I have an Economy 7 supply - which is used for storage heaters, and for
domestic hot water. The supply naturally has its own separate consumer
unit, and I was thinking of putting a socket in my kitchen wired up to
Our Economy 7 supply normally doesn't switch off until around 9.00 am so
- as my wife and I are usually up some hours before that - we thought
that we could could plug the washing machine, tumble dryer etc, into
this socket and obviously make quite a saving - if these daily tasks
were carried out early in the morning.
Leaving Part P considerations out of it, does anyone know if our
supplier would object to this?
It's not "natural" to have a separate consumer unit for Economy 7
nowadays, that's the old-fashioned way of doing it.
We're on Economy 7 and we simply have a meter with two totals on it,
one is the number of units consumed between 07:00 and midnight, the
other is the number of units consumed between midnight and 07:00 (not
sure about the exact times but you get the idea). Thus *all* of the
electricity we consume during the night is on the cheap rate.
I think you may find that if you ask you can get your supplier to
change to a 'dual' meter like ours. It's certainly the simplest and
easiest (and most economical for you) solution.
I cannot see why it would, nor why it should be allowed to if it does. The
Economy 7 is there for you to use as you want to. Just because most people
only have their immersion heaters and such like wired into it doesn't mean
that nothing else can be.
As already mentioned, the "old" off-peak system of having 2 separate meters
(one used exclusively for night storage) has largely been replaced by Econ 7
(the 7 refers to 7 hours off-peak, midnight to 7am) whereby all units are on
cheap tariff during the night.
(IIRC, the earlier 2-meter system included an afternoon boost for a couple
of hours - does yours?)
Your supplier would be delighted if you used off-peak for everything (hence
the incentive of cheaper units).
However, bear in mind that full rate should click in at 7am (before peak
demand when the factories start up etc) - so yours has obviously slipped a
couple of hours. Hence, you'll need to get up early (easy for a farmer) to
take full advantage. Or use a timer - our hot air drier had such a timer
If you stick to two meters, then fit the 13A outlets (Part P permitting, as
you say), and just load the washers etc before midnight, and the timing will
be done for you. That said, the damp washing will have to sit around til
the next night to get dried....
Thanks for all the helpful replies. To answer the questions asked - we
do only have one meter, which has two separate registers, but we have a
separate CU for off-peak supplies. The off-peak supply is controlled by
a clock, which presently seems a wee bit adrift - it comes on about 2.00
am until 9.00 am - but this is ok by us.
There doesn't seem to be any afternoon 'boost', although we do have
friends with a similar set-up and theirs does come on for a short while
in the afternoon.
My setup sounds similar to yours. Here I have a meter with two settings -
LOW and NORMAL. The separate timeclock switches the meter over to LOW for
the 7 hours a day for Economy 7. This is switches on the separate circuit
for Economy 7 in the properly, heating up storage heaters and the hot water
However, it's worth noting that when the meter is switched over to LOW
(Economy 7) then *ALL* electricity usage is charged at the lower rate,
automatically. So there's no need to mess around wiring in extra circuits,
just use the washing machine and tumble dryer when you're in the Economy 7
window and you'll be fine.
This is how it's wired up for me, at any rate.
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