Could using energy at night save you money?
WASHING your clothes and dishes at night could cut household bills – provided you are on the correct electricity tariff.
This is because energy can be cheaper to use at night if householders are signed up to a special rate called an Economy 7 tariff.
Those who have taken up this deal also have access to a meter which tracks how much power is used throughout the evening.
It is so called because it literally provides seven hours of cheaper electricity – meaning people can time when is best to put the washing on. (It has been described as a little bit like using peak and off-peak telephone calls.)
Anyone who is interested should approach a supplier directly and look at a comparison website to get a better idea of what’s on offer.
However, it has to be said that these sorts of rates aren’t suitable for everybody.
Some plans charge much more for electricity during the day which may mean that any benefits are effectively cancelled out.
Meanwhile, it all depends on an individual’s lifestyle. It’s estimated that around 40% of a household’s electricity would need to be used during the nighttime hours to make Economy 7 worthwhile.
Where a plan like this does work well is to make us more aware of how much energy we use and at what times.
Having this sort of information can help people to monitor their energy consumption and keep an eye on household running costs, rather than letting bills run out of control.
In fact, possible energy shortages in the future may mean that we all have to watch what we consume.
Offering cheaper electricity at night and more expensive electricity during the day may be one of the ways energy companies routinely use to regulate the market.
Another option may be to look at renewable sources of energy such as solar panels for electricity. Not only has the cost of installation come down dramatically, but people will have greater self-sufficiency in the long run too.