 7 meter?

Economy 7 tariffs are energy plans that give cheaper energy rates during 7 hours of the night, and more expensive rates during the daytime.

Here is everything you need to know about economy 7 meters and tariffs. 

What is economy 7?

Economy 7 is an energy plan which coincides with economy 7 meters to help save money on electricity usage during 7 specific hours of the night. The time length for this tends to be from midnight to 7am, with the more expensive day rate covering the rest of the day.

However, these timeframes can vary so it is always best to double check with your energy supplier.

How do economy 7 tariffs work?

The majority of energy tariffs charge a set amount per unit of energy no matter the time this is used. However, with economy 7 tariffs, you will be charged a different electricity unit rate that you use during the night, compared to the rest of the day.

As the name suggests, the tariff offers 7 hours of cheap electricity usage every night.

These tariffs use a different type of electricity meter, which would track the amount of electricity used during the day and night separately, unlike a standard meter which would not track this.

This is particularly useful if you use appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines overnight or have storage heaters.

As you are charged a slightly more expensive electricity unit rate during the daytime, these tariffs depend on an individual’s lifestyle, as this will not benefit everyone.

Economy 7 tariffs – off-peak vs peak electricity

Think of economy 7 tariffs like peak and off-peak usage for your electricity. An economy 7 meter will display two separate readings, one for electricity during the day, and one for the specified hours of the economy 7 tariff.

Economy 7 meters vs standard meters

Economy 7 could benefit you if you use more electricity during the night, and less during the daytime.

If you’re a shift worker or a general night owl for example, or you tend to run the majority of your appliances during the night, an economy 7 tariff may work out beneficial for you, as you will be charged at a less rate than you would with a standard meter.

However, accordingly, you will also be charged a higher rate than a standard meter during the day.

Can I get a smart economy 7 meter?

It is possible to have an economy 7 meter that also has smart functionality – meaning meter readings would be sent automatically to your energy supplier.

However, this is dependant on your location and energy supplier, so it is best to discuss this directly with your energy provider.

For more information regarding smart meters, read our guide here:

Am I on an economy 7 tariff?

To find out if you are registered on an economy 7 tariff, it is best to check your electricity bill. If you are charged two different rates for the day and night usage, you are on an economy 7 tariff.

Your MPAN number (meter point administration number) which you can usually find on your energy bill and electricity meter should also start with ‘02’ instead of ‘01’ if you are registered for economy 7.

Additionally, you can also check your electricity meter itself. If you have an economy 7 meter, you should have two sets of readings – one marked low (for night usage) and one marked normal (for the daytime).

Alternatively, there also may be one set of numbers which will be marked ‘day rate’ and a red button, which would provide you with your night reading when pressed.

For a comprehensive guide on how to read your meter, check out our guide here.

Economy 7 meter

Would economy 7 help me save money?

This is dependant on your electricity usage, and if you use more energy during the night rather than the day, an economy 7 tariff may help you save money.

However, because the day rate for electricity usage is higher than normal (which balances the off-peak night rate), some individuals do find economy 7 tariffs working out to be more expensive for them. Due to this, it is important to examine your usage before committing to switch.

The type of heating and hot water system you have may also contribute towards an economy 7 meter helping you save money. If you have an electric storage heater, you may also find an economy 7 tariff to be beneficial for yourself, as you would be able to charge them up during the lower rates at night and use the heat in the daytime.

You should also examine if you use more than half of your electricity at night. If you don’t, then an economy 7 tariff may not be for you. This is because you’ll use the majority of your electricity usage during the day, meaning you will most likely pay over the odds, being charged the more expensive day rate.

You should also check if any appliances that you operate during the night have timers, as unless you are usually awake during the economy 7 hours, you’ll need to switch them on when the off-peak hours start.

Your lifestyle will also contribute if you save money or not with an economy 7 tariff. If you drive an electric car, and are able to charge this overnight, then having an economy 7 tariff would help.

save money on energy

How can I read an economy 7 meter?

There are two types of economy 7 meters.

The first will have 2 displays, with the top row showing your daytime electricity usage, and will be marked as ‘normal’. The bottom row (marked ‘low’) will show your night-time usage.

The second type will have a single row, showing your daytime electricity usage. There would also be a red button, which once pressed would show your reading for the night usage.

For a comprehensive guide on how to read your meter, check out our guide here.

Can I get an economy 7 tariff for my gas?

The answer is unfortunately not.

The majority of gas usage is done in the daytime, in the form of cooking and heating. However, if you heat your home and water with a gas supply, then an economy 7 tariff may still work out to be beneficial for yourself.

Economy 7 and electric vehicles

An increasing number of people are now purchasing electric vehicles, and an economy 7 tariff would be perfect in this scenario.

These electric vehicles can be charged overnight, when you are charged a lower rate for electricity.

Some energy suppliers also have tariffs tailored specifically for the use of electric vehicles, so doing some research before choosing your next supplier may prove helpful.

What is economy 10?

An economy 10 tariff is very similar to an economy 7 tariff – except that you would get 10 hours of cheaper electricity usage, instead of 7.

However, 3 of these cheaper hours would occur in the afternoon, with the remaining 7 taking place during the same period as an economy 7.

Economy 10 tariffs tend to be very rare, so it is worth taking this into account before switching.

Can I switch my electricity with Look After My Bills if I have an economy 7 meter?

You certainly can!

As an energy switching company, we know auto-switching is the simplest way to save money on your energy every year.

We want to make sure you’re always on a great deal and ensure the switching process is as easy as can be.

You can let us know during the sign up stage if you have an economy 7 meter, and we will take this into account when finding a deal and supplier that saves you money!

Unfortunately, we aren’t happy to help just yet if you have an economy 10 meter. This is because most of the suppliers we work with cannot supply this, or offer special tariffs only for these meter types.