Are you looking for ways to save on your commercial energy bill? Do you want to ensure you have the best deal on your business energy?

Start by making an energy supplier comparison by checking out https://businessenergycomparison.com/. From here, it is a simple case of selecting the best deal. Another way to reduce your energy bills is through the Economy 7 tariff.

What is Economy 7?

Economy 7 business tariff is a popular business model for saving energy. Many businesses use it to get cheap rates for night-time energy use. It is also called a multi-rate business energy contract.

With an Economy 7 multi-rate plan, you pay two rates for your electricity:

  • A regular daytime rate; and,
  • A cheaper rate for seven overnight hours.

It allows you to obtain electricity cheaper at night due to less demand. The tariff name is Economy 7 because the off-peak time is seven hours.

With this tariff, your off-peak use of electricity costs about a third of the peak-hours price. The daytime rate or peak time, though, will be more expensive than the standard rate.

What are the off-peak and peak periods?

First off, let’s specify what peak time is. Peak time refers to daytime energy, and businesses operate at their peak thus, having more consumption.

With off-peak times, there is no blanket period. Energy suppliers often define the times for off-peak on their standards. For most, the off-peak energy period runs from 12 a.m. to 7 a.m.

Some regions of the UK have their timescales for off-peak hours:

  • Scotland – between 11:30 p.m. and 7:30 a.m.; and,
  • East Midlands – from 12:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m.

The time frame will often change during spring and autumn. To be sure, check with your energy suppliers to confirm your off-peak hours.

What businesses can be suitable for an Economy 7 tariff?

Economy 7 is suitable for businesses that are heavy electricity consumers at night. The reason is that you use much of your electricity during cheaper-rate hours. You can best maximise this tariff if you manage your energy usage.

Here are some examples of businesses that can enjoy off-peak energy rates:

  • If your business uses storage heaters at night;
  • If you operate an electric fleet that charges during the night;
  • If you have a warehouse that uses electrical equipment and machinery at night;
  • If you have a catering business that uses dishwashers and other appliances during off-peak hours; and,
  • If you are in the hospitality sector, such as bars and nightclubs that open at night.

If your business operates on a 9-5 model, the Economy 7 tariff is not a practical option. Switch to this multi-rate plan only if you completely understand your energy use. Doing so will help you enjoy cheap rates during off-peak hours.

Will Smart Meters phase out Economy 7?

There were concerns years ago that the advent of Smart Meters would phase out Economy 7. While this has not happened, some suppliers have begun offering an option. It is in the form of Smart Meters that can cater to Economy 7.

There are two kinds of Economy 7 Smart Meters, which provide data about your electricity usage. These meters remove the need for meter readings. You can also view your energy usage at any given time.

Suppliers may charge to install an Economy 7 meter. But more are supplying them free of charge. Confirm with your supplier if there are meter installation fees.

How does Economy 7 work for a business?

Business energy suppliers have their version of the Economy 7 tariff. The terms and rates will be different from one provider to another. Some providers give you energy rates based on your location and energy use.

To get an Economy 7 tariff, you need to install a new Smart Meter. Since it is a multi-rate tariff, you need a meter that reads your energy use at differing rates. Suppliers will only provide a contract if you have a new meter.

The Economy 7 Smart Meter will have two displays. One will show your energy use during the day.

The other one will indicate your electricity consumption during off-peak hours.

How can businesses maximise savings using Economy 7?

If you use Economy 7 the right way, you can save cash. The rule of thumb is: If your energy usage is about 40% at night and you use the equipment during off-peak hours, then Economy 7 is worth it.

These are cost-cutting tips that will optimise your Economy 7 deal:

  • Check your off-peak times. Suppliers have different periods for Economy 7. Inquire from your supplier when the off-peak period starts and ends.
  • Make the most of your off-peak hours usage. These include energy-saving methods like using energy-efficient appliances and charging equipment at night.
  • If you have storage heaters, program them to charge overnight when rates are lower. You do not have to charge it during peak hours, and it will keep you warm during the day.
  • Perform regular services for your HVAC units to make them more efficient. HVAC systems use up as much as 50-60% of your energy costs. Keep the equipment energy efficient to reduce consumption.

How to find the best tariff plan for your business

If you think Economy 7 presents more benefits for your business, consult an expert first. Finding the plan that will fit your business needs can be challenging. Have a trusted professional who will identify the energy plan that will give you the most savings.

Consider having your operational hours around off-peak periods. It will depend on how flexible your business is. Your next step should be to ensure your energy deal fits this purpose.

You can find the best deal by performing a business energy comparison. It will enable you to find the best energy prices on the market. It will also give you information about peak tariffs and off-peak rates.

The Upshot

The bottom line is: Whether you can save money on business energy costs will depend on your usage. You can maximise the decision to get the Economy 7 tariff by implementing best practices.

Apart from that, another way to save on energy is by switching suppliers. Compared with other methods, the strategy to get the best energy contract will save you the most money.