The ultimate guide to Economy 10

What is Economy 10? 

Economy 10 offers different prices per kWh depending on what time you use energy. This can be an excellent way of managing the amount of money you’re spending on energy. Find out everything you need to know about Economy 10 tariffs. 

Economy 10 is a type of energy tariff known as a “differential tariff.” This means that you will pay different rates for your energy at different times of the day. Think of it as peak/off-peak rail tickets, but for your energy. You will receive discounted rates on energy for 10 hours of the day, split between the night and the afternoon/evening. That’s why it’s called Economy 10. So, if you use energy predominantly at night and at certain hours of the evening, you can expect to save money on your energy bills. 

What are the Economy 10 times? 

With Economy 10, you have 10 off-peak hours that will be split between the night, the afternoon, and the evening. The distribution of your off-peak hours is based on your energy supplier and the area of the country where you’re based, while the actual breakdown of your Economy 10 times is determined by your local distribution network operator. As a result, different people on an Economy 10 tariff will have different peak and off-peak hours. For example: 

  • You may have seven off-peak hours at night and three off-peak hours in the afternoon. 

  • You may have five off-peak hours at night, two off-peak hours in the afternoon, and three off-peak hours in the evening. 

  • You may have four off-peak hours at night, three off-peak hours in the afternoon, and three off-peak hours in the evening. 

It’s also important to note that your Economy 10 times may change depending on the clocks going forward or back. So, if your afternoon hours were 2pm to 4pm, after the clocks go back, they could change to 1pm to 3pm. This means that – depending on your energy usage – your Economy 10 times may not always be best suited to your schedule. 

What’s the difference between Economy 10 and other tariffs?

With other types of energy tariffs, customers pay the same unit price for energy regardless of what time they use it. However, with an Economy 10 tariff, your rate per kWh of energy will be different at different times throughout the day. This means that it may be a cheaper option for someone who uses a significant amount of energy at nighttime, for instance. 

How is Economy 10 different from Economy 7?

Economy 10 and Economy 7 are very similar. The main difference is simply the number of off-peak hours that the tariff gives you. Economy 7 offers seven hours of off-peak energy, but this energy can only be used during a set seven-hour period overnight. By contrast, Economy 10 has three extra hours that are usually spread across the afternoon or the evening. 

What is an Economy 10 meter?

If you are on an Economy 10 tariff, you will need to replace your standard electricity meter with an Economy 10 meter. This is because a standard meter can’t tell the difference between peak and off-peak hours, whereas an Economy 10 meter can. So, if you decide to switch to an Economy 10 plan, you’ll need to have a new meter installed. Your new energy supplier will handle the installation for you, but they may charge a fee for doing so. 

Can I get an Economy 10 smart meter?

Economy 10 tariffs are not compatible with smart meters, which means that you won’t be able to get an Economy 10 smart meter installed. If you already have a smart meter installed in your home, you’ll need to replace it with an Economy 10 meter if you decide to switch. 

What are the off-peak Economy 10 tariff rates?

Economy 10 tariff rates for off-peak hours are usually around half the price of peak hours. This means that you can make substantial savings on your energy. However, it’s important to remember that peak Economy 10 tariff rates are likely to be higher than standard rates.

How does Economy 10 heating work?

Economy 10 heating is essentially the same as normal heating. However, it’s important to remember that Economy 10 heating works best with a hot water tank and electric storage heaters. This is because you can charge them up during the night and then use the hot water and heat throughout the daytime. On the other hand, if you have an older storage heater that requires around seven hours to build up heat overnight, you may end up paying more for your energy due to the increased peak rates. 

Am I already on an Economy 10 tariff?

Of course, it’s possible that you’re already on an Economy 10 tariff. There are a couple of different ways that you can check: 

  • Look at your electricity bill: If your electricity is charged at two separate rates, then you may be on an Economy 10 tariff, although there’s also a chance that you’re on an Economy 7 tariff. 

  • Look at your electricity meter: An Economy 10 meter will have two sets of numbers, one labelled “low” and one labelled “normal.” If you see these sets of numbers on your meter, you’re probably on an Economy 10 plan, although again, there’s a chance that you’re on an Economy 7 plan as well. 

  • Contact your energy supplier: If you still aren’t sure, simply get in touch with your energy supplier and ask them what type of energy plan you’re on. 

How do I switch to an Economy 10 tariff?

Switching to an Economy 10 tariff is slightly more complicated than other types of energy plan switches, because you’ll need to have an Economy 10 meter installed. Head to a price comparison site, enter your details, and select a plan that works for you. Then, contact the supplier, and they’ll tell you exactly what you need to do to make the switch. But remember, there’s a chance that you’ll need to pay an installation fee for your new Economy 10 meter. 

How do I switch back to a normal tariff from Economy 10? 

If you decide that you want to switch back to a standard tariff, you’ll also need to consider the fact that a standard energy meter will need to be re-installed in your home. This may result in an additional charge, so to find out more, simply get in touch with your energy supplier and find out what you need to do to switch back to a normal tariff. 

How can you take advantage of an Economy 10 plan? 

There are a couple of ways you can take advantage of an Economy 10 tariff:

  • Heating system: Economy 10 plans work best with electric storage heaters and hot water tanks, as this allows you to keep water hot during the day after it’s been heated up at night. 

  • Appliances: It’s best to have appliances (tumble dryers, washing machines, etc.) with timer settings so you can operate them at night. 

  • Energy usage: You’ll probably need to use more than half of your energy during off-peak hours for an Economy 10 tariff to make financial sense. 

What are the drawbacks of Economy 10 heating? 

One of the main drawbacks of Economy 10 is the cost of switching. You’ll need to pay to install a new Economy 10 meter, which can be expensive. In addition, you’ll need to be disciplined about your energy use and make sure that you use energy at certain times of the day. If you don’t, you could end up paying expensive peak rates and spend more than you would on a standard tariff.

It’s also important to remember that off-peak times vary from one Economy 10 plan to another, so if you want to switch provider, your Economy 10 meter will need to be reprogrammed, which could result in additional charges. 

Is Economy 10 the right tariff for me? 

Ultimately, whether an Economy 10 plan is the right choice for your household depends on a couple of different factors. If you’re out of the house throughout the day and use a substantial amount of energy at night, then an Economy 10 tariff could be ideal. The extra off-peak hours in the afternoon or evening give you a degree of flexibility, and if you’re disciplined, you can save money on your energy costs. 

Ben GallizziEnergy Expert - Nov 13th 2019