E10 Overview

What is Economy 10 ?

  • Economy 10 (E10 for short) is a type of electricity meter.  It gives you 10 hours of off-peak electricity, spread over three blocks across the day.  This is different from an economy 7 meter which gives you 7 hours off-peak electricity in one block overnight.
  • Economy 10 is also the ‘tariff’ you need from your electricity company if you have this type of meter.

Economy 10 refers to the meter and electricity tariff. It doesn’t describe any of the wiring or heating systems in your home.

Should I get an Economy 10 meter?

It might work out cheaper than a Standard or E7 meter, but only if you can shift your electricity usage into the off-peak times.  It depends on the type of heading you have – have a look at the Heating Systems page for more info.

Off-peak times

Economy 10 meters are different from a standard single-rate meter.  The Economy 10 meter has an internal time clock which switches between peak and off-peak rates at certain times.  Any electricity used is recorded against these two time periods, and billed accordingly.

The off-peak times are manually programmed into your electricity meter by a technician and are generally based on where you are in the UK.  The typical times are:

Scotland:
04:30 – 07:30   (3hrs)
13:30 – 16:30   (3hrs)
20:30 – 00:30   (4hrs)

England & Wales:
00:00 – 05:00   (5hrs)
13:00 – 16:00   (3hrs)
20:00 – 22:00   (2hrs)

In practice the off-peak times can be a few minute earlier or later, but still provide 10 hours of off-peak electricity in total. This is to avoid all electrical loads coming on at exactly the same time and potentially overloading the grid.

However it seems that some people might be on significantly different times from these – either the time timeclock is wrong, or it doesn’t switch to British Summery Time.  if you’re one of these people, then let us know what your electricity supplier is saying about it!

2-rate vs 3-rate?

Most ‘typical’ Economy 10 meters have two rates – Peak and Offpeak.  The whole house is supplied from this meter, and any electricity used is recorded against the appropriate rate depending on the time of day.

However occasionally a meter has a third rate called a ‘heat’ rate.  These are technically not Economy 10 meters, and may be called something like HeatWise (if you’re in the East Midlands).  They usually charge storage heaters as well as providing peak and off-peak electricity to the house.  Unfortunately these can be harder to switch to another supplier, but it’s still possible if you speak to suppliers ‘complex metering’ teams.

MPANs

An MPAN is a Meter Point Administration Number, and it is a unique reference for your meter.  It’s used by energy suppliers to identify your supply.  Usually a meter has just one MPAN, but occasionally there are two.  If this is the case it can be trickier to switch supplier.  It might also be worth having an electrician check the wiring in your house to see if it’s configured in the most efficient way.

Environmental Benefit

The UK’s electricity grid is currently under strain; a recent government report suggests that for winter 2015/16 there would only be 4% spare capacity in our electricity supply, the lowest in years.  However this issue is because of peak electricity use, not average use.  If we can shift our usage away from peak to off-peak periods, we will be doing the electrical grid a favour (as well as our pockets, and the environment).

Economy 10 meters encourage us to shift our usage into off-peak periods by charging us substantially less during those times.

45 thoughts on “E10 Overview

  1. Hi Mark,
    We are moving into a flat which has wet elec. central heating. I’ve just telephoned the current supplier EDF, who very clearly stated that based on the meter serial number we gave them they are adamant that the meter is an Econ. 7 NOT an Econ. 10.
    Can this be correct – is there a different meter for 7 or 10 – I’m totally confused.
    Any help would be appreciated.

    • Hi Chris, yes Economy 7 and Economy 10 are two different meter types. The E7 gives you seven hours off-peak overnight. E10 is ten hours off-peak split into three blocks across the day.

  2. Hi Mark – thanks for your reply. I understand that the two tarrifs are different. However, EDF are saying that the actual meter, the equipment itself, is different for the two tarrifs. Is this true?

