Cheapest time to run appliances revealed – including with British Gas and EDF | The Sun
HOUSEHOLDS could save money by running their appliances at certain times.
Over three million households with multi-rate Economy 7 electricity meters already save by putting their washing machines and other devices on at night.
Reducing energy costs is a priority for millions of households as the average annual gas and electricity bill has soared to £2,500 a year.
If you use more electricity at night than you do during the day, you can make big savings by switching to an Economy 7 electricity tariff – some have saved up to £120 a year.
Those tariffs offer customers cheaper energy at night, but the day time rate is usually higher than average – meaning you could end up spending more if you use your appliances during peak hours.
That means if you can switch your electricity use to night time hours, you could make savings.
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The cheapest rates are usually available between 11pm and 8am for up to 7.
It's up to your energy supplier to set their off-peak and cheaper rate times – but we've listed the off-peak times for each supplier below.
Customers with multi-rate electricity meters can also check their peak and off-peak hours by looking at their meter.
It won't work for everyone, as some people won't be able to shift enough of their electricity use to the cheaper hours.
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But if you can, you could save hundreds every year.
If you think that switching to a multi-rate tariff could be worth it – speak to your energy supplier.
Not every supplier offers these tariffs so you may have to search the open market.
Octopus Energy and Ovo Energy have also recently announced separate schemes that could pay you up to £100 to use your appliances at night even if you're not on an Economy 7 tariff.
But the new schemes, encouraged by National Grid to prevent blackouts, don't come without risks after experts warned that running appliances at night come with an added fire risk.
What are economy tariffs?
Economy tariffs charge different rates for electricity during the day compared to the night time.
If you have an multi-rate meter, you'll get seven hours at the lower rate.
This is usually somewhere between 11pm and 8am but this will vary depending on your supplier and where you live.
Check with your supplier exactly which hours will be charged at the lower rate before you switch.
We've listed below the energy firms offering Economy 7 energy tariffs as well as their cheap off-peak hours in the evening.
British Gas offers tariffs for customers with Economy 7 meters.
Customers can use their appliances and be charged less between 12am and 7am in the winter and 1am and 8am in the summer.
Bulb customers on Economy 7 tariffs get cheaper ratesd between 12.30am and 7.30am in the winter.
And 1.30am and 8.30am in the summer.
Off-peak electricity times for customers with an Economy 7 meter will vary depending on where they live, but this will usually be seven hours of off-peak electricity sometime between 11pm and 8am.
This might be split up into chunks of time.
EDF said that customers can check their Economy 7 off-peak times on their energy bill.
E.ON and E.ON Next
Eon customers will normally be charged less between 11pm and 8am.
But this may vary depending on where you live and households on Economy 7 meters could instead be charged off-peak rates from 11pm to 7am or 12pm to 8am.
Octopus Energy Economy 7 customers without smart meters can take advantage of lower energy rates between 12am and 7am.
Those with smart meters get cheaper rates between 12.30am and 7.30am.
Ovo Energy and SSE
Ovo and SSE Economy 7 customers will generally be charged less between 11.30pm and 7.30am in the winter.
Customers will then be charged cheap rates between 12.30am and 8.30am during the summer.
Scottish Power's cheap off-peak hours for Economy 7 customers take place between 12am and 7am.
But some customers could get cheaper rates between 12.30am and 7.30am.
Shell said that any two-rate meter we install will be off peak between midnight and 7am.
But hours can vary, depending on what type of meter you have and where you live.
In some cases you may even find that your off-peak hours are split into more than one time period.
How else can I cut my energy bills?
You could slash your energy bills by 7% a year if you flush out any sludge in your central heating system.
If you turn your boiler's flow temperature down as well as any thermostatic radiator valves in some rooms – you could save around £180 annually on your energy bills.
Topping up loft insulation and switching to a smart meter can bring a household a further £230 worth of annual savings, according to Nesta.
It is also important to ensure that when your boiler's running that there's no draught.
Ventilation is good for health and air quality but it's the first place where heat will escape.
If there's a draught, grab a draught excluder and plug the gap. You should also ensure your windows are closed before the sun sets.
It's also worth closing your curtains before it gets dark as the heat will then stay inside your home.
Another great way to ensure you save money is to turn off your boiler when you're not using the water.
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Most boilers or thermostats have a setting to allow you to schedule when the heating turns on and off.
Consider what rooms in your home need heating. You won't be using each one 24/7 so make sure the heating is off in any rooms that aren't occupied.
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