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Economy 7 / Prepayment Meters

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Energy
1 reply 6.5K views
urkurk Forumite
66 posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Energy
Moved into new rented flat with economy 7 storage heaters and water heater supplied via pre payment meter. Find both confusing.

Would somebody like to explain how you work these in the most MSE way?

i.e are you supposed to put them on at night (12). I assume heaters store up for 12 hours before releasing??

Also can you change supplier and get cashback as per the other thread on switching supplier?

Also I think I remember old post about econ 7 where someone mentioned fitting a timer onto a washing machine in order to get it on the cheaper rate. Not sure how you would aquire timer.

With thanks


  • Sorry to hear your on eCONonmy 7. I used to be and will do my best to explain how it works....

    1. Do the storage heaters have 2 seperate dials 1 marked input and the other output?

    If yes, the input dial is how much heat you store overnight, so if it's cold turn it up, it's then released the following day. The output dial is for use during the day to release the stored heat, the lower the number the less heat output.
    What I used to do was set the input according to the coldness of the day. Then keep the output dial on low/minimum before going to bed or in the morning, otherwise all the heat is released during the day while I'm at work and then when return home there would be none left for the evening. So if your at work during the day keep the output low, until you get home.

    2. Switching times. This is when you go on the lower tariff for your electricity, it's normally around 12am - 6am, but your supplier can tell you. I used to hear my old meter click over to the low rate around 11.30pm. This is the best time to do your washing/drying etc.
    Timers are easy to use and readily available, they look like a plug that your appliance (washing machine etc) can plug into, there's no fitting invloved, just a plug that plugs in to the wall socket. You can set when your appliance swithches on or off (like a video recorder) on the timer itself. I use one when on holiday to turn a lamp on for a couple of hours in the evening. The thing to remember when using it with the washing machine is that you need to turn the machine on with its on/off switch. Then your washing machine will start at the time set by you.

    3. Hot water. This is the sting with economy 7, you have to heat all your water overnight. Most have a manual or boost setting which heats the water on demand outside of economy 7 times. It takes at least half an hour to get a reasonable amount water.
    I used to hate it when I returned to my flat after being away as I would turn the water and storage heater off, as it was pointless heating it every day while I was away, and return to a cold flat which wouldn't warm up until the next day.

    If you can find a better price for your electric then you must go for it, as you will use a lot. Use the good advice given on here and look for a deal.

    Good luck in your new flat and I hope this all makes sense.

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