Do you know your cheap electricity hours?Which? reveals difficulty of finding cheap times

13 April 2014

Cheap electricity hours

Knowing your off-peak electricity hours can save you cash - but it's frustrating if you have trouble finding them out

Are you one of the 3.9m UK households that gets cheaper electricity at certain times of the day? And do you think it’s important to know when? 

If so, spare a thought for Which? member Sue Hufton, from Leicestershire, who decided to check the hours of her Economy 7 tariff after noticing her bills seemed high.

But after numerous calls to energy supplier Scottish Power, and having watched her meter over 39 days, she was still none the wiser. 

Not sure if you are on the best energy tariff? Compare gas and electricity prices with our independent switching service Which? Switch. 

Do you know your off-peak electricity times?

Mrs Hufton is one of a number of time-of-use tariff customers who have contacted Which? for advice on checking their tariff hours or meter clock.

She said supplier Scottish Power initially told her to contact her electricity distribution network, which could not help. It then told her to call the meter manufacturer, which also didn’t help.

Finally, she said Scottish Power advised waiting by her meter to watch it change.

Mrs Hufton said: ‘Over a period of 39 days, I kept a close eye on the meter around the time I thought that it may change over. I lost the will to live in the end.’

Mrs Hufton fears she could have paid more than she needed to by not knowing her cheaper hours. Economy 7 hours vary between supplier, region and season. Find out more about Economy 7 with our guide to energy tariffs explained.

Cheaper electricity hours revealed

Finally, after Which? got involved, Scottish Power apologised and said Mrs Hufton’s off-peak hours were midnight to 7am GMT and 1am to 8am BST. It has also sent her a bunch of flowers to say sorry.

Ofgem says customers should always go to their supplier first if they have a meter-related complaint. Find out more about different types of gas and electricity meters.

Do you know your cheapest electricity hours? Or had problems finding them out? Share your experiences of time of use tariffs on Which? Conversation. 

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