Why Electricity Doesn’t Always Cost the Same All Day?

Why Electricity Doesn’t Always Cost the Same All Day

Several companies that supply electricity change their electricity prices throughout the day and night.

Your energy bill will reflect these changes as Time of Use Tariffs, however, there are still energy companies that offer flat rates that do not change throughout the day.

Below we provide some information on changing rates of electricity throughout the day. You can find out more about changes in electricity prices fromUtility Bidder.

Why are electricity prices cheaper off-peak?

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Off-peak energy prices come from the days of electricity generation by coal-fired stations.

As it was difficult to switch off the stations during the night when the electricity demand was lowered, the stations continued to supply energy.

The power companies reduced the costs at night to encourage the use of the power that was being produced.

These days solar and wind power are becoming more popular.

With the move towards renewable energy sources, energy is still constantly being produced – for example during windy days when solar and wind energy is being generated – and there is excess electricity.

When this happens, companies tend to reduce electricity prices – even sometimes to the point where suppliers are being paid to use electricity.

Power plant companies are investigating to push these electricity price movements through to the consumers so that everyday people benefit from using the excess electricity.

How can I benefit from off-peak electricity prices?

In the UK there are the Economy 7 and Economy 10 tariffs. These tariffs offer electricity users seven or ten hours of lower energy costs, particularly during the night.

This is especially useful if you have energy systems that run throughout the night, like electricity storage heaters or cooling systems, or an electric car that you charge during the night.

However, these tariffs come at a price, and daytime electricity costs are high.

This means to benefit from these off-peak tariffs, you must save energy during the day by investing in energy-efficient appliances.

What are the off-peak times for Economy 7 and Economy 10?

The off-peak times will vary between energy suppliers as well as regions. It can also depend on the season, as winter nights are much longer than summer and more electricity is used.

Typically, off-peak hours are between 10 pm and 8 am, however you can check your electricity bills to be sure.

Is it more affordable to use off-peak tariff energy prices?

This will depend on the price of the electricity units when you do use electricity.

If you have one of the Economy tariffs, but use all your electricity during the day, then you will be paying much more and should stick with a normal tariff or flat rate.

You should do calculations and consider your energy use habits. With some off-peak tariffs, your daily use rates could be double that of the off-peak rates, so if at least 40% of your daily electricity consumption is not during off-peak hours, it would not make sense to sign up for Economy 7 or Economy 10.

The Energy Price Cap


The energy price cap or Ofgem price cap is a cap on the price of electricity (and gas) and depends on wholesale prices of electricity and gas.

The cap only applies to standard variable tariffs, but not fixed-rate tariffs.  The cap determines what you are charged per kilowatt-hour, and is reviewed in February and August each year.

Can I switch between Time of Use Tariffs to a Flat Rate?

You can switch suppliers or tariffs as you please, but you may have to get a new meter installed.

The meter will measure exactly how much energy you use, and your flat rate will be calculated accordingly. Your new supplier may charge you for installing a new meter.

Final Thoughts

Shop around for the best energy supplier that will offer you electricity at wholesale costs during off-peak hours, especially if you use more power at night.

Article Submitted By Community Writer

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