What is Economy 10?

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Economy 10 meters offer cheaper electricity at certain times of the day, which means depending on how you use your power you might be able to save on your energy bills. The basic premises is that there are 10 off peak hours to use each day, hence the name Economy 10. These are usually broken down into seven off peak hours at night and three during the day (although this can vary). During these allotted times your rates per kWh or energy will be much cheaper. So, if you can construct your energy use around this timetable, it is an easy way to reduce your energy costs.

Last update: June 2022

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Economy 10 rates can be as much as half the price of peak rates. However, the peak rates tend to be higher than available on most other fixed rate energy tariffs. The standing charge you pay, which is the daily rate for your energy supply, is also higher. That’s why Economy 10 is not right for everyone. But, if you think it could be a good option for you, keep reading this guide to find out more.

You probably already know about off peak phone calls and off peak travel tickets, but what about off peak energy prices? Do these exist and how do you take the best advantage of them? One way is to use a special kind of meter known as an Economy 10.

This is particularly useful for homes with night storage heaters. This means you can take advantage of the cheaper energy during nighttime hours to charge up your central heating system. This heat will then slowly be released throughout the day when the higher rate energy is applied.

What is Economy 10?

As mentioned above, Economy 10 is a range of energy tariffs that split the day into peak and off peak hours. There are 10 off peak hours spread throughout the day and night, which is why the tariffs are called Economy 10. It is very similar to the better known Economy 7 tariffs, which give seven hours of off peak energy between midnight and 7am.

In order to take advantage of Economy 10 you need to have a dedicated meter, which your supplier can install if you choose to switch to this kind of tariff. The exact off peak hours for an Economy 10 tariff vary according to your choice of supplier. So, it might be worth finding out the exact breakdown before making the switch.

How Is Economy 10 different from Economy 7?

The main difference between Economy 7 and Economy 10 is that you get three more hours of off peak time with an Economy 7 meter and energy plan. It really is as simple as that. Economy 7 tariffs also use a special kind of meter that differs from the Economy 10 variety., although both give multiple readings.

What are the times for Economy 10?

The exact times for an Economy 10 meter might vary according to your supplier. However, it is usually the case that between five and seven of the hours will be during the night. You will need to consult with your provider to find out the precise timings but there are likely to be something like the following:

  1. Three hours in the afternoon between 1pm and 4pm
  2. Two hours in the evening between 8pm and 10pm
  3. Five hours at night between 12am and 5am

Is Economy 10 cheaper than standard?

It depends how you use it. If your home has night time storage heaters that can charge up during off peak hours then release heat throughout the day, Economy 10 can be a much cheaper option. The rates during off peak hours are generally much cheaper than standard variable rates and even some fixed rate deals.

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The flipside is that the off peak unit rates per kWh can be quite expensive. So, in order for an Economy 10 meter to work for you, your home needs to use energy in a very specific way. If you use lots of energy during the day, it will probably not be the right kind of energy option.

What are the disadvantages of using Economy 10?

An Economy 10 meter might work for you and your energy needs. But before you make any kind of energy decision, it’s worth being aware of all the drawbacks of using this kind of tariff.

  • If your home is heated by gas or any other energy source then the savings you will be able to make with an Economy 10 meter are much smaller
  • The cost of switching can be an issue as you may be required to pay to fit your Economy 10 meter. You’ll also need to change you energy use habits to make sure you are using energy at the right times of day
  • Peak and off peak times for Economy 10 tariffs can vary, so if you switch suppliers then your meter will need to be reprogrammed, which can be costly

How do Economy 10 meters work?

Economy 10 meters have two rates programmed into them: one for peak and one for off peak. The times of the day that the two rates will apply to are also programmed into the meter, with consumers being charged for the relative amounts of energy they use during these two time periods.

Some Economy 10 meters also have a third rate programmed called ‘heat’ or ‘heatwise’. This is a dedicated circuit wired into the hot water and heating to ensure it only switches on during off peak periods.

Economy 10 meters are different to standard electric meters, so if you want to choose an Economy 10 tariff you will be required to switch over your meter – which may have associated costs. If you have an existing Economy 10 meter but want to switch providers, you may need it to be reprogrammed if the peak and off peak times are different.

What is Economy 10?

Can I get an Economy 10 meter fitted?

If you want to switch to an Economy 10 meter, you need to make sure that you choose a supplier that offers these services. Not all energy companies can accommodate Economy 10 at this moment in time. Once you have found a supplier that offers this service, you will then need to arrange a time when you can have the new meter installed. This may come with a cost but you will need to clarify this with your new supplier.

Of course, fitting an Economy 10 meter only makes sense if you use the vast proportion of your energy at the specific times of day.

See if Economy 10 is right for you

If you are still not sure that an Economy 10 meter is right for you, you can ask yourself a few questions. Do you have natural gas for your central heating? How much electricity do you use? When do you use it? Depending on the answer to these questions you may be suitable for an Economy 10 meter.

