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Last updated: November 2022
- If you’re browsing energy providers or looking at price comparison sites, you may have seen some suppliers offer an Economy 10 tariff.
- You may be familiar with the better-known Economy 7 tariff, but be unsure how Economy 10 is different.
- You may wonder whether you’d need to change your meter for this tariff, how much you could save by switching, how to maximise potential savings and, of course, whether Economy 10 is better value than Economy 7.
This post will explain everything you need to know about Economy 10, whether or not it provides better value for you than Economy 7, and what changes you may need to make when switching to an Economy 10 tariff. But before we get into any of that, we need to ask…
What is Economy 10?
Economy 10 is an energy tariff that, like Economy 7 charges two separate rates for electricity depending on whether or not it is used on or off-peak. However, an Economy 10 tariff is different in that it offers 10 off-peak hours. This means that you have more hours in the day during which you can enjoy cheaper energy.
How does Economy 10 work?
Economy 10 works in much the same way as Economy 7. You have a special meter that logs your energy usage in peak and off-peak hours. This is then used to calculate your bills. Depending on your prospective supplier and where you live, you may be able to request a multi-rate Smart Meter. As such, your usage data will be sent directly to your energy supplier. So you don’t need to worry about potential billing inaccuracies.
Please note that even if you are currently on an Economy 7 tariff, you will need a new meter for an Economy 10 tariff (with the exception of some SMETS 2 smart meters).
What is the difference between Economy 7 and Economy 10?
Economy 10 is very similar to the Economy 7 or white meter tariffs that you may already be using. The biggest difference is that an Economy 10 tariff offers an extra 3 hours of off-peak energy. Depending on the individual tariff, there may also be slight differences in when off-peak hours are set.
For most providers (some of the most popular of which are listed below) off-peak hours are divided between 3 in the afternoon, 2 in the evening and 5 at night:
So, is Economy 10 better value than Economy 7?
Potentially. Because you have more hours of cheaper energy, Economy 10 may seem like a no-brainer. But it all depends on when you use the most energy.
Usually, these cheaper hours will be in the evenings and afternoons. However, these hours may be set at times when you will typically not use electricity (like the very early morning). So it’s important to check which extra hours are considered off-peak when choosing a tariff.
Because fewer and fewer energy companies are offering Economy 10 tariffs at the time of writing, the lack of competition results in less available tariffs. As such, you may find that don’t have as many options as if you were to opt for an Economy 7 tariff.
Is Economy 10 a good fit for my home?
It’s important to note that Economy 10 may not be an appropriate (or viable) tariff for every home. It is a tariff that is designed to work with electrically heated wet radiator systems (e.g. combination boilers). As such, these tariffs are typically not suitable for homes that use gas, oil, or electric storage heating. However, an Economy 10 tariff may also work well with electrically powered ceramic core heaters.
It’s also important to note that Economy 10 tariffs usually only offer five hours of heating at night, with three in the afternoon and two in the evening. If you have an older storage heater, you may not be able to get the best savings, as these heaters usually require seven hours of heating to store enough heat for the home.
Generally, homes that are heated by electricity rather than gas tend to benefit the most from Economy 10 tariffs.
How can I maximise my savings with an Economy 10 tariff?
First of all, you need to make sure you know what your chosen supplier’s on and off-peak hours are. Because these can vary depending on your supplier, where in the country you live and even the individual tariff, it’s always important to ensure that off-peak hours are as consistent with your energy use as possible. For instance, Economy 10 tariffs may have:
- 7 off-peak hours at night and 3 off-peak hours in the afternoon.
- 4 off-peak hours at night, 3 off-peak hours in the afternoon, and 3 off-peak hours in the evening.
- 5 off-peak hours at night, 2 off-peak hours in the afternoon, and 3 off-peak hours in the evening.
To maximise your savings, try and fit the bulk of your energy use into these off-peak hours. If your home uses storage heaters or underfloor heating, for instance, timing their use to coincide with off-peak hours is obviously advantageous. Likewise, you should try and charge your phone and other electronic devices during off-peak hours.
If possible, try and use dishwashers, washing machines and dryers during off-peak hours. Provided, of course, that they won’t keep sleeping family members awake at night.
It’s also a good idea to clamp down on “energy vampires” which could burn energy throughout the day during peak hours while you’re not at home. If you switch off your TV, games console, DVD player or anything else with a standby mode at the wall, this is the only way to ensure that it’s not using energy. Some devices use almost the same amount of energy when on standby as they do when live.
Economy 10 Pros & Cons
While an Economy 10 tariff can certainly be advantageous, it’s not necessarily a good fit for everyone. The chart below will help you to determine whether or not Economy 10 is the best fit for your home by listing some of the Pros and Cons:
|Economy 10 Pros||Economy 10 Cons|
|✅ Cheaper rates at night are beneficial for those with storage heaters.||❌ A new meter needs to be installed. This may be at a cost to you.|
|✅ Knowing off-peak hours puts you in control of your energy bills.||❌ Once you’re on an Economy 10 tariff, switching back can be complicated.|
|✅ More off-peak hours than an Economy 7 tariff.||❌ Relatively few potential savings for gas heated homes.|
|✅ Save up to 50% on off-peak energy.||❌ Can become costly if circumstances change and you’re at home for much of the day.|
|❌ Economy 10 tariffs are fewer in number than Economy 7 tariffs.|
Economy 10 suppliers
While Economy 10 tariffs are less numerous than Economy 7, there are still a number of providers that offer at least one Economy 10 Tariff to new customers. These include:
However, not all suppliers openly advertise their Economy 10 tariffs. To find out more information on Economy 10 suppliers, the community-led website Economy10.com has a useful list of suppliers that you can check out here.
Need help choosing the right Economy 10 tariff for you?
We hope you have found this Economy 10 guide useful. If you have decided that an Economy 10 tariff is the right choice for you, you may still need a little help choosing the right supplier for your needs.
Switch Plan can help you with every aspect of changing to an Economy 10 tariff, including providing help and advice in choosing a supplier. We take the guesswork and anxiety out of changing suppliers and tariffs so you can relax and think about how you’ll spend the money you’ve saved.
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⏱️ Do I need a special meter for Economy 10?
Yes. Standard meters don’t understand the difference between on and off-peak energy. In most cases, you will need a special meter that is programmed to log on and off-peak energy use in line with the peak times designated by the supplier. Even if you already have an Economy 7 meter, you will need a new meter to be able to switch your tariff.
I already have a smart meter. Can I use it for an Economy 10 tariff?
Potentially, yes. Especially if your smart meter has been installed recently. Some of the new generation of "multi-rate" smart meters are designed with the capability to juggle two tariffs. However, there are some that are only set up for single rate or Economy 7 tariffs. If you’re thinking of switching, talk to your supplier to see if you will need a new Smart Meter.
When is Economy 10 cheapest?
This depends on your supplier. It’s important to check which hours count as on and off-peak for each individual supplier. Some suppliers also set different on and off-peak hours for different areas of the country. Off-peak hours may also be different for customers who use a Pay As You Go meter rather than a conventional credit meter.
This is why it’s so important to check a new provider’s on and off-peak hours before committing to a tariff.
Is there an Economy 10 rate for gas?
No. Economy 10 rates only apply to electricity.
Updated on 10 Nov, 2022
UK Content Manager