Heat pumps operate throughout the day and night, so when installing this technology it is important to consider your electricity usage. Changing your tariff may help the unit to run more economically.
It is always important to inform your electricity provider when installing a heat pump, as they may be able to offer other suitable bespoke tariffs.
Economy 7 is an electricity tariff that is designed to reduce electricity bills by charging less for electricity used at night. There is one fixed price for the electricity consumed during the day and one for the night. Just like you can make cheaper phone calls during off-peak hours, you can do the same by using your electricity at off-peak times.
The night rate normally runs from 1:00am – 8:00am (although it can vary depending on your region and power supplier). For these seven hours, your electricity will be considerably lower than the standard daytime rate, hence the name Economy 7.
As a rough guide, the charge for using electrical appliances during these hours is around a third of the regular cost.
Houses using the Economy 7 tariff require a special electricity meter which provides the daily and nightly readings.
It is important to note that you will need to use at least 20% of your energy consumption at night to make a saving.
Similar to Economy 7, the Economy 10 tariff is designed to be used with high thermal mass heating such as storage heaters, under floor heating and is also used with electrical boilers driving radiators or water-based heat stores.
In contrast to Economy 7, which only provides off-peak electricity during night time hours, Economy 10 tariffs provide 10 hours of off peak heating split between afternoon, evening and night.
The ten off peak hours are as follows:
13:00 to 16:00 – 3 hours
20:00 to 22:00 – 2 hours
00:00 to 05:00 – 5 hours
Regional times can vary according to the area that you live in or your supplier and are switched automatically.
Economy 10 tariffs are designed to match the times that heating is required, with the afternoon and evening slots providing a top-up to heat stored overnight. The advantage of this scheme is that this allows you to use as much electricity as possible with your cheaper rate electricity and reduce your use of the more expensive daytime rate, when your home may need less or no heat. The afternoon and evening periods also provide a top-up to heating systems at off-peak prices.
Off-peak electricity costs can be half of peak prices, but many Economy 10 tariffs levy an increased standing daily charge.
Economy 10 requires a special multi-tariff meter which is charged for by your electricity supplier if you do not already have one in place.