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Many Economy 7 customers are paying over the odds on their energy bills

Consumer Focus website (link opens in a new window)New Consumer Focus research shows that many energy customers who are on Economy 7 or other time of use tariffs could be paying more than they need to for their energy. 38 per cent of these customers don’t have storage heaters and/or do not regularly use appliances at off-peak times. So they get no real benefit from the off-peak tariff and would be likely to be better off on other energy deals.

The consumer organisation is calling for energy suppliers to provide better information and advice to time of use customers.

Key findings

  • One of the biggest problems reported by customers is confusion over off-peak times and rates.
  • Many people aren’t sure when the cheaper hours are, how much they need to use at off-peak rates to get the benefit of their tariff, and how this compares to their current energy use.
  • Almost six out of 10 (59 per cent) of users think additional information and advice would help them make better use of their tariff and heating system.

Need for better information

Hannah Mummery, energy expert at Consumer Focus, said:

"Hundreds of thousands of Economy 7 customers and those on other deals with off-peak rates are likely to be paying over the odds on these tariffs. Many of these customers don’t know when their off-peak rates kick-in and how to get the maximum savings from their tariff. 

"We need to see much better information and advice provided to these customers by energy firms so people don’t lose out. We’d also strongly advise customers who think they may not be benefitting from their Time of Use tariff to shop around to see whether they could pay less for the energy they use on another type of deal." 

Find out more about Consumer Focus's research on time of use tariffs (link opens in a new window)

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