What is Economy 7?
An Economy 7 electricity tariff, also known as a ‘time-of-use’ or ‘off-peak’ tariff, provides a cheaper rate during a seven-hour period when you’re least likely to be using energy. This is typically during the night and early hours of the morning.
The day and night rates will differ, so your meter will show two different numbers: one set for day-time electricity use, and another for your cheaper night-time use. This can also appear as Rate 1 and 2, or R1 and R2.
What time does Economy 7 start?
The off-peak electricity times will vary depending on who your provider is and where your business premises are located. Usually, the seven hours of off-peak occur between 11 pm and 8 am or it could be split up into chunks of time. Your provider will be able to give you the exact timings of Economy 7 electricity tariffs.
However, it’s important to note that Economy 7 tariffs won’t automatically adjust themselves when the clocks go forward or back, in line with Daylight savings. Some providers use winter times (GMT) all year round.
Can you have a smart meter with Economy 7?
Yes, you can. If your small or large business uses a smart meter, then you can combine this with your Economy 7 electricity tariff. Not all energy providers offer this, so it’s best to ask them first.
Just like regular smart meters, Economy 7 smart meters will show you how much energy your business has used and automatically send readings to your supplier.
How to change from Economy 7 to standard meter
Unsure if your business is losing money by being on an Economy 7 electricity tariff? If you want to switch to a new standard energy plan, then we advise you to shop around in the usual way.
However, running a business can be time-consuming and searching for the best business gas, electricity and water deals may not be at the top of your priority list. Why not use a utility broker who can find you the best deals on the market, while you get on with the really important stuff?
Is Economy 7 going to be phased out?
No, don’t worry. Economy 7 does still exist and can be one of the cheapest ways to save money on your business energy. For business sectors that don’t need a lot of electricity during the day, it can be the cheapest energy option.