Economy 10 tariff and meters explained

Depending on the time of day, certain energy plans may offer cheaper electricity rates; at other times, they may be more expensive. If you use more than 40% electricity overnight heating your home with electric storage heaters, for example, Economy 10 might be an ideal plan to save money on your energy bills while reducing your carbon footprint.

Our guide to Economy 10 tariffs will help you decide whether it will work for you:

  1. What is an Economy 10 tariff?
  2. What are Economy 10 hours?
  3. How does Economy 10 differ from other tariffs like Economy 7 heating tariff?
  4. Can I have a smart meter with Economy 10?
  5. How to get a smart meter with storage heater for FREE? (Is Economy 10 the right tariff for me?)

Do You Qualify for Electric Storage Heaters grant?

If you love energy savings and you own or rent a property that is electrically heated and receive the correct combination of income-related benefits you’re likely to qualify for room heater to storage heater replacement grant.

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Homeowner or Private Tenant

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Receive Income-Related Benefits

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Electrically heated property

economy 10

See if you qualify for electric room heater to electric storage heater replacement grant.

What is an Economy 10 electricity tariff?

Economy 10 is a UK electricity plan that can help you reduce your electricity bill. Generally, you pay normal rates for electricity most of the time which turn into lower rates during the night. The energy deal is that the electricity supplier sets these off-peak hours, which are spread throughout the day and night. 

It’s worth mentioning that Scottish energy providers provide meters with off-peak rates as well but they call them “White meters” instead of Economy 10. 

What does Economy 10 mean?

With an Economy 10 plan, you have ten hours of off-peak access during each 24-hour period. That is why this plan is called Economy 10.

What is the difference between Economy 7 and 10?

The Economy 10 tariff is cheaper during off peak times than a standard tariff, which charges the same rate all hours of the day. 

An Economy 10 tariff differs from an Economy 7 heating, which, as the name suggests, typically offers cheaper electricity at night for 7 hours.

How does Economy10 work?

A plan with an Economy 10 rate can offer cheaper rates as low as half of those during peak hours. Thus, if you use appliances like dishwashers, slow cookers and washing machines during these off peak times, you may be able to cut your energy bills by reducing energy costs and have them running on correct timer settings.

However, you will need to be smart about how much electricity you use outside of the 10 off-peak hours because unit rates for energy you consume outside of those hours are higher than usual.

What are Economy 10 hours?

Different suppliers offer different economy 10 times, so it’s best to ask yours for details. Generally, discounted rates for Economy 10 are split into seven hours at night and three hours during the day.

What are the off-peak Economy 10 tariff rates?

You can have a different Economy 10 rates depending on where you live and who your energy supplier is.

Off peak times vary. There could be three off-peak hours in the afternoon (e.g. 1pm – 4pm), two in the evening (e.g. 8pm – 10pm) and five overnight (e.g. midnight – 5am).

Keep in mind that some areas and Economy 10 electricity suppliers change these times when the clocks go back or forward and switch to and from British Summer Time. But that does not apply to all energy suppliers.

Economy 10 offers lower unit cheaper rates outside of peak hours, but the normal daytime rate is sometimes higher than many standard energy plans. If you’re not certain what you’ll be charged off-peak or during the day, speak with individual suppliers.

Here are some examples of different Economy 10 times:

Type Afternoon off-peak hours Evening off-peak hours Overnight off-peak hours
Afternoon/overnight 3h (e.g. 1-4pm) none 7h (e.g. 12-7am)
Afternoon/evening/overnight 3h (e.g. 1-4pm) 4h (e.g. 8pm-12am) 3h (e.g. 4-7am)

Depending on your location and your energy provider, these times may change when the clocks go forward for British Summer Time. For instance, 1-4pm GMT will become 2-5pm BST. Please consult your supplier for exact times.

Is Economy 10 the right energy tariff for me?

For those of you who are still unsure whether an Economy 10 tariff is right for you, consider these questions:

  • Do you love energy savings? If so, then you probably want to optimise your energy usage. If you use more energy during the night then cheaper unit rates at night are perfect for you. As long as a significant amount of your electricity is used during the night you can benefit from Economy10 tariffs.
  • Are you using gas for central heating system or hot water tank? Economy 10 is not suitable for homes with gas boilers or central heating systems, as it is designed for homes with electric storage heaters.
  • Do you use a lot of electricity? Economy10 tariff could be a suitable option if you use lots of electricity through electric storage heater. Due to their low-cost nature, night heaters can be charged during off-peak hours and then release heat during the day.
  • Most importantly, when do you use electricity? Economy 10 is a good option if you are out most of the day, but spend most of your time at home at night and during the evening. This is because you will increase energy use during off-peak hours and therefore spend less on night tariff.
washing machine on economy 10

A new heating system can mean a cheaper price on bills and more warmth in your house! Find out if you’re eligible for a free electric storage heater grant to replace your inefficient electric heater or radiator with new ESH.

Are there any disadvantages to Economy 10 tariffs?

The fact is, not all energy suppliers offer Economy 10 tariffs. This limits your options when you compare energy prices and off peak unit prices. Among the advantages and drawbacks are:

What are the benefits of an Economy 10 tariff?

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If you live a busy life, is the majority of your energy used during off-peak hours? Economy 10 tariff works best when your heater and appliances are run during ten cheaper hours in the late evening or during the night.
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It is also the best choice for electric rather than gas heating systems.

