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.
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:
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.
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.
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.