F.A.Q.

Everything you need to know about Economy 7 (Eco 7)

Everything you need to know about Economy 7 (Eco 7)
Userlevel 6

Updated on 28/09/21 by Jess_OVO

 

Moved in to a new house and getting to know a dual-rate meter for the first time? Or maybe you’ve made a change to your usage patterns (saying Hello to a new Electric Vehicle or Bye to some old storage heaters perhaps?) and want to hear more about an Economy 7 setup - We’ve got all your commonly asked dual rate questions covered!

 

 

Is an Economy 7 plan right for me?

 

The main advantage of an Economy 7 plan is a much cheaper unit rate for any electricity used during your off-peak times. This can often be several pence cheaper per kWh than the standard unit rate. It’s worth bearing in mind that to compensate for this cheaper off-peak rate, an Economy 7 plan charges a more expensive daytime or peak unit rate than the standard anytime rate. Therefore in order for this time of plan to be cost-effective you’d need to use a certain percentage of your usage during these off-peak hours. This does depend on the exact unit rates on your plan but usually we’d suggest at least 35% of your usage should be used on the off-peak rate to make it cost-effective.

 

 

Can I get a smart meter with an Economy 7 plan?

 

We’re now installing Aclara SMETS 2 meters which are compatible with an Economy 7 plan. If you’ve got night storage heaters which need to be controlled via a time switch we’re also able to fit a 5-port terminal version of this meter. Previously we installed the Secure SMETS 1 meter, which were also compatible with a dual-rate plan and storage heaters. There’s more info on the Economy 7 smart meter compatibility on this topic. Need any more convincing - read more about the benefits of smart meters here.

 

Can I switch from an Economy 7 plan to a single rate plan?

 

Decided an Economy 7 plan isn’t the best option for you anymore - The process of switching the plan to a single rate plan will vary slightly depending on the type of meter you’ve currently got installed. If you’ve got a smart meter (and it’s in communication), the function of your meter can easily be changed from a dual-rate to a single rate mode and your plan updated accordingly. To request this you’d need to contact our Support Team after you’ve received your opening statement. Once your meter function is changed, your plan will be updated to match the single rate prices available when your current fixed plan started or the current single-rate variable price, if you’re on the Simpler Energy plan. Our Support Team will confirm these rates before updating your plan. 

If you’ve got a traditional dual-rate meter, we’d need to do a smart meter exchange in order to get you on a single rate plan. There’s no cost for going smart and it comes with plenty of other benefits. Once the smart meters installed, again contact our Support team to request a change to the smart meters mode and your plan.

 

 

Can I change from a single rate plan to an Economy 7 plan?

 

This depends on the type of meter you’ve got currently installed - as well as other technical limitations.

If you’ve got a traditional meter, in order to change to an Economy 7 plan, you’ll need to get a Smart Meter installed. 

When they are first installed the Smart Meter will match the function of your previous meter (ie a single rate traditional meter will be replaced by a single rate Smart Meter). This function may be updated after the meter is installed but this will depend on the communication of the meter and other technical limitations. If you’d like to discuss the option of updating the function of your Smart Meter to an dual rate, reach out to our Support Team who can advise whether it’s possible on your account. 

If an update to your meter is possible your plan will be updated to match the Economy 7 rates available when your current fixed plan started or the current Economy 7 variable rates, if you’re on the Simpler Energy plan. Our Support Team will confirm these rates before updating your plan.

 

 

How do I read my Economy 7 meter?

 

On a traditional meter sometimes the readings will be labelled - high and low or day and night-  which is easier to determine which reading is which. In your case the registers are labelled rate 1 and rat 2, usually rate 1 refers to your day register but not always so it is good to check before submitting your meter readings. You might be able to work out which reading is which by checking the current reading against your reading history on the ‘Meter Readings’ page of your online account or OVO app (download for Android or iOS).

 

If you’ve got a smart meter this will depend on which type of smart meter you’ve got installed - 

 

For SMETS1 ‘Secure’ smart meters:

 

There’s a slight difference between the the S1 meters we installed. To take a dual (day/night) reading for Secure Liberty 110 S1 smart meters (which are designed to work best with storage heaters), press 9 on the meter’s keypad. If you’ve got a Secure Liberty 100 S1 smart meter, press 6 to confirm the Day and Night meter readings (pressing 9 will show the reading if you’re a single rate member with this meter).
 

