What is Eco7 and is it right for me?

Eco7 is short for Economy 7. Economy 7 is an energy plan where lower prices are offered for (typically) 7 hours at night but higher prices are charged during the day. Eco7 tariffs are particularly beneficial for those who use large quantities of energy in the evening, perhaps those with storage heaters.

These deals are offered since energy network operators want consumers to use more at “off peak” times so they have to build less capacity for big surges during the day (like putting the kettle on to watch Eastenders).

How much could you save?

Do I have an Eco7 meter?

Around 1 in 5 households in the UK have an Eco7 meter. If you want to find out if you’ve got one installed there are two quick ways to find out:

First, check your electricity meter. If it is reporting two separate numbers for peak and off-peak you have an Eco7 meter.

The second way of finding out is by pulling out a bill and finding your MPAN number (for more details on where to find this see our guide on MPAN numbers). If your MPAN starts with an 02 then your meter is Eco7.

At what times will my energy be cheaper?

The timings are different all across the UK as each different network operator wants to incentivise you to use energy at a different time based on regional habits. However these times are typically in the small hours and can be seen in the graphic above.

What factors to consider

So you know what an Eco7 meter is, the next question is whether it is right for you. Well, the crux of the questions is do you use lots of energy in the evenings, or could you in the future? By switching to an Eco7 tariff your day time price will go up so you’ve got to be sure that your balance of energy usage is right.

So think about:

Energy usage – remember that though the prices of your night time tariff will go down, your day time tariff will rise. Check your energy meter over a week and see how much day and night time usage you use. If you use 40% or more of your energy at night then an Eco7 is likely the right option for you.

Heating source – Eco7 is typically a great option if you have a storage heater or a hot water tank that uses large amounts of energy in the evenings then spreads the heat throughout the day. So if this is you, or your heating is gas but you use most of your electricity in the evenings then Eco7 is likely for you. If your heating is electric and runs all day Eco7 is not likely to be a good option.

Your appliances – If you have lots of appliances that you are happy to run through the evening then Eco7 could be a good option. Are you happy and do you have the discipline to set your dishwasher and washing machine to run at night?

How to do the maths

So you’ve had a think and you think Eco7 might be right for you. The next step is get out a bill and pull out your night time, day time usage to check the whole market for the best price. You can either do this through a price comparison site, or we’d recommend signing up to Switchd where we’ve got access to tariffs that price comparison sites won’t show you.

Switchd was launched in February 2017 with the aim of saving Britain millions of pounds off its annual energy bill. Unlike comparison sites, the service automatically handles the switching process from start to finish, using an algorithm to constantly scan for the best energy deal tailored to your preferences and usage data. Subscription is £1.99 a month, but Switchd guarantees to find a saving for each household of at least £50 off its annual energy bill before it takes a payment.