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|| || |
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):
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:
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.