Ideally, you won’t have gas central heating and will use the vast majority of your energy at night. It is particularly useful if you have night storage heaters which can charge up when rates are low and release heat throughout the day.

How to get the best out of Economy 10

If you really want to get the best out of your Economy 10 tariff then there are certain things you need to do. These are:

  1. Make sure you double check your off peak times to you are sure when the cheaper rate applies
  2. Maximise your night time usage
  3. Make a note of when the clocks change as this could interfere with your cheaper rate usage
  4. Make full use of any storage heaters you have in the house
  5. Do the energy saving basics such as switching off standby appliances, insulate your home and use less hot water
  6. If your day usage increases then get in touch with your supplier

What is the cheapest Economy 10 tariff in the UK?

The cheapest Economy 10 tariff depends on how you use your energy. Because there are two tariffs, it all depends when you use the most energy. However, some of the more affordable Economy 10 tariffs include:

Bristol Energy
Economy 7 Energy
Ecotricity
EDF Energy
Good Energy
Green Energy UK
M&S Energy
nPower
Octopus Energy
OVO Energy
People’s Energy
PFP Energy
Powershop
So Energy
SSE
Scottish Power
Spark Energy
Utilita

Switching from Economy 10 to standard

If you want to switch away from an Economy 10 meter back to a normal meter you will have to contact your supplier. There is a huge choice of tariffs with multiple energy companies. Choose one and then arrange a date to have your meter changed. This may involve a fee but not all suppliers will charge. Remember, once you have changed back to a normal meter you will no longer be able to use Economy 10 tariffs.

How do I know if I have Economy 10?

If you don’t already know if you have an Economy 10 tariff then there are three main ways that you can find out.

The first is to check your electricity bill. This will clearly state if you are on an Economy 10 tariff as you will be being charged at two different rates for your energy. However, you might also be on Economy 7 which works in the same way so look for some confirmation on your bill of your tariff.

Second, check your meter. This will have two sets of numbers one labelled ‘low’ and the other ‘high’. It might also be marked ‘night’ and ‘day’. But there will definitely be two very clear and different counters.

Lastly, if you are still unsure, contact your supplier and ask them what type of plan you are on.

Can I use my normal meter with an Economy 10 tariff?

You can’t. A normal meter will only give one reading whereas an Economy 10 meter needs to have at least two. That means if you want to switch to Economy 10 from a standard meter then you will need to have a new one fitted by your supplier. You will need to calculate whether the cost of this is made back by any savings you might make from using an Economy 10 tariff.

How to read an Economy 10 meter?

Economy 10 meters are a little more difficult to read than standard meters as there is more than one reading to take. Depending on your supplier, your meter will either display two or three different numbers, for either day/night or peak/off peak usage. There should be a button on your meter to scroll through the different readings or it may just cycle through them automatically.

When taking a reading to give to your supplier you will need to make a note of all the relevant numbers for an accurate bill.

Can you get an Economy 10 smart meter?

Unfortunately you can’t yet get smart meters for Economy 10 plans. That also means that if you currently have a smart meter installed then you cannot use an Economy 10 tariff without swapping it out.

How else can I cut my gas and heating bill?

Whether you are able to take advantage of the savings possible with an Economy 10 meter, there are still plenty of other ways you can make energy savings in your home. Most of the following are quick and simply changes to your energy use that can make a big difference to your bill.

  1. Turn off standby appliances – these are appliances that are on all the time, constantly sucking power, such as TVs
  2. Install a smart thermostat to give you better control over how you use the heat in your home
  3. Turn down the temperature and put on a jumper
  4. Install a new boiler or service your old one, as inefficiencies could be costing you
  5. Wash clothes at a lower temperature, which has been shown to have no impact on cleaning power
  6. Take showers rather than deep baths, as a deep bath can use a huge amount of energy
  7. Insulate your home, including doors and windows, and any loft or cavity spaces
  8. Use up to date appliances as they will be more energy efficient

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FAQ

How do Economy 10 meters work?

Economy 10 meters have two rates programmed - one for peak and one for off peak. Consumers are charged for the relative amounts of energy they use during these two time periods.

How to switch to Economy 10?

Find a supplier that offers Economy 10 tariffs and get in touch to see about installing a dedicated meter. If you already have an Economy 10 meter then you may need to have it reprogrammed depending on the off peak times with your new plan.

How do I know if I have Economy 10?

There are three main ways that you can find out. The first is to check your electricity bill which will clearly state if you are on an Economy 10. Second, check your meter as this will have two sets of numbers. Lastly, if you are still unsure, contact your supplier and ask them what type of plan you are on.

Can you get an Economy 10 smart meter?

No, right now you can’t get smart meters for Economy 10 plans. That means that if you currently have a smart meter installed then you cannot use an Economy 10 tariff without swapping it out for a dedicated Economy 10 meter.

Updated on 21 Jun, 2022

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