Economy 7 Heating is expensive, as i’m sure you already know!. Whilst it is important to check any Electricity tariff on a regular basis in order to get the best deal, it is vital, in respect of Economy 7 customers that they check tariff’s at least twice per year, as their usage will change significantly during the winter months, when the requirement for Economy 7 based storage heating begins to increase the demand for off peak Electricity.
Why not check that you are on the best E7 tariff by clicking here to compare Economy 7 prices in your area, and to check that you are currently on the best tariff comparing prices using a comparison site takes less than 5 minutes and can save you over £300 a year
Economy 7 users receive cheap rate overnight Electricity for seven hours overnight, which is used to heat storage heaters which then output their stored heat into the room during the day. Unfortunately what many Economy 7 customers do not realise, is that the cheaper rate overnight electricity is actually subsidised partly by higher Electricity prices during the day, for the remaining 17 hours outside the cheaper off peak tariff!
So it is wrong to assume that you are automatically saving money by having an Economy 7 tariff, because part of that saving will be clawed back by the utility company who will be selling you Electricity during the day at a far higher than average rate.
In short, if you have Economy 7, the more electricity that you can consume overnight during the cheaper Economy 7 period, the more money you will actually save on your annual electricity bill, so as well as storage heaters, you need to make sure that you use any immersion heaters during this period, and also set washing machines and tumble dryers to operate overnight, even charging mobile phones or laptops can help, even though these are not current hungry devices, every saving helps!.
When you compare electricity tariffs you will see that there are two actual tariff prices relating to Economy 7. One tariff will represent the cost of the overnight off peak electricity which you get for seven hours overnight, and the other rate will represent the cost of the Electricity sold to you during the rest of the day, refered to as the ‘peak rate’ often there can be as much as 50 – 60% difference between daytime (peak) and overnight (off peak) rates, and this is why its important to choose the correct tariff, as mistakes here can literally cost you £100’s every year.
During the winter months, when your requirement for Electric Storage Heating is high, then you need to sacrifice the daytime rate for a much better off peak rate, this is because your overnight consumption will be around five times higher than during the rest of the day, so it is important to find an electricity supplier who offers the lowest overnight (off peak) rate, even if it means a higher daytime rate in order to do so.
However, during the Spring and Summer months, when your requirement for storage heating drops, then you need to find an electricity supplier who has the cheapest daytime rate, this is because your daytime electricity rate will be higher during the summer than the off peak rate as you will no longer be using your storage heaters.
This is why it is important that Economy 7 Customers, change their supplier twice a year in order to reflect the changes in their heating requirements. It is a good idea for Economy 7 users to compare prices during September / October in order to find and secure the lowest overnight off peak rate ready for the winter months, and then compare prices and change supplier again in April, in order to choose a supplier with the lowest daytime (peak) rate, ready to continue to save money during the summer months.
The easiest way to do this is to use an Energy Comparison Site where you can compare many suppliers, simply by entering your postcode, and annual energy use. You will also be prompted to enter in what percentage of overnight electricity you use, compared to daytime. When comparing prices for over the Winter months, you should enter 60% – 70% in this field, whilst during the summer, you should choose 25% – 30% – this will ensure that the correct tariff to match the time of year and your expected heating requirement, is fully taken into consideration, in order to produce the best Electricity tariffs.
Remember that it is important that you get into the routine of running all of your high demand appliances overnight, and this should continue all year around, even during the summer months. Since most Economy 7 Tariff’s will continue until 7.30 or 8.30AM even using the Electric Shower during this period before school / work can save a large amount of money over the course of a year!.
If you do use storage heating, then it is important that you use the settings on them correctly, for more information on how to do this, please read our storage heater page, once you have found the cheapest economy 7 tariff