For SMETS2 Aclara, Flonidan, Honeywell or Elster smart meters:

 

  Aclara (Elec) / Flonidan (Gas) Elster (Elec) / Honeywell (Gas)
Reading the meter
  • Elec: Press A three times until TOU Rate 1 appears.
  • Gas: Press C to wake up, then C to access the menu. Use B to scroll and C to select the reading option.
  • Elec: Press the top button once or twice
  • Gas: Press the circle button once or twice

 

 

For a Landis+Gyr smart meter:

 

If you’ve got a dual rate version of this meter press and hold down the ‘B’ button for roughly 5 - 10 seconds  - then tap the ‘A’ button. This will toggle between the ‘R01’ reading and the ‘R02’ reading as demonstrated in this handy video:

 

 

 

 

How do I tell my day and night readings apart?

 

If you’re unsure which reading is which sometimes the readings will be labelled - high and low or day and night - if not you might be able to check the current reading against your reading history on the ‘Meter Readings’ page of your online account.

If you can’t work it out using these methods the best way to tell is to carry out a Load Test​. This involves taking two sets of readings during your peak hours - only one reading should change which will be your daytime register. 

 

 

When are my peak/off peak hours?

 

If you have a Smart meter installed by OVO the off-peak times can be worked out using your Meter Point Administration Number (MPAN). You can find your MPAN on the ‘Plan’ page of your online account or OVO app (download for Android or iOS):

 

MPAN is shown at the bottom of the electricity column

 

Then use this table below; the first two digits of your MPAN is the ‘Area ID’; the ‘Off peak’ times are on the column second from the right:

 

 

Please be advised that SecureAclara and Honeywell smart meters don't adjust for BST. The result of this is that during summer your off peak times will be an hour later than advised above. 

 

If you have traditional meters or Smart meters that were not installed by OVO the off-peak hours may vary. The best way to find out in this case would be reaching out to your supplier (or our Support Team if you’re an OVO member)

 

 

Can I switch suppliers with an Economy 7 plan?

 

Of course! You’ll need to check that the supplier supports an Economy 7 set-up first, as not all suppliers do offer a compatible plan. If you’re not an OVO member yet - Check out our Economy 7 plans here.

 

 

OVO member but not got a smart meter yet? - Book today!

 

Interested but not yet an OVO member? - Check out our plans!

 


22 replies

I'm using a comparison site to establish how price competitive OVO energy is. I'm being asked what percentage of the total usage is economy 7. I can't find this information in the "Usage" section of My Ovo.
Correction: This should have been in the "pay monthly" not the "pay as you go".
Userlevel 6
@Ray did you manage to get an answer to this query?
Yes, I got a reply from OVO. It's not automatically available. You have to ask OVO for the information.
Yes, I got a reply from OVO. It's not automatically available. You have to ask OVO for the information.



Glad you got the information you were after, Ray.



If you have any other questions about your economy 7 meter, just post them on here.



Ps. I've moved the topic to pay monthly.



Max
Hi,



We weren't sure if we have a Economy 7 Meter installed.



What's the best way of finding this out?



Thanks
Userlevel 7
Badge +2
@ovouser9



This link should help you:



https://www.ovoenergy.com/guides/energy-guides/economy-7.html



What is an Economy 7 meter?

If you’re already on Economy 7, you’ll have an Economy 7 meter with two sets of numbers – one ‘low’ and one ‘normal’ - or possibly ‘day’ and ‘night’, which will be written beside or very close to the set of numbers.
I am trying to put my meter readings in on the app and it will always ask for morning and night readings - i only have one reading on my box for both electric and gas.

Am I supposed to write it down in the morning and night before i submit??
Userlevel 6
Hi @SadieMcCluskey95,



I've moved your query to this topic where you can find more info about Economy7. it sounds like either you signed up for a two rate tariff, or the meter details we've been sent from your previous supplier were incorrect, meaning you've been set up as an Economy7 customer (with two readings).



We can get this corrected for you if you give us a ring on 0330 303 5063.



I've added your question into the FAQ for future reference :)



Cheers
I am on economy 7 but I’m not sure if it’s the right tariff for me anymore. How can I work out if I should go onto a normal tariff?
Userlevel 6
Take a look at the frequently asked questions, @PhilH, this should help out.



Typically for Economy 7 to be worthwhile you'll need to use 28% or more of your energy during off peak hours.
Userlevel 2

As a normal user, not sure why I am on eco 7 ! Would it be more cost effective to go on a normal Tariff ? Tia

Userlevel 7
Badge +4

Hey there @Steveo !

I don’t think you’ll benefit from Economy 7 if you don’t have storage heaters or an electric vehicle, so switching back to a single-rate setup is probably a good idea. The Support Team can take care of this for you over the phone - it needs verbal confirmation so Live Chat and Email won’t work for this purpose (and neither will social media, sorry!).

There’s just one thing that I would like to double check first. Please can I see some photos of your meters? Ideally, please make sure at least one photo includes all the equipment in the meter cupboard and anything that’s directly wired into the electric meter. This will help me to figure out if there’s any potential snags you might encounter along the way.

Thanks!

