What are the economy 7 and 10 tariffs?
An economy 7 tariff involves you paying a lower price for energy during a seven hour period in which you are likely to use the least energy. Energy providers may typically set the ‘off-peak’ period to run from midnight to 7am.
An economy 10 tariff works in a similar way, however here your off-peak periods may vary.
For example, five of the ten hours might be during the night, and there may also be a three hour and a two hour off peak period during the day.
Outside the periods covered by the tariff, you will be charged a higher rate for your energy usage.
Take careful note of exactly when your off-peak period begins and ends. Your energy provider may vary this by a few minutes each day, so on Mondays it might begin at midnight on the dot, and on Tuesdays it might start at 12.05am. Providers do this to stop all their economy 7 customers switching on appliances at the same time and overloading the grid. Also check if your off peak period changes when the clocks go forward and back – some providers use winter time (Greenwich Mean Time) all year round on economy tariffs.
If you sign up to one of these tariffs, you should expect your energy provider to give you a special meter. Make sure you send readings from this meter to the provider, and don’t always rely on their estimates of your energy usage. They have been known to be inaccurate and could lead to under- or over-charging.