    Chris

  3. Hi Mark,
    Many thanks for your clarification. A word of caution for everybody. We are moving into an apartment with an ElectraMate 2000 hot water system. Printed on it is ‘please ensure this equipment runs with Economy 10’. The same meter has been in place for 12 years (since the flats were built). It would seem that the previous owners were operating on the basis of an E10 tarrif (putting dishwasher on etc.) but were being charged for an E7 tarrif. Goodness knows how much extra they were paying. In fact when we purchased the property the then owner and the Estate Agent informed us that everything ran on the E10 tarrif.
    We use OVO in our present property and are going to use them in the new property. They have already agreed to replace the meter with the correct E10. They were also very pleasant whilst working through the problem, unlike EDF.

    • Can you tell me if OVO did replace your meter? We have Eco10 and when we fitted solar panels the meter started going backwards and Eon put in a supplementary meter which registers the stored heat usage which also means we only get 5 hours Night rate as opposed to the full 10 hours ‘cheap rate we had previously.

      I have just spoken to OVO who want to charge a double standing charge because we have the supplementary meter. Their standing charge is already double what Eon charges but if OVO can supply an E10 meter it would simplify my mathematics if nothing else.

  4. Commented yesterday re the hassle with Scottish Power over the last year. I get cheaper electricity from 3 am to 7 am and 1.30 pm to 4.30 pm which Scottish Power use E7 to calculate ( I think they do this but not entirely sure what SP do). Today I have received an email to pay them urgently although on 25 June they wrote re my bill, saying I owed nothing, deleting charges for six months and offering me compensation which I would receive within 10 working days. Hasn’t arrived yet. Not really surprised. Last time I spoke to a representative I was living in Scotland! I don’t live anywhere near. Watch this space. I shall probably have to contact the CAB again.

  5. Hi there,

    I have an economy ten meter, but unfortunately the meter clock doesn’t change when the clocks go forward in summer time (i.e. it doesn’t go forward an hour in march). I spoke to EDF about it when I first signed up to economy ten in December last year, and they were vague about whether the clock would change (they didn’t know), and now a few months into summer I have checked and the clock didn’t change (although my hot water use etc moved to summer hours as our boiler clock changes automatically). They are refusing to refund me the amount I have overpaid because the meter clock didn’t update, and they are also claiming that it is not possible to get an economy ten that automatically changes its clock in winter and summer in London (and they refuse to change it manually either). Does anyone know if it is, and have any experience of this?

    thanks

    kate

    • Hi Kate, I have just moved into a new McCarthy and Stone Flat, and talking to another resident it appears the Meter does stay set to GMT and remains on that during Summer, you have two options as I see it ..

      1 Alter your Heating and Water Time Clock when the change occurs back to GMT because this clock adjusts itself for BST, this puts you in Sync with the Meter, or ….

      2 Leave the Heating and Water clock time, and set the Water and Heating times to come on 1 hour later in the Summer for each period you have set, unfortunately you lose an hour on each period doing this, so may not be enough for your needs.

      I think I will just change the Timer on H/W to GMT next month it may be easier,

      Hope this helps Brian

    • I have lived in my flat with economy 7 meter for a few years. The problem with daylight savings is that although we change time, our meters don’t. Meaning you have to change you habits to either a hour ahead or back to put the washing on for a cheap rate. The meter always remains on its time. A easy way of testing exactly – turn on your storage heaters before the time you think they should come on ( mines is 10;30pm in winter and 11;30pm in Summer) and note exactly what time the light on the switch by the heater comes on- then you have your exact time you are on cheap electric and use all you machines then. I hoover then, shower before 8;30am when it switches off. I put a post it note in a predominate place to remind me now what the time is instead of sitting my the heater switch.

  6. I have just moved into a new flat 3 months ago, I’m still waiting for N POWER to come back with an account. They have supplied me with economy 7 ratings and handily the timings for E7 not E10. How difficult is this type of heating??? Is moving company a nightmare?

    • I found most of the large companies a total nightmare to deal with when it comes to economy 10, but much better with the smaller companies as you can generally speak to a ‘real’ person easier. Personally, switching to Ovo was a breeze.

