MSE News: Ebico offers 'free' electricity at night for Economy 7

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Former_MSE_Megan_FFormer_MSE_Megan_F Former MSE
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Not-for-profit energy provider Ebico has launched a tariff that offers Economy 7 users 'free' electricity at night - but don't assume the word 'free' means this will be the cheapest tariff for you...
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'Ebico offers 'free' electricity at night for Economy 7 - but is it really a good offer?'
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  • michaelsmichaels Forumite
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    For customers with a mains gas supply heating you hot water tank by immersion to 70+ overnight would give a nice saving on gas bills....
    I think....
  • Money_MuppetMoney_Muppet Forumite
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    If you had one of those battery packs from Tesla this could be quite a good deal!
  • edited 7 November 2017 at 9:26PM
    footyguyfootyguy Forumite
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    edited 7 November 2017 at 9:26PM
    Standing charge: Almost 42p per day (may vary by region) :eek:

    You could buy about 6 units of cheap rate electricity on their alternative zero standing charge tariff for that.
    (I've ignored the fact that day rate is also about 2p/kWh or about 10% cheaper on this new tariff)

    For those with NSH, they will use more than that in winter, but I doubt they will use that much in summer
    The early exit fee inhibits this as a winter only tariff - it's a 12 month tariff.

    We don't even use 6kWh per day in total - on average (but we have gas central heating)
  • edited 7 November 2017 at 10:24PM
    Dave01Dave01 Forumite
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    edited 7 November 2017 at 10:24PM
    Well this is an interesting tariff. I'm currently 3 days into my cooling off period switching from Scottish Power to SSE, and now this new Ebico offer is coming up £161 cheaper for me on the Cheap Energy Club comparison.

    Thing is though during winter months I'm using about 80%-85% of my energy during Economy 7 period, whereas in summer more like 30%-40% during Economy 7 period. If the 60% "fair usage" average is per month then I'd be kicked off the tarriff within a few weeks. I would have to significantly increase my daytime electric consumption for the 3/4 coldest months on a very expensive daytime unit rate in order to meet the fair usage demands, which then roughly brings yearly costs to around the SSE level.

    Ebico:
    £420 year (estimate from my existing usage)
    Night unit: 0p
    Day unit: 18.047p
    Standing charge: 42.218p

    SSE:
    £581 year
    Night unit: 6.573p per kWh
    Day unit: 14.333p per kWh
    Standing charge: 23.02p per day

    Currently on Scottish Power:
    Day - 12.002p
    Night - 4.733p
    Standing - 20.55p


    EDIT: With a bit of number crunching I think I could make the Ebico tarriff come in about £40 to £60 cheaper than SSE over the year but I would have to use the convector heater in my flat during the daytime for several hours a day instead of using a high setting on the storage heaters at night so as to hit the 60% target. I think the fuss and obsessing over hitting 60% target would eventually drive me nuts though.
  • edited 7 November 2017 at 9:53PM
    fatbellyfatbelly Forumite
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    edited 7 November 2017 at 9:53PM
    If you had one of those battery packs from Tesla this could be quite a good deal!

    Or if you have a Tesla or any other electric car that you charge overnight

    Or a neighbour who's prepared to pay you to charge his car.

    Actually, the maximum of 60% nighttime usage is not that generous - I'm currently using 53% and I don't have storage heaters, or an electric car.
  • EachPennyEachPenny Forumite
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    michaels wrote: »
    For customers with a mains gas supply heating you hot water tank by immersion to 70+ overnight would give a nice saving on gas bills....

    When I saw 'electric only' I did wonder if the T&C's specifically excluded customers who also had a gas supply... I've checked and it says that you just need to have a separate arrangement for gas.

    You could further reduce your gas bills if you can run electric space heating at night so there was less work for the gas central heating to do in the morning.

    I'd be seriously tempted to do that, but having looked at the figures any gains I make during the winter would be wiped out in the summer by the high standing charge.

    But it is interesting to see a new innovative tariff which could make smart meters a bit more useful to the customer than the supplier. (even though the small print confirms the smart meter isn't really necessary!)
    "In the future, everyone will be rich for 15 minutes"
  • edited 8 November 2017 at 2:50AM
    alanqalanq Forumite
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    edited 8 November 2017 at 2:50AM
    At first this tariff looked interesting but a 60% maximum off-peak is far too low. In winter 80-90% of my electricity usage is off-peak and only 4 months of the year are < 60%.

    Also the requirement to have a smart meter fitted before SMETS2 compliant meters are available is a definite reason to ignore this offer.

    British Gas will not install smart meters with Economy 7 if there are storage heaters. I assume that it is something to do with not just measuring the electricity during the off-peak period but switching on the E7 heaters automatically at the correct times. I wonder if/why other suppliers are different.
  • footyguyfootyguy Forumite
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    EachPenny wrote: »
    When I saw 'electric only' I did wonder if the T&C's specifically excluded customers who also had a gas supply... I've checked and it says that you just need to have a separate arrangement for gas.

    You could further reduce your gas bills if you can run electric space heating at night so there was less work for the gas central heating to do in the morning.

    I'd be seriously tempted to do that, but having looked at the figures any gains I make during the winter would be wiped out in the summer by the high standing charge.

    But it is interesting to see a new innovative tariff which could make smart meters a bit more useful to the customer than the supplier. (even though the small print confirms the smart meter isn't really necessary!)

    The terms as expressed in the MSE article and the blurb on the ebico site seemed a bit confusing/contradictory.

    But I've now found the exact terms here:
    https://ebico.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/RHE314-Ebico-Night-Owl-Tariff-TCs.pdf

    Whilst it is an 'electricity only' tariff, as you say, that does not prevent those who have gas from taking this tariff. (but you will need to have gas supplied on a different ebico tariff or from a different supplier)

    This is only available to credit metered customers who agree to pay by DD, either monthly or quarterly.
    (make sure you select one of these options else you will not be offered the tariff on the ebico website)

    You also need an E7 meter (obviously) or a smart meter.
    If you don't have a smart meter, you must agree to have one, which raises the odd question that as someone else queried, if you also have gas, will that also be smart metered even if supplied by someone else? Most suppliers who smart meter electricity, also smart meter the gas where fitted (but it might not work in smart mode if you are supplied gas by someone else) as it's the lectricity side that powers the signal transmission.
    If you already have a smart meter, or have one installed by RHE/Ebico, but they still can't receive it's transmissions, then you can still have this tariff - but you have to provide regular readings yourself.
    You can have this tariff if you have a dumb E7 meter but only whilst waiting for them to fit their smart meter.
  • footyguyfootyguy Forumite
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    alanq wrote: »
    ...
    Also the requirement to have a smart meter fitted before SMETS2 compliant meters are available is a definite reason to ignore this offer...

    I agree with your general approach here. I too am not keen to have smart meters.
    Some people in the industry claim it is hoped that SMETs1 meters will eventually be universally readable, but on the other hand, I've now heard some reports that suggest even SMETs2 meters may not be totally universally readable - you may have to wait until SMETs3 for that :eek:

    I'm thinking this tariff is aimed directly at encouraging the uptake of smart metering. I wonder if this tariff will last longer than BG's free weekend electricity tariff did?
  • CardewCardew Forumite
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    As many 'upmarket' holiday home owners use Ebico, they could heat their swimming pools overnight.;)
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