Should You Be Using an Economy 7 Meter?

What is an Economy 7 meter? We outline the advantages, disadvantages and when you should use one.

What is an Economy 7 meter?

You've probably heard of Economy 7, or variable rate meters. They work on the basis that electricity is cheaper at night and record your off-peak usage separately, so you can pay less.

Between around midnight and 7am - although it depends on where you are - electricity is less in demand and so it's cheaper. If you use most electricity at night, you could save a fair amount of cash.

Of course, in order to make the most of the possible savings, you'll need to fit your appliances, such as washing machines and dishwashers, with timers. You'll also need to make sure your boiler and any storage heaters are switched on overnight.

Does it work? Well, there are some criticisms. Energy may be cheaper at night, but you won't necessarily have enough hot water and warmth to see you through the following day.

Some Economy 7 tariffs actually charge more for using power in the daytime, so you risk losing the cash you've saved.

You may also need to pay to have an Economy 7 meter installed. Having said that, some people really do save cash with these meters. Talk to your supplier if you're interested.

Don't forget that once you've changed your meter, you can still switch providers, so make sure you continue to compare tariffs to make sure you're on the best deal.

With thanks to Moneysupermarket.com