Everything You Need to Know about Economy 7 Heating

Have you heard of economy 7 heating? Perhaps not, but we’re here to help! We aim to answer your most frequently asked questions about anything and everything to do with Economy 7 storage heaters (ESH) to ensure you are making the most of your money with cheaper electricity.

In this article, we will discuss the benefits of the economy 7 heating tariff and all its ins and outs!

We’re certain that by using this information, you will save even further, and it will help you understand what you’re paying and how it can work out in your favour.

Check if you qualify for an electric storage heater compatible with Economy 7 heating tariff?

Homeowners and private tenants living in electrically heated properties are now eligible to receive government grants to upgrade their heaters for FREE. You’re likely to qualify if:

  • You Are a Homeowner or a Private Tenant
  • You receive Income-Related Benefits
  • You Have Electrically Heated Property
economy 7 heating times

What is Economy 7 Heating?

Economy 7 tariff is an extra tariff that is offered through UK electricity suppliers for ESHs to provide low-cost power in off peak hours.

Electricity tariffs, such as Economy 7, charge different prices at different times of the day, much like on-peak and off-peak telephone calls.

Economy 7 lets you use electricity from the grid at night for about a third of what it costs during the day.

Typically, cheap electricity is available from midnight until 7 am in winter, and between 1 am and 8 am in summer, depending on the energy suppliers and what region of the UK you live in.

If you use the best storage heaters, Economy 7 tariff will start saving you money right away if you’ve previously been heating your home using a room heater or something equally inefficient!

And when paired up with an Economy 7 meter or other smart meter, there is nothing stopping you from decreasing your energy bills.

When was Economy 7 Introduced?

A new off peak rate, referred to as the Economy 7 tariff, was introduced in October 1978.

It offered a seven-hour night rate that was around 20% lower than other nightly rates, which were made possible by the efficiency in the operation at night.

Although ESHs were invented back in the 60’s we had to wait almost 20 years before ECO 7 storage heaters that worked more efficiently with this new electricity tariff started to be mass-produced.

economy 7 heating history

How Does Economy 7 Heating Work?

Economy 7 tariffs provide lower rates in the evening, but more expensive rates during the daytime.

They are primarily designed for those who own e10 or e7 storage heaters, which draw energy in the evening and at night and then release the heating during the day when they are required.

You can use 1kw to 3kw storage heaters and further optimise your energy night time usage and lower your bills through utilising cheaper rates. This approach is more eco friendly in comparison to using normal tariff with no energy deal.

Standard energy tariffs aren’t as cost efficient as they don’t offer cheaper rate at night when you can charge your ESH and store heat to be released during the day.

In fact, the more heating appliances you use during off peak periods such as hot water tank or simply when you draw electricity for your washing machine, the lower your electricity bill will be at the end of the month.

The lower, off peak rates typically run between midnight and 7 am and the more expensive rates for the day cover the remainder of the day. However, the exact times may differ by the provider.

Do Times Vary For the Economy 7 Heating in Different Seasons?

The exact timings at which Economy 7 heating is switched on vary between different seasons, regions and even individual meters.

For instance, the economy 7 electric storage heaters seven-hour off peak period could begin at 1.30 am in British Summer Time and 12:30 am in Greenwich Mean Time (winter).

Between What Hours Do Economy 7 Storage Heaters Run at Off Peak Times?

The off peak period spans seven hours, which is why it’s called that.

The term was invented in the late 1980s by Jon Marshall. The first time we hear of Economy 7 from energy companies is in 1978.

What Happens to the Economy 7 Heating When the Clocks Change?

Economy 7 heating meters don’t usually change themselves like our digital devices nowadays when the clocks change.

Your off peak times could be different between British Summer Time (BST, when clocks go forward) and Greenwich Mean Time (GMT, when clocks go back), so ensure to ask your energy supplier how this will impact you.

Does Economy 7 energy tariff work with gas?

It is not possible to get Economy 7 with gas central heating. Gas is predominately used for heating, hot water, and cooking, rather than appliances like tumble dryers and washing machines which tend to use electricity overnight.

How Does Pricing Work for Economy 7 Heating?

If you want to buy economy 7 storage heaters, you’re probably wondering not only how much they cost, but also what are the running costs and are they compatible with my energy supplier tariffs.

Firstly, with Energy Company Obligation grant you don’t have to pay a penny to buy electric storage heater as they can be installed at your home at no cost to you, if you meet the funding criteria (see below).

Secondly, when it comes to running costs, the Economy 7 is commonly referred to as time-of-use pricing, since the price you pay will depend on the off peak time you are using electricity.

It’s also called storage heaters economy 7 tariff, as it’s saving you the most money when you’re using overnight storage heaters to heat your home.