  7. A few years ago someone arrived at my front door with “At last you are in, I wont be long.” He returned with a new electric meter which he installed
    with no interference from me (his mood was not good!) It had six readings (No idea what these meant) which I recorded and sent to my energy supplier. Then, after doing this for a few years, I got a bill which included £455.98 for one month. I thought this was a clerical error but when I rang
    Cooperative Energy was told, by the amused other, “It has gone up since then.” I was upset. Couldn`t imagine what had happened. I asked, and wrote
    to CE…They went SILENT to each of these ways. They increased monthly amounts to £60+ when I had previously paid first £40+pcm and then £30+pcm. Eventually they sent an engineer from Lowri Beck and he said he had only seen one other meter like this, and that was “last week in Woodstock.” He also told me which readings I must send to CE ie R01 R02 and ELA or, daytime useage, night useage and a combination of the two.
    I looked at my reading for the EXPENSIVE month and saw that CE had chosen to use the combination number for daytime useage. I wrote and asked
    for a return of my money…Writing to them continued, and yesterday I got a refund of £500+ which included £100 as a “gift” from them.
    They also asked me if I would like to change my meter to an Economy 7 meter and although I initially agreed, I decided to look up Economy 10 meters
    and see that this is probably best for me. And, they may owe me cash for overcharging but I, with no knowledge, agreed to accept their “full and final
    offer.” I came to know that this was a legal term when my neighbour told me many years ago.
    I realise that Economy 10 would be better for me. Can you send me a leaflet, or tell me via email, what I should know about this meter…And when my meter is providing cheaper electricity etc. I would prefer a leaflet so that I can “get it round my head” This laptop is old, like me, and can go wrong!
    Many thanks. Mary W-S

    • Hi Mary, sorry to hear about your lengthy journey, unfortunately it’s not unusual. This is a personal (voluntary) website so we don’t have leaflets or provide individual support, but hopefully there’s some information on these web pages that you find useful. If you discover anything new, feel free to email me and I’ll add it so that other people might benefit too.

      Cheers, Mark

  8. We moved into a rental property a year ago. The landlord was undef the impression that there was a “credit” economy 10 meter there but unknown to him the previous tenants had the meter changed to a prepay key meter, still running on economy 10 (times as detailed above). We phoned the current supplier who was British Gas even though the key was a Scotish Power one, they informed us that no, they dont do economy 10 so we could not possibly be on economy 10 ! But we were, the click to a different tariff proved it, but they would not beleive me so we just kept on using the key and use electricity on economy 10. A year later they have sent me a new key as they have now decided that we cannot keep usung the Scotish Power one (even though they were happy to tell us a year ago to keep using it)
    If i put this new key in it is likely that the meter will change the times it changes tariff from economy 10 times to economy 7 times ?

  9. Hi Mark,

    I run a collective switching site and get a lot of people asking about Economy 10, which of course we can’t help with. I was wondering if you had an update on prices so I can direct them to your site so they can still save money.

    • I agree and think this site is proving fantastic for many – especially now it seems more people are becoming involved and use of the forum on the blog page has increased. It’s a great effort, clearly a voluntary cause, and much appreciated. It is fully understandable that because of this it may not be possible to update the latest prices on a regular basis.

      I would (and I’m sure others may be too) be happy, if it would help, to do the research into tariffs myself by ringing round the energy companies once a year. I would either be happy to help with updating the site (if willing of course), or can email that information to you for posting as an update once a year.

      Hope I’m not stepping on anyone’s toes. Perhaps if others would also be willing to assist with furthering the availability of information on E10 tariffs and switching online we could ‘put our heads together’ and see what we can do to help the cause.

      Thanks Mark for a fantastic resource.
      Andrew.

