Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

    • RedMonty
    • By RedMonty 12th Oct 16, 12:05 AM
    • 16Posts
    • 7Thanks
    Economy 7 MSE Energy Switch WARNING - hidden costs
    • #1
    • 12th Oct 16, 12:05 AM
    Economy 7 MSE Energy Switch WARNING - hidden costs 12th Oct 16 at 12:05 AM

    A warning for people seeking to get rid of Economy 7 (as seems to be the case for many people on E7) at the same time as switching to a cheaper supplier. You may have to pay hidden extra costs that don't show up when using the Energy Club comparison engine.

    Spurred on by the recent MSE Energy Switch, I finally worked out our E7 usage percentage - a dismal 15% - time to get rid of that.

    Plugging in the numbers on the Energy Saving Club gave Bulb as one of the cheaper options, plus they supply 100% green electricity. Saving money AND the planet at the same time, what could be better?

    Okie, I sign up to switch to Bulb (on the final day of the MSE Energy Switch, Monday Oct 3rd). Receive the welcome pack Oct 7th. It says E7 tariffs. Email Bulb saying we don't want E7.

    Bulb respond same day saying they can't do a non E7 tariff without changing our meter, which will cost 95. Damn.

    Ring our current supplier, EON, who say they can take us off E7 for free, without replacing our meter. How? They just add the two meter readings together at their end, very simple.

    Email Bulb again, asking them if they can add the two readings together same as EON. Got reply yesterday, nope, they can't do this.

    What do you advise, MSE people? Should I suck it up and pay Bulb 95? Cancel Bulb? (have to do it before Oct 17th) If cancel, then what?

    As far as I can see, there's no info on Bulb's website about the costs of coming off E7, however, many other energy company websites don't seem to mention this either.

    It would be nice if MSE Energy Club website could flag this hidden cost. I entered 15% E7 usage when setting it up - but it didn't pop up anything advising me to junk the E7 or incorporating the costs (if any) into its comparison engine.
Page 1
    • CashStrapped
    • By CashStrapped 12th Oct 16, 12:28 AM
    • 775 Posts
    • 428 Thanks
    • #2
    • 12th Oct 16, 12:28 AM
    • #2
    • 12th Oct 16, 12:28 AM
    I assume you have a poor e7 night rate because you do not have storage heaters and/or do not have a hot water storage tank. Just check that is the case before you switch away from e7.

    How did you calculate your night rate?


    There may be a specific reason why your night rate is so low.

    E7 can be the cheapest way you can heat an all electric property so before switching be sure it is not how you are using the set-up that is an issue.

    Furthermore, if you are basing that 15% night use from summer readings only (if you recently moved in), it may be a misleading figure as the night use may shoot up in winter.

    As I said, it all depends if you have night storage heaters and a tank etc.


    With regards to your set-up. Some suppliers (usually the established ones) can combine readings. Many newer suppliers can't.

    However, not all charge to change the actual meter. EDF usually swap meters free, as do a few others. I remember npower did not charge me to remove a E7 meter and replace it.

    So you may find if you look for the next best tariff with one of the big six, you may be able to get a free meter swap too, without cost. Ring around and check their policies.
    Last edited by CashStrapped; 12-10-2016 at 12:41 AM.
    • RedMonty
    • By RedMonty 12th Oct 16, 12:51 AM
    • 16 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    • #3
    • 12th Oct 16, 12:51 AM
    • #3
    • 12th Oct 16, 12:51 AM
    Annual E7 usage. These figures are now given on the bills (somewhere!) - this only started a couple of years ago. It was a bit complicated to work it out before then.

    House had storage heaters, tank etc when we moved in, hence the E7 meter, but we took them all out several years ago for a combi boiler & central heating.

    Rather annoyed (and expensive) that the builders / plumbers / electricians etc who did the work never suggested removing E7 too, but that's life.

    Hmm, so are you suggesting switch to one of the big six that offers free swaps, get the meter swapped, then switch again to Bulb?
    • CashStrapped
    • By CashStrapped 12th Oct 16, 1:27 AM
    • 775 Posts
    • 428 Thanks
    • #4
    • 12th Oct 16, 1:27 AM
    • #4
    • 12th Oct 16, 1:27 AM
    Yes, if bulb is still cheapest, you can do that. As long as there are not exit fees/penalties from the supplier who swaps the meter.

    Switching can still take around 4 weeks. A meter swap can take 2 - 4 weeks. The bulb tariff may be gone by then.

    If there is another of the larger suppliers, only a bit cheaper than bulb, it may be easier to stick with them.

    Many suppliers also have switching/leaving fees/penalties these days. So the only way to do your plan, is to go on a standard tariff.

    Check the tariffs, some may do cheap 1 year fixes without exit fees.

    EDF are usually good with meter swaps and none of their 1yr tariffs normally have exit fees. Though it is a while since I checked on EDF so check the comparison results.

    Also ring (which ever supplier you consider) and check if they will swap your meter if you want one and not just combine readings.

    They may ask to install a smart meter. This is up to you. You can ask for a standard meter. The new version 2 smart meter is not out till next year. The current version is out of date already. I would not bother with it.
    Last edited by CashStrapped; 12-10-2016 at 1:53 AM.
    • firsttimemover
    • By firsttimemover 12th Oct 16, 2:53 PM
    • 57 Posts
    • 13 Thanks
    • #5
    • 12th Oct 16, 2:53 PM
    • #5
    • 12th Oct 16, 2:53 PM
    I've got a similar set up to you, I moved in to my house a couple of years ago, and it was already set up as E7 meter billed as standard rates by Eon.

    I switched to First Utility when I moved in, then when the year fix was up, tried to switch to SSE which was the cheapest at the time, however they said there was no way they could just bill me at standard rates for both night and day units, like FU and Eon had. I asked FU if they could change the meter, which they agreed to do free of charge, however the earliest appointment for this was a few months down the line, and I ended up switching to Eon's MSE Club rate whilst waiting for the appointment (which was cheaper than SSE and I was by this time back on the standard tariff), assuming Eon would also be able to change the meter further down the line, and being one of the big players, it would be free. Nope, they wanted 60-odd quid to do so.

    Anyway, I've just switched to another provider who have said it's fine to be charged standard rates, so I'm living with the e7 meter for the time being at least.

    In my experience, most companies will be able to bill you at standard rates (SSE, Extra Energy and Bulb the exceptions I know about, but there may be more) so it might be worth maybe going with the second cheapest provider if there isn't much difference in annual costs, rather than going out of your way to get it changed - the trend nowadays seems to be to have an exit fee unless it's the standard variable (ie very expensive) tariff.

    It would be good to know which companies will change your meter for free (doesn't seem to be size related based on my Eon/First Utility experience) and also which will allow you to be on standard rates with a two rate meter if anyone knows?
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

207Posts Today

1,278Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • RT @Magwa61: @MartinSLewis thank you Sorry I thought it was you, conning sids ????????????????????????????????????

  • No. It's NEVER the right way to switch energy. Please don't confused these 'moneyexpert' sales reps with my site mo?

  • The MSE weekly email: Energy hike warning, No7 trick, £400 marriage bonus, £3 photo mug, railcard 15%off, 3.1% loan

  • Follow Martin