Userlevel 2

Hey, thanks for your prompt reply, I will certainly do this asap 👍

Userlevel 7
Badge +4

No worries. Glad to help. :)

In some cases, switching back from E7 to Single-Rate is as simple as having OVO agree to modify your contract, but in other cases it can involve a Meter Exchange - especially if some kind of Time Switch is currently installed which is controlling one or more circuits. Having a MEX in these cases to remove that from the equation is of course completely free of charge - but may require a Smart Meter upgrade. This is one of the reasons I like to help you to double check first, so that you have a better idea upfront.

Userlevel 2

Ok thanks. Pic's as follows.

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +4

Perfecto! Thanks for the snaps. :)

I have some very good news for you then. You’ve got an S1 Secure Liberty 100 Smart Meter - and these are fully compatible with OVO in both S1 and “S1+” configurations. You won’t need a MEX in this case so all that would need to happen, is for OVO to reconfigure it to Single-Rate Mode once you modify the contract. This can be done remotely with no need for an engineer visit, so you won’t have any disruption to your supply at all, not even for five seconds.

Pretty much the only significant differences that you’ll notice will be that your future bills and meter readings would be flattened to reflect the fact you’re no longer on E7 - and all your usage will be billed at the same rate regardless of when you use it. The meter will also only show a single meter reading in the future as well.

So yep, this is a pretty easy one that can be sorted out in a single phone call. OVO will discuss this with you before you commit, so you’ll have a chance to double check that it’s definitely the right move before you sign the dotted line.

I hope this helps. :)

Userlevel 2

Cheers, that's good to know. Thanks again for your help 👊

Userlevel 2

Perfecto! Thanks for the snaps. :)

I have some very good news for you then. You’ve got an S1 Secure Liberty 100 Smart Meter - and these are fully compatible with OVO in both S1 and “S1+” configurations. You won’t need a MEX in this case so all that would need to happen, is for OVO to reconfigure it to Single-Rate Mode once you modify the contract. This can be done remotely with no need for an engineer visit, so you won’t have any disruption to your supply at all, not even for five seconds.

Pretty much the only significant differences that you’ll notice will be that your future bills and meter readings would be flattened to reflect the fact you’re no longer on E7 - and all your usage will be billed at the same rate regardless of when you use it. The meter will also only show a single meter reading in the future as well.

So yep, this is a pretty easy one that can be sorted out in a single phone call. OVO will discuss this with you before you commit, so you’ll have a chance to double check that it’s definitely the right move before you sign the dotted line.

I hope this helps. :)

 

Hi again, just spoke to cust services, and they said to they could change me to a single rate tariff, still receiving the both readings, but only use the one for billing. When asked if they need to reconfigure the meter, he came back after speaking to someone, and said we probably cant reconfigure the meter !! Not too sure if this is correct. what would your thought be please ?

Userlevel 7
Badge +4

No worries. It should be fine either way - OVO’s systems are capable of handling E7 meters being used for Single-Rate setups and will generally figure it out automatically.

From my understanding, reconfiguring that particular Smart Meter should be as simple as  OVO throwing a few SMETS Commands at the meter remotely, provided it’s communicating properly. But even if comms are down, you can always do manual readings and have the system run the numbers.

I’m wondering if it’s currently being migrated to DCC right now - this does cause a temporary WAN drop during the process, but it recovers once OVO is able to reconnect post-migration.

You should be fairly safe to switch to Single-Rate either way though and go from there. Feel free to mention this forum thread as it’ll help with context.

Userlevel 7

Hi @Steveo and welcome to the OVO online community!

 

Great to see you’ve already been given some great advice by our community volunteer, @Blastoise186. As you’ve advised without a high-energy consuming device active overnight (such as an EV or storage heaters), an Economy 7 tariff might not be the most cost-effective plan for you at the moment (we usually estimate that you’d need to be using at least 35% of energy at off-peak times to see a benefit).

 

Glad to hear the Support Team have already been able to update you on to a single-rate plan:

 

 

just spoke to cust services, and they said to they could change me to a single rate tariff, still receiving the both readings, but only use the one for billing. When asked if they need to reconfigure the meter, he came back after speaking to someone, and said we probably cant reconfigure the meter !! Not too sure if this is correct. what would your thought be please ?

 

Just to chip in and explain the thinking behind this one - whilst the function to change your meter to a single-rate mode does exist, unfortunately we’re limited by the current function of our billing system to remove the extra register here.  This shouldn’t affect the management of your account whilst with OVO - you may notice that you’ll still be charged for day and night-time usage, but as we’ll use the same unit rate for each register your overall charges will be the same as they would be on a single register.

 

Let us know if that makes sense (it can be tricky to explain these background processes!) :thumbsup:

Userlevel 2

Makes sense thanks 👍

Reply