Is night time the right time to use electrical appliances?

9th January 2017 | Residential Energy

A small independent energy firm has launched the UK’s first variable electricity tariff, promising households significantly lower bills. They will have avoid using electrical appliances at peak times and run them overnight.

For years, energy experts have suggested that smart tariffs, which price electricity according to the time of day are the future. They could help smooth out peaks in demand currently faced by the National Grid. This week, Hertfordshire-based Green Energy UK launched its Tide tariff which offers exactly that. Initially it will only be available to households in England. The Tide duel-fuel tariff offers three different prices of electricity depending on the time of day.

Different prices

Most standard household pay the same for their electricity whatever the time of day. But if the prices for electricity was just 5p at night and 25p during peak hours (4pm-7pm), this could change behaviour. Tide will charge users 4.99p per kwh 11pm-6am, 11.99p from 6am-4pm and 7pm-11pm and 24.99p from 4pm-7pm.

Such “time-of-use” tariffs are expected to become widespread as households are fitted with smart meters. These allow power companies to bill customers as different rates depending on the time of day.

There is already an established tariff called Economy 7 which offers cut-price electricity at night. British Gas last year launched a simpler version, the FreeTime tariff, which offers free energy between 9am and 5pm on Saturday and Sunday. Early indications show consumers have saved £60 a year by taking advantage of this.

The time-of-use tariffs will particularly favour those with an electric car who charge it overnight, shift workers and insomniacs. Those with electricity cookers who prepare peak-time meals should look elsewhere.

Most importantly, you’ll need a free smart meter if you want to sign up. Doug Stewart, Green Energy’s chief executive, says, “Our tariff is the smart way customers can bring down their bill, not trying to find the cheapest deal with a new-on-the-block supplier. The introduction of a time-of-day tariff is the first step into a new world of energy infrastructure: a step which lets customers decide when they use energy and what that means to their bill.”

More information available on the website below