Economy 7 or Economy 10 Heatwise Tariff?
Economy 7 or Economy 10 which is best for me? can they save me money?
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 or in Scotland a White Meter.
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 in 2011:- You’re right; Heatwise is more about comfort than economy.
(Quote Source:- Eon Representative on Money Saving Expert Forum)
(2023 Update) In addition, Economy 10 users have a very limited choice of Electricity supplier, and currently only one energy supplier in the UK still provides the Economy 10 tariff and as of 2023 this is SSE, this ultimately means that there is less competition, and less opportunity for Economy 10 users to keep their legacy systems. You will also be unlikely to find heatwise available on Comparison sites, and the lack of information in respect of the Economy 10 / heatwise is highly concerning as is the lack of visible public information on these tariffs which is possibly the biggest mystery known to the energy market, in fact its virtually impossible to get Economy 10 / Heatwise tariff prices directly from SSE.
This situation is likely to be further complicated at the end of December 2023, when the RTS system which controls the E10 “White Meter” switching, gets switched off.
For those still using the Heatwise Tariff, then the only option is for you to contact your supplier and request a migration to an E7 tariff, although that appears to also be something of a headache and may also require a meter change and possibly re-wiring of your heating circuits.
With Electric Heating seemingly being the future, then you would think that energy suppliers would be looking at something similar to the E10 tariff for those with heat pumps, as there will eventually have to be some kind of off peak subsidy to run those as the current single rate energy prices are prohibitive. Once that is established, then legacy E10 users could be rolled onto that.
With the roll out of smart meters, and EV tariffs, replicating the E10 tariff in 2023 really shouldn’t be this much of a problem. I’m sure if you bought an EV energy suppliers would be falling over themselves to get your business!.
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.