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Your heating system should ideally incorporate storage heaters and hot water tanks with immersion heaters, as this allows you to charge the units during off-peak hours and use them during the day. 
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Modern ESH with more recent technology like high heat retention storage heaters (HHR) are ideal – older models typically need seven hours of continuous heating to store enough heat. 
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You should set your major electrical appliances (such as your washing machine, dishwasher, and tumble dryer) to run on timers so that they can be used at night.
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Additionally, you should think about where your appliances are located. Some people have washing machines close to their bedroom is not ideal, as running it at night could interfere with your sleep.
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With an Economy 10 tariff, solar panels can be a great combination. During the winter months, you will be able to utilize solar-generated cheaper electricity in the early morning and afternoons, as well as hours of cheaper electricity in the evenings and overnights.
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The savings you can achieve with Economy 10 tariffs will be significantly less if your home is heated by natural gas or another energy source.

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Switching can also be expensive unless you do it through ECO grant because you won’t need to pay to have smart meters installed. 

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Additionally, you’ll have to make sure you use most of your low cost energy during certain times in the evening and at night. In such a case, you may end up paying expensive peak-rates, which could be more expensive than a normal tariff.
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Also keep in mind that different Economy 10 plans offer different off-peak times. Changing providers will mean the new meter will need to be reprogrammed – and that could be expensive. Make sure you are comparing energy prices and know when you use your appliances to make the most of economy 10 tariffs.

Find out your eligibility for electric room heater to storage heater replacement grant for your house.

How do I find out if I’m on an Economy 10 tariff?

Three ways to find out if you don’t already know:

Look at your electricity meter

Economy 10 meters have two sets of numbers, one labelled “low” and the other “normal”. Having these numbers on your meter indicates that you have a multi-rate meter, which indicates either Economy 10 or Economy 7.

You may also see a ‘day’ rate and a ‘night’ rate on your new meter. Regardless of how your meter is marked, you should clearly see if there are two separate billing rates.

If you have a smart meter installed, you’ll need to cycle through the on-screen options to see if there are two registers (R1 and R2), and whether they are recording consumption.

Check your bill

If you are being charged two different rates for electricity, you may be on a split-rate plan like Economy 10 or Economy 7 which will be indicated on your bill.

Contact your energy supplier

Reaching out to your energy provider is another option, so they can tell you what type of energy plan you have.

Here’s how to switch to Economy 10

It may be a little more complicated if you consider energy plan switches to an Economy 10 tariff since you will need an Economy 10 meter installed.

But if you have UK Energy Support replace your electric heaters with Electric Storage Heaters for free as part of the ECO4 scheme and smart meter installed, all you need to do is just switch your tariff with energy suppier and you can start saving money right away.

economy 10 energy bill

Which suppliers provide Economy 10?

At the moment the Economy 10 tariff is not available from all suppliers. You are unlikely to find a supplier that offers E10 meters unless you already own one. Smart meters are becoming increasingly popular, so Economy 10 meters are being used less. There are still some suppliers that offer such meters and energy tariffs on a case by case basis:

  • British Gas
  • Economy 7 Energy
  • E.ON
  • Ecotricity
  • EDF Energy
  • Good Energy
  • Green Energy UK
  • Green Network Energy
  • iSupplyEnergy
  • M&S Energy
  • nPower
  • Octopus Energy
  • Outfox The Market
  • OVO Energy
  • People’s Energy
  • PFP Energy
  • Powershop
  • So Energy
  • SSE
  • Scottish Power
  • Spark Energy
  • Together Energy
  • Tonik Energy
  • Utilita

Grant based on a government ECO4 scheme

UK GOV website address

Exactly what is an Economy 10 meter?

Plans with Economy 10 energy use special meters that allow you to track hours of cheaper electricity. The display shows you two different meter readings, which reflect the two different rates you’ll be paying.

Changing from a standard plan to an Economy 10 tariff will usually require the installation of a special Economy 10 meter or a smart meter as standard meter installed at your home cannot suport economy 10 tariffs as it only shows single meter readings.

Should you decide to switch to an Economy 10 tariff, but then decide to return to a standard plan, you may have to pay another installation fee.

economy7 smart meter

Using an Economy 10 meter

Standard meters are a little easier to read than Economy 10 meters, which have two readings which is the key difference. In standard meter installed across the UK, there will be more than one reading per day, covering normal electricity usage, low usage at night, and off-peak energy usage during the day.

Either your Economy 10 meter will allow you to scroll through the readings manually, or it will automatically do so. 

How can I get an Economy 10 smart meter?

There is no such thing. You can either have an Economy 10 meter or a smart meter. The government plans to install smart meters in most homes by 2024, which will make Economy 10 meters a history.

Check if you’re eligible for a free upgrade of electric room heaters in your home.

How Can UK Energy Support assist?

We, at UK Energy Support specialise in home insulation and best electric heating systems installation, but we know others are not experts like us.

We aim to provide comprehensive EPC assessments of homes to see whether your property is in need of better insulation or heating systems such as energy efficient heaters.

We want your home as efficient as possible, and you to experience minimal heat loss this winter as well as any other time of year.

With years of professional experience as trustworthy and reliable certified insulation installers, we can assess how to conserve stored heat energy and make your home more efficient to save money by reducing your energy bill.

You can get in touch with us any time to inquire about both insulation and electric storage heaters economy 7 compatible that we offer as part of the ECO4 grant.

If you are a recipient of the following benefits, you are likely to be eligible for the grant:

  • Child Benefits
  • Child Tax Credits
  • Housing Benefit NEW
  • Income based Jobseekers allowance
  • Income related Employment & Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
  • Pension Credit Savings Credit NEW
  • Universal Credit
  • Warm Home Discount Scheme Rebate
  • Working Tax Credit

Apply Today & reduce your carbon footprint

The ECO4 funding is available to cover all the costs associated with energy efficiency measures. Check your eligibility today and enjoy your Economy 10 compatibile Storage Heaters upgrade free of charge s part of the carbon saving obligation!