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Economy 7 help please

(6 Posts)
SuePurblybilt Fri 12-Aug-11 21:13:40

I have manky old storage heaters and electricity on a card meter. No choice in either, I rent.
The electricity supplier have written about a price hike and have informed me that I have economy seven so my electricity is cheaper at night. I presumed this was for the heaters, which I avoid using, but I gather if I put the washing machine on at night it is cheaper?

So does anyone know at what point 'night' kicks in/ends and if there is a timer I need to check or adjust?

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 12-Aug-11 21:30:27

The time 'night' kicks in varies according to what time of year it is. 12 midnight in the winter and 1am in the summer, typically. It is horrendously expensive unless you are running really electricity-chewing appliances like storage heaters at night. Because the daytime rate is so high, I worked out that I would have to use something like 70% of my electricity in the 7 cheap hours just to break even. Even if I ran the tumble-drier, dishwasher and washing machine every night I didn't get close. Ask your landlord to get the meter changed for one that is a straight rate.

nannynick Fri 12-Aug-11 21:35:11

It depends on the wiring. In my flat, from the meter there are two sets of supply cables, one which is for Normal and one for Eco7. The Eco7 ones go to a timing device and then on to a small fusebox. The only things on those circuits are one of the elements in the water heater, plus the night storage heater. The timer I cannot changed. It's timing is not right... I've called the electricity board and the guy who came out said the timer is in my favour and didn't change it.

Newer systems have a special electricity meter which automatically changes the billing rate at some point in time.

There seem to be various different ways that homes can be wired for Eco7.

SuePurblybilt Fri 12-Aug-11 21:40:20

Jakers, that's even worse! But I appear to have two fuse boxes, one for the heaters and one for the rest, I gormlessly assumed it would somehow 'click over' to the cheapest rate.

I'm going to try to get permission to remove the heaters and put in oil filled rads (no gas supply here), perhaps I can lobby to get the meter removed.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 13-Aug-11 07:34:29

It's no big deal for the landlord to get the meter switched to a regular one. The electricity company will do it for free, same as they did for me. They're going round in the next few months upgrading all meters to some new technology according to a letter I got last week. Oil-filled rads also chew electricity but, if you get the standard rate, it'll be far cheaper than the Economy 7 day rate.

Fizzylemonade Tue 16-Aug-11 18:53:43

Sue your meter will either have a little clock timer next to it to click it over onto the night rate or it will be done by radio control. The only way to tell when it clicks over is to look at the meter, sometimes there is a little indicator telling you which rate it is on. Everyone comes on a slightly different times. If it is a digital display meter then there should be a little arrow telling you which rate you are currently on.

If you do not have an instruction booklet for your meter and want one, contact the electricity company and ask for one.

Even though your storage heaters may have a separate fuse box they should all still connect to the meter and so everything makes use of the night rate.

Some appliances have a timer built in like washing machines/dishwashers etc, if they don't you can buy a plug in timer to make your appliances come on at night and make use of the cheaper rate.

This would all depend on whether you are happy to have your washing machine on at night, noise wise.

Re the prepayment meter, as it is a rental property there may have been cases in the past where tenants have run off owing money, if this repeatedly happens then the prepayment meter is fitted or it may have been fitted to collect back money owed by one person. Usually they get left in a property until someone requests it is changed.

IIRC when they put your details into the system a credit check is performed to judge the risk of changing the meter (I used to work for an electricity company on debt collection)

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