An Economy 7 meter is a type of 2-rate electricity meter (2-rate gas meters do not exist). A 2-rate electricity meter has 2 registers, recording the electricity that you use during different times of the day. The most common 2-rate meter is called an Economy 7 but there are many other types.

Unlike a 'traditional' meter, you may have 2 rows of numbers on your meter rather than just 1 (if this has been recently installed it may only show one row on the electronic display at a time). Each register will be labelled slightly differently to indicate which time period they relate to.

Traditional 2 rate meter

An illustration of a 2-rate meter, each rate usage is shown in a separate display

Digital 2 rate meter

An illustration of a 2-rate meter with one display, on the display it says rate 1 next to the amount of electricity usage

Scrolling through would then show the second rate,

An illustration of a 2-rate meter with one display, on the display it says rate 2 next to the amount of electricity usage

These rates may be displayed as R1 & R2 (Rate 1 and Rate 2), or L & N (Low and Normal), or simply as Day and Night.

2 Rate Tariffs

If you have a 2-rate meter, there are specific 2-rate tariffs available to you, where you pay a different unit rate depending on when you use your electricity. You will pay more for electricity used during 'peak' hours, and less during 'off-peak'. Different Economy 7 meters define peak and off-peak differently.

If you have a 2-rate meter but would prefer to pay the same amount for energy used throughout the day, we can charge you on a single rate tariff. Your meter would still record usage at different times, so we would still need the separate readings from your meter, but we'd simply total the usage between the two readings and charge you for this grand total.

Most meters record off-peak usage during the night. If you use more than 40% of your energy during the night, you may benefit from a 2-rate tariff. Typically, households with immersion/storage heaters find that the 2-rate tariff option is best for them, as do those with electric vehicles charging overnight.

Get in touch if you have a 2-rate meter and you think you might like to change your tariff between a single or 2-rate tariff.

You need to have a 2-rate meter in order to be eligible for a 2-rate tariff - fortunately, all of the brand new generation 2 smart meters (SMETS2) that we are installing for free for our customers can be configured as 2-rate meters. To find out more about getting a brand new smart meters, go here.