Many households who are stuck with Electricity as their only form of heating, are tempted by the lure of Economy 10 heatwise heating, as an alternative to older Economy 7 heating. The Economy 10 tariff is also widely known as the Heatwise Tariff.
The main differences between Economy 7 and Economy 10 heatwise heating are the number of hours and the periods where the Electricity is sold at a reduced ‘off peak’ rate. For example Economy 7 Heating will offer one 7 hour period of cheap overnight Electricity, normally between the hours of Midnight and 7AM, whilst in comparison, Heatwise economy 10 will offer a total of ten hours of cheaper rate Electricity, spread over three periods throughout the night and daytime. Here is an example of Economy 10 / Heatwise periods
- 3 hours in the afternoon
- 2 hours in the evening
- 5 hours over night
Typical Heatwise tariff times:- Afternoon:- 1pm – 4pm, Evening 8pm – 10pm, Overnight 1am-6am
Economy 10 / Heatwise heating is normally only suitable for those households which have ‘wet’ electric central heating, and this normally produced by an Electric Boiler which acts like a big immersion heater, warming the water in the boiler during the Economy 10 heatwise periods, which is then stored in a central heat store and then circulated to radiators throughout the house, in a similar way to Gas central heating.
Economy 10 heating is largely unsuitable for older storage heaters, as these types of heaters normally require a full single seven hour period in which to store enough heat for later use, and the multiple shorter 2 – 5 hour periods provided by Economy 10 / heatwise simply do not maximise enough storage capacity of the heaters, resulting in them not warming adequately enough to store enough heat to adequately warm a house between their ‘on’ periods
Economy 10 heatwise users also tend to pay a higher Electricity rate than Economy 7 users, and whilst the Electricity sold on the Economy 10 heatwise tariff is still cheaper than a standard electricity tariff, it still falls far short of the cost of Economy 7.
To quote one of Eon’s own representatives:- You’re right; Heatwise is more about comfort than economy.
(Quote Source:- Eon Representative on Money Saving Expert Forum)
In addition, Economy 10 users have a very limited choice of Electricity supplier, and currently only two energy suppliers in the UK provide the Economy 10 tariff and these are Eon and EDF, this ultimately means that there is less competition, and less opportunity for Economy 10 users to haggle and to shop around. You will also be unlikely to find heatwise available on Comparison sites, and the lack of information in respect of the Economy 10 heatwise tariff on both EDF and Eon Energy websites is highly suspicious and lack of visible public information on these tariffs are possibly the biggest mystery known to the energy market, in fact its virtually impossible to get Economy 10 / Heatwise tariff prices from either company website!.
To make Heatwise pay its way you need to use at least 40% of your high consumption energy use overnight, and have storage heaters which are suitable for the Economy 10 Tariff.
The best recommendation to any tariff or company is indeed word of mouth, however looking around the many internet forums, it does seem that many existing heatwise economy 10 customers are less than happy with either their chosen form of heating or indeed their heatwise tariff, with many reporting very high Electricity bills, and the inability to change to a better tariff (because one simply does not exist).
The reason behind why Electricity bills on the Heatwise tariff, is probably down to the fact that just like Economy 7 tariffs, the cost of the Electricty sold during the ‘peak’ rate periods is much higher than other households pay on a standard single tariff ( in order to claw back some of the saving it makes on selling the cheaper rate electricity). Because there is also some reliance on the electric boiler at some point using peak rate electricity, such as during colder days, when the heat store is unable to provide the demand, then inevitably those househouds begin to pay well over the odds for the Electricity to do it, should the boiler need to run outside of the cheaper rate periods (and during mid winter this would be a common occurance).
For those unhappy with their Heatwise Tariff, then the only option is for you to contact your supplier and request a change of meter, although there is a charge for this it can usually be recouped back through energy savings if you feel that you are overpaying on Heatwise.
If you no longer use Electric Heating then you would be better off requesting a standard tariff meter, however if you still have a large reliance on storage heating then you will need to request an Economy 7 tariff, but at least it offers more range than Economy 10.