  10. I have E10 at my house and have recently shifted to OVO. Many posters on this website seem not to understand how to get the best out of E10. I make sure that I shift as much of my power usage to the three cheaper periods. I have timers on the washing machine, dryer and dishwasher and regularly check that they are “in synch” with the cheaper times. That’s easy if your hot water heater has a neon or LED on the switch as mine does. (Alternatively if your hearing is good you can actually hear the water heating element power up– sounds like a kettle!) My meter does NOT change to DST so I leave the other timers on permanent GST as well. The one thing that is a bit of a nuisance- most newer washing machines etc have electronic controls which will only hold their settings when powered on. How I get around this is to temporarily power the device(over-ride the time switch or plug in to a non-switched socket) whilst making the various settings then unplug and replug into the timer. The settings will then “stick” and all will work when the “cheap time” occurs. When I upload my meter readings to OVO I consider myself “failed” if the website doesn’t query my readings! My cheap rate consumption (4) is always much higher than my normal rate (1) It’s entirely honest but quite satisfying for a nerd like me!

  11. Hi,
    We moved into an all elec. flat a year ago. Since then we have been trying to get OVO to instal a meter wich sends a signal to our Gledhill hot water boiler when the cheap periods occours, (so that it can heat its thermal store on E10 rate). After 4 meters installed by OVO then finally admitted that their installer does not fit this type of meter! EDF do but their rates are prohibitive.
    How does your boiler turn on in the cheap periods?
    Thanks
    Chris Keating

    • Have you got an Electramate 2000 thermal store? You should have a separate switching circuit which is run from a normal 13A supply. Forget the meter, that can be connected via a time switch so it activates at the E10 times and heats the water to 85C rather than 65C. If you look on page 10 here you’ll see “off peak signal supply” on the rhs of the diagram. That’s what you need to sort out.

      http://www.gledhill-response.net/documents/EM2000-Iss6.pdf

  12. Hi Nick,
    Many thanks for your reply. Just in the last couple of weeks we’ve been able to fit a separate switching circuit as you quite rightly suggested. Since we moved in I’ve been taking a weekly reading to understand our usage and as soon as the switching circuit has been installed we are using a lot higher percentage of low peak electricity, as expected. Just an asside, OVO tried to fit a correct meter four times and did not know their insallers could not supply an automatically switching meter.
    Thanks for your help.
    Chris

  13. I have two adjoining properties- both all-electric with recent E10 meters that only give TWO readings. One has been with OVO for some time and I’ve just moved the other one from EON to OVO. Although officially OVO say they don’t support E10- if the meters are already in place then they treat them as E7. (i.e. ALL the rate 4 (off peak) consumption is priced at the lower rate.) Eventually the meters will get changed to “smart-meters” and I expect to have some “discussions” then as I do need the cheap daytime rates to make it work (I can’t run washers and dryers in the small hours.)

  14. Hi Nick,
    Yep, I’m sure I am on an E10 tarrif. (I can say this with confidence after the blood, sweat and tears I’ve epended!) The OVO meter only records two rates (peak and off-peak). The meter is set up to switch at the regular E10 times and has a sticker on the front. I checked this by taking readings in all six bands whilst using electricity to see which of peak and off peak were changing, and the meter did perform correctly. I’m not normally this obsesive but the whole area of E10 has got me so mad (swear word, swear word!) We have a Gledhill Electramate which should receive a signal from the meter to start using off-peak. Sadly, OVO are not able to supply this type of meter. EDF do, but at more expensive rates. In the last few weeks we have had fitted a time clock to the boiler which simply sends a signal to the boiler to start using off-peak. It works a treat and last weeks reading showed 73% off peak usage.
    Best regards
    Chris

  15. Hi Pat,
    I can catagorically state that OVO are not able to install an E10 meter which will send a signal to our boiler leting it know when the 10 hours off-peak are. We paid an electriction to install a timer at the boiler end, and voila! the boiler now uses 70% off-peak.
    By the way, we have some friends on a scottish island who instlled solar panals and there meter went backwards. After lots of research we found out this was because the meter was antiquated and didn’t have some sort of ‘stop’ peg on it. Their elec. supplier just changed it to a modern meter and it now works fine.

