Economy 7 is a type of energy plan used alongside Economy 7 meters, which is designed to help you save money on energy use during night-time hours. These tariffs are based around day and night-time usage, with electricity being cheaper at night but more expensive than normal during the day. Economy plans are also known as White Meter plans.
These tariffs use a different kind of electricity meter which, unlike a standard meter, can track the electricity you use during the day and at night separately. You’re then charged those different rates for the electricity used during the day and during the night. The day rate is often more expensive than day rates on a normal tariff. These cheaper periods are knowns as ‘off peak’ hours.
An Economy 7 tariff is best suited to people who have Quantum electric storage heaters and a hot water tank to heat up. The electric storage heaters heat up overnight and they slowly emit their heat the next day, and you heat all your hot water for the next day overnight too. If you heat your home and water with electricity, but don't have storage heaters and a hot water tank, Economy 7 energy probably won't be so cost effective for you.
To make the most of the Economy 7, it helps if appliances like your dishwasher washing machine and tumble dryer have a timer so that they can run them overnight during the cheaper Economy 7 times.
You can tell if you have an Economy 7 meter because it usually shows two sets of numbers, rather than a single reading. This will be displayed in one of two ways. Two sets of numbers marked ‘low’ (the night-time rate) and one marked ‘normal’ (the standard daytime rate). Alternatively, there may be one set of numbers marked day rate, and a red button, which you press to get your night reading.