Our supplier is Southern Electric, and last week I bought a home energy monitor. As we have an Economy 7 suppy I need to know the times when the supply switches from normal rate to low rate, and back to normal rate again.
The way I did this was to change a flex outlet feeding one of our storage heaters, to a 13 amp socket, temporarily disconnecting the storage heater (the heaters are off anyway, havn`t used them since early June).
I then plugged a table lamp into the socket then sat and waited.
As I expected, the low rate started at 10.30pm, and I thought it would stay on low rate till 5.30am. But that is not the case.
Although I didn`t sit up all night I found the following:
It was still on low rate at 11.15 pm
It was on normal (or peak rate) at 1.15 am
It was on normal (or peak rate ) at 2.00 am
It was on low rate at 3am, 4am, 5am, and 6.15am.
This means that anyone with an Economy 7 water heating controller may be paying peak rate for at least part of the night while the immersion heater is in use.
I have already reset our immersion heater controller to operate between 3am and 6am, but the point is that this sounds like a [problem]. How much over the odds have we been paying for heating our water at peak rate, when we thought we were using the Economy 7 tarrif?
And how many users are aware that the night rate is not 7 continuous hours of cheap electricity?
It seems that Southern Electric switch the night rate on so we can see that our storage heaters are warming up before we go to bed, and then get up to all sorts of tricks once we are asleep!
I realise that the storage heaters only work on the night rate because they are switched on by the radio teleswitch, but we are being charged peak rate for anything else used , for at least part of the night (supposedly Economy 7 period).
Is anyone else aware of this? I would welcome any comments.
I thought economy seven had set times usually between 1 am and 8 am in summer and 12 and 7 am in Winter. It can vary by area though, either there's a problem there (timer switch) or your meter is not economy seven. There are some less common meters types which as slightly different from E7.
I'd check it out with your supplier they should be able to check with the meter operator in your area to see if there are any regional variations.
You're right indebtstudent. Just one point. Not all customers have their timeswitch set to the same times in tghe same area. Even on the same street it can vary from house to house. Most common times are 12.0am-7.00am, 12.30am-7.30am and 1.00am-8.00pm (GMT times). Think it means that there is less load on the national grid network at the same time.
Our supply is definately Economy 7. I checked the on and off times last night and this morning.
The supply switches over to night rate at 10.30pm and then back to day rate at 7.30am. so that`s nine hours, and as we only get seven hours low rate per night, for two hours each night the supply is running on day(or peak) rate.
We don`t have a time switch so there is nothing to be adjusted, or to go out of adjustment. The low rate switching is controlled by a radio teleswitch which is activated by a radio signal. Someone said on another forum that the 10.30pm start is probably to put some heat into the rooms before bedtime, and the 7.30am finish to do the same around breakfast time,but if that`s the case they should make it clear that there is a 2 hour period during the night when peak rate power could be being used.
Some E7 meters start at 10.30pm til 12.30am and then 2.30am til 7.30am. I would advise to call your supplier as they should be able to tell you the exact times. It also depends on what type of E7 meter, whether its a teleswitch or not. The case though is that the meter is owned by the distribution, not your supplier so they are not necessarily to blame as they would not have installed your meter and the same thing could happen whichever supplier you went to.
Thanks for that, That would tie in with the off and on periods I observed. I have no problem with that because nothing would be running between 12.30 and 2.30am (apart from fridge and freezer), as long as those on/off times are fixed, and not variable as someone has suggested.
It is unlikely that the E7 equipment is faulty - if you have a teleswitch fitted, then the timings are not 'set in stone'.
My E7 metering is controlled by a teleswitch, and the timings during the summer are supposedly
11:30pm - normal rate -> night rate
1:30am - night rate -> normal rate
3:30am - normal rate -> night rate
8:30am - night rate -> normal rate
However, because I go to bed late, I frequently notice the first 2 switching times out by up to about 30 mins, and sometimes multiple switching occurs with some 5 or 10 minutes between events.
My supplier tells me that this is normal!
However, I believe that the total E7 time per night is arranged to always add up to 7 hours.
The upshot is that I cannot rely on the switching timings and make about 30 minutes allowance in the timers I use around the house. Alternatively, if I am manually controlling something, then I check the meter first.
Not all teleswitches are controlled to operate at the same time - there is a code on each one that signifies which encoding signal it operates with, and there are many. Each having slightly different switching times to spread the load on the electricity grid. I don't know if teleswitches in each geographic area have the same code, of if they are randomly distributed.
Hope this helps.
I had a problem this week when the electrical company came out because all the heaters were not working. It was promptly fixed but then all the heaters started coming on a 10 p.m. and were hot by 1 a.m. We were used to them coming on about 12.00 and finishing about 7 a.m. As we did not want this extra heat at night, we tried not putting the heaters on until midnight but they did not trigger and so we had no heat the next day at all.We called the electricity company and they came out and the man admitted we had been given a 57 teleswitch whereas we should have had our normal 7teleswitch. The difference is we get a continous economy 7 through the night with a teleswithc no 7 whereas the 57 starts about 10 p.m. and goes on and off at various time during the night. I prefer the 7 because my washing machine and immersion heaters are on timers to take advantage of the low rate.
I just want to know what are time bands for Economy 7 ........I still don't know.
Firstly and not unreasonably, I contacted my supplier British Gas who told me to contact UK Power Networks as the supplier of the electricity.
Secondly, UK Power Networks referred me back to British Gas.
Thirdly I thought, I know- the regulator OFGEM should be able to point me in the right direction, their suggestion was to go to Citizens Advice - which I thought was a little strange, they in turn suggested I contact my supplier.
If I start to write gobbledegook, it's because I'm dizzy from going around in circles.
DOES ANYONE KNOW WHO I SHOULD CONTACT, I LIVE IN SUSSEX.