    Hope this helps.

    Chris

  16. Are Heatwise and Warmwise tariffs the same? I am on the latter. If tey are not the same, does anyone know whether Warmwise is the same as Tariff 10?
    Thank you!

  17. Are Heatwise and Warmwise tariffs the same? I am on the latter. If they are not the same, does anyone know whether Warmwise is the same as Tariff 10?
    Thank you!

  18. The specifics of Economy 10 tariffs depend on the supplier. You should be aware that the definition given, ie “E10 gives ten hours of off-peak electricity across the day” only applies to your heating circuit if your supplier is Eon and you have something called an RHT meter or a three rate meter.
    We had always assumed that E10 gave us cheap rate electricity across all appliances for the stated 10 hours but, by carefully monitoring our meters and bills, found that in fact it was only available to all appliances while the Night Rate (in our case Rate 3) applied during the 5 hours between 2.30 and 5.30am.

  19. I agree, EON can supply however I would not recommend them. They told me that they were going to convert all E10 users back to E7 and when I threatened legal action (my all-electric flats would not survive on only E7) they backed down and left E10 in place. They had even converted one of my rented flats to E7 without advising me or the tenants! (They returned and re-fitted an E10 meter) I had so many problems with EON that eventually I shifted to OVO- but only after EON had re-instated E10 meters at the affected properties! I have found OVO a completely different company to deal with– a vast improvement.

  20. It was only recently that I discovered that the reason I was unable to leave Eon (with whom this property has been connected since Eastern Electricity days) was the way the account had been set up, with no reference to us. It was a very helpful guy from SSE who set the ball rolling and we have now managed to get a conventional E10 meter fitted which will enable us change suppliers.

    We previously had a three rate meter which Eon replaced with a 2 rate, E7 meter plus an RHT (restricted hours tariff) meter which they have admitted should never have been fitted. During this time we only benefited from ‘cheap-rate’ electricity for all appliances during five hours, between 2.30 and 7.30 am. The ten hours advertised only applies to the heating circuit which supplies storage heaters and immersion heater.

    It took me two years to clarify this and I have been appslled at the lack of knowledge displayed by customer service, but this was not purely an Eon problem. Ovo assured me that they could supply, took all the details and then totally ignored us. SSe did much the same but I pursued another problem we were having regarding FIT payments and it was that specialist who worked it out. Most companies simply said they did not cover this area and I have not had the time, yet, to pursue this now that I have had the meter changed.

    I have had an apology and some compensation for the misinformation I was given but am monitoring the new meter to compare with previous years because I feel I have been overcharged over a number of years. Surely E10 should give me ten hours of ‘cheap’ electricity not a bit here and a bit there on various appliances?

    Pat Mills

  21. I was wondering if I could get some advice here, I have just moved into a brand new build flat and the Economy 10 programmer/timer unit they have installed doesn’t give me Economy 10 tariff it only gives me the following – 00:00 – 05:00am then 13:00 – 15:00 then 20:00 – 22:00 so that’s 9hrs a day not 10. I have spoke to SSE who were great about it all but they stated they don’t install the economy 10 programmer/timer units its the electrican. I have since spoke to the housebuilder who has just informed me that they are contracutally obligated to only install a heating system that gets it as close as they can to the tariff and that’s it!!!!! Is this correct????

    • It’s the meter that sets the times, not anything connected after it. You then have a separate timer to switch things on during the cheap times. How this is set up really depends on how the property is wired up. All the heating might be on one circuit, so you’d have one timer set to the right times. Sounds like what you’ve got and there’s no reason why you can’t set it up how you like, including using non-E10 hours if it gets cold.