Check if you can apply for the storage heater replacement grant.

Does Economy 7 tariff provide cheaper electricity rate?

Yes! Nigh tariffs such as Economy 7 use a special kind of electricity meter, which tracks electricity usage separately during the day and at night, unlike a standard meter.

Houses that have an electric storage heater that is on the Economy 7 tariff require a special cheaper electricity meter that gives two different readings: one for the electricity used during the day, which is priced higher, and another for off peak hours, with a lower price.

If you use the best storage heaters, economy 7 will start saving you money right away if you’ve previously been heating your home using a room heater or something equally inefficient!

Is Electricity Cheaper at Night With Economy 7 Heating?

Yes, the 7 off peak hours of electricity prices at night are less expensive, but you can inquire with your electricity provider to confirm if the switch from your current tariff provided by your energy supplier will allow you to save money.

This applies to both Economy 10 and Economy 7 storage heaters, UK customers use.

How do I switch to an E7 tariff?

Generally, the Economy 7 tariff is only recommended for people who use night storage heater as their main heating source to benefit from low energy prices. An Economy 7 meter will be needed in order to record both your day rate electricity usage and nighttime off peak electricity times usage.

Your supplier may charge you for fitting a new meter, but if you have your electric storage heater installed with UK Energy Support through ECO grant, these will be provided for free.

All you need to do is contact your energy provider to switch tariffs, and we’ll take care of the compatible ESH installation along with the smart meter so you can take advantage of the Economy 7 rates.

Night Storage Heaters Economy 7

The best economy 7 st. heaters (and all modern economical storage heaters) store thermal energy in heat banks, normally clay bricks, during the evening or at night when electricity is more affordable and release it during the day when needed.

Heating with economy storage heaters used to be considered an expensive alternative to other fuel sources but now ESH is considered by many to be the best heater for large room including conservatories.

Today, ESHs are a competitive source of controllable heat energy when compared to gas and oil alternatives with skyrocketing energy costs or even the best electric radiators.

How Do Economy 7 Meters Work?

Economy 7 meters can differ greatly, even those that are within the same company, however the main point is that they are supposed to save money.

Certain older systems come with two meters: one for off peak hours rates and another to measure the peak hours rate.

Other meters from energy suppliers have only one meter point administration number that takes two readings. Older meters are equipped with a radio signal, which then changes it to an off peak quota at the right time. Modern meters receive the digital signal, which does exactly the same thing.

Certain Economy 7 meters come with two numbers. The first is typically labelled “normal” economy 7 tariff (the pricey daytime one) while the other economy 7 tariff is marked “low” (the night-time reading).

economy7 smart meter

Does Economy7 heating work with smart meter and electric storage heaters?

If you’ve used storage heaters for a while, you may have wondered how this fits into all the new smart meters you have been getting your head around recently?

The way the new smart meter work with Economy 7 st. heaters is that they track your electricity usage and send it to your energy provider.

Economy 7 meter will of course show you how much electricity and how much energy you’re using for different uses such as running washing machines or electric storage heater and how much you’re paying for it.

Not all suppliers would install smart meters with regular central heating heating your house, but it depends on your property’s energy tariffs use and efficiency.

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

How To Test Economy 7 Circuits

The quick answer is that you shouldn’t. People playing around with circuits should be certified professionals from your electricity supplier or government-approved suppliers (like us!).

Appliances like the economy 7 night storage heaters are typically placed on separate circuits that are turned on only during the time that night rates are activated.

Some appliances like a washing machine or dishwashers have timers that let them be scheduled to run during the time that night rates are activated with the economy 7 tariffs and are connected to a regular circuit.

In more modern houses, the digital economy 7 smart meter automatically changes to record both the ranges.

If Economy 7 is being used, the home should have two wiring circuits. As in any home, the main wiring circuit is connected to the plug sockets, lights, etc. Any devices using this circuit can be turned on at any time, but if they are used at night you will be charged a lower rate.

The second circuit only operates when the electricity meter is in off-peak mode and connects to just the night storage heaters and (usually) the hot water tank.

economy 7 heating mains connection

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.

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 and economy 10 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 Tax Credits (CTC)
  • Working Tax Credit (WTC)
  • Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
  • Pension Credit Savings Credit
  • Universal Credit (UC)
  • Child Benefits
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment & Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Income Support (IS)
  • Warm Home Discount Scheme Rebate
This is a government backed scheme

Don't wait! Apply Today

The ECO4 grant has launched in April 2022. The applications are now open so hurry if you don’t want to miss out on a FREE upgrade of your room heater to an electric storage heater running on the Economy 7 heating.