Following four of the big six energy suppliers’ recent price rise announcements, several households have been informed that their Economy 7 plans will see a dramatic increase in cost.
A number of SSE Economy 7 customers have been told that their bills will rise by 17% this month – this follows an increase of 15% just over 12 months ago.
ScottishPower and npower have also announced that some of their Economy 7 customers will be hit with a 13% increase in their nigh time electricity rates.
It is believed that these new price hikes will affect the most vulnerable UK citizens. Roughly 10% of the British population use Economy 7 meters, which are also referred to as white meters.
Tariff changes likely to affect most vulnerable
An SSE customer on an Economy 7 tariff recently got in touch with the Guardian newspaper to complain that his night usage rates have increased by 35% in the past 13 months. The customer explained that SSE’s night time pricing increased from 5.98p per unit to 6.92p per unit in October 2012 and was set to jump to 8.11p per unit in November 2013.
The customer told the newspaper that the price is likely to mainly affect the UK’s most vulnerable citizens.
“This tariff is used especially by people with storage heaters, where it will constitute their major energy cost. I guess that this will include a disproportionate number of both poor people and old people – this is exactly the politically sensitive group whom you might think energy suppliers would try to hit less, not more,” he said.
How does Economy 7 work?
Economy 7 is a special type of electricity plan which sees households charged a different unit price depending on the time of day. People on an Economy 7 plan will pay less for electricity consumed during non-peak periods, typically at night. Households which are signed up to an Economy 7 plan have a distinct type of meter, which is able to measure electricity consumption during the night and day.
If you’re not sure whether or not you are on an Economy 7 plan, the easiest way to find out is to look at your latest energy bill. If it shows a separate rate for day and night time usage, then you’re on Economy 7.