  22. Hi, I recently contacted our E10 supplier (EDF) concerning the change to British Summer Time as our E10 meter does not change when the clocks go forward. I was advised to just use appliances an hour later to bring the timing into sync with the meter clock. I then told them that the meter clock was 20 minutes fast and could they please put it right .this they refused to do saying i need to adjust the times I use appliances accordingly. So now we are putting appliances etc on 1 hour and 20 minutes later than during the winter. Are you still with me?! Then I was told that the electricity supplier can delay the start of the E10 period by 45 minutes and we should take this into account also. Can this be correct? Also, if we adjust the timing of the cycles of the washing machine, dishwasher etc they can go over the end time of the cheap period but EDF said that we should still get our 10 cheaper hours. I’m so confused! Regards Julia.

  23. I can understand your concern, 20mins is a lot, does it finish 20 late as well?, They stagger start times to stop a surge on the power lines when the meters change over, we have to adjust our heater timer for BST it is a bit crazy, as long as you still get 10 hours it’s within the rules I suspect, Brian

    • It’s the clock on the meter that’s 20 minutes fast Brian. How do we know the exact time that the cheap period starts if they stagger it?

      • Most meters have some sort of indicator to show you which charging rate is active? With some it could be that rate 1 or 2 is on the display and flashing when you check it, or an arrow pointing to the current time period…or led light, something like that. You can check this at the time the rates change to see the exact time it switches.

  24. My E10 meters stay on GMT as well but hot water and storage heaters are separately connected so no problem (the are controlled from the meter contactor) My dishwasher and clothes-washer are plugged into timers and I occasionally check them against the meter clocks to make sure they stay in synch. I can easily tell if the low-rate is active (i.e. on cheap rate) as my hot water system has a neon indicator to show when it’s powered.

  25. Most time of use electricity meters are fairly dumb things. To know when the clocks change they’d have to know the date as well as the time and thus when the last weekends in October and March are. And to know the correct time they’d have to sync with a radio signal or something. They’re generally far more basic than that and simply switch counters twice or six times a day, and the internal clock will lose or gain unless someone put it right occasionally. Mine is ten minutes fast at the moment but it’s losing and will be right time in about five years if nothing changes. Altering the timing on the heating twice a year isn’t such a huge task.

  26. When I say stagger, I mean each meter is set to slightly different start times when they are installed, so yours will always start at whatever it is set at, although 20 mins is a lot mine is about 4, if you syncronise your usage to your met times you will get the best from it.
    As far as knowing when it starts my meter changes with a clunk and indicates with a 1 or 4 flashing on the LED display showing which tariff is in use, so I suppose it depends on your type o meter how you can tell when,

    Brian

  27. I seem to be in the unusual position of having an E7 meter (confirmed by mpan – I think), but it gives E10 times. In view that I use around 76% cheap rate to heat the house ( converted from Storage to wet CH) I only scan for cheapest E7 rates. Currently with Scot Pow 12.5 day & 6 night with £120pa standing charge. My concern is when the Gov forces us to have smart meters and I cant see a smart meter coping with E10. Obviously I don’t want to change my meter (I want to keep E10 times) so will E10 still be around in 2020 ?

    • Good question David. I only have limited info on this so far, but I know that Our Power will supply a smart meter configured with E10 times. They only supply in Scotland at present, but it’s an indication E10 may be around for a while yet.

    • I was talking to a guy on the beach, as you do, and he is putting in Smart meters for British Gas. He assured me that none of the companies who supply E10 are willing to spend the money developing a meter for us because there are so few of us left and they wish we would go away. I recently managed to get Eon to change my meter for a single two rate meter, still on E10, then changed supplier to OVO on a two year fixed rate deal. I don’t think any of the suppliers will give any guarantees beyond that.

  28. Thanks for letting me know. I was previously with Eon who said they could not provide smart meter with my setup. Also there was an article on Radio 4 about compatibility with the signals etc as they are changing to different protocol and therefore some meters may need changing again. Just looked on Smartenergy website and they quote “Smart meters that can support Economy 7 and Economy 10 are being developed by the industry and will be available to customers as the rollout progresses, and in the future all suppliers will be able to offer you a smart meter that works with the right tariff to suit your lifestyle and choice”
    So wait with bated breath

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