Night rate.

I’ve been reading these posts on night rates being at different times. My meter says it’s between 0.30 and 7.30 on a sticker. Is this correct?

Hi there @Loulou different meters have offpeak at different times. If you email in with your postcode we can look it up for you on your account. If the sticker says 00:30-07:30 that could well be correct, it’s a fairly common off peak time slot

I believe the night rate times for my Yorkshire area is 00.30 to 07.30. However my clock has always been wrong. At the moment it is about half an hour slow, although it must have changed when the clocks went back last month, as the hour is correct (or maybe it always is GMT). Does the clock time have anything to do with the actual rate change time. I think it may be radio switched and have nothing to do with the meter clock time?

They are always GMT.

Thanks, but what about the actual switching time and the fact my clock isn’t right?

The cheap rate/ night rate/ Economy 7 occurs between the times shown on the clock on the meter. In my case Economy 7 is between 2330 - 0630 but my meter clock is ‘out’ by 1hr and 35 minutes so I have two timer switches set to 0100 - 0800, one for an electric airer and the other charging batteries for our standby generator. The dishwasher/ washing machine/ tumble drier are set to a ‘delay’ start after 0100.

@bill6768, as linesrg says, as your meter is the thing reporting usage (that you then report to Bulb), the clock on your electricity meter is the only one that matters.

If the time is not correct, you will need to offset your usage to match.
I imagine you would also be able to request an engineer visit to adjust the clock if it’s not set correctly.

It seems I am not the only one with an incorrect clock. If it is the local meter clock that is doing the switching, it seems to me that the advertised night rate times are a snare and delusion. How many people check their meter clock time accuracy and have their timer clocks set to the ‘inaccurate’ time? An incorrect clock would potentially result in a wildly inaccurate charge.
I’m sure I’ve seen somewhere that night/day rates are set by some sort of signal via the mains. But maybe I’m wrong.
Perhaps a Bulb representative could enlighten us.
There’s not much point in telling each Bulb customer their night time hours if their clock is wrong.

@bill6768, It’s unfortunately been an issue for many years, not in any way Bulb specific: https://conversation.which.co.uk/home-energy/economy-7-energy-meter-clock-overpayments/

It should be a thing of the past when Smart Meters come in next year (as they’ll automatically get the time from the network), but perhaps as Bulb are trying to be one of the most honest energy suppliers out there, periodically reminding Economy 7 users to check their meter clocks might be a nice thing to do?
(another suggestion for the ideas section on the roadmap there…)

This is obviously an industry wide problem. I never thought it was Bulb specific.
It strikes me this is on the verge of mis-selling. Offering a preferential rate, but making it extremely difficult for the customer to benefit from it.
Although it seems that some customers would be unlikely to support any change, as night time rates apply to their daytime!
Time clocks which switch appliances on for night time rates should also be kept at GMT (or what your meter thinks GMT is).
When smart meters come in (can I have one!) this problem will presumably go.
All in all it seems at the moment that a lot of calculation is involved to benefit from the night time rate.

I suspect that in the future, appliances will communicate directly with your meter/supplier to determine when to turn on as demand based tarrifs are a possibility and they’ll be impossible to use just based on the time of day.

I suspect that in the future, appliances will communicate directly with your meter/supplier to determine when to turn on as demand based tarrifs are a possibility and they'll be impossible to use just based on the time of day.

You may be right, but I think my life will have expired by the time this comes in and I have bought all the new fangled appliances that we will undoubtedly need, to gain from the new technology!
At this point in time I still believe it is a very unsatisfactory and unfair (for some) system.

@linesrg @mowcius @bill6768 Thanks for all your posts and comments. The idea behind the night rate is that the meters should be aligned with the actual time.

They will always switch when the clocks go back or forwards. However, as bill6768 mentioned above, meters can get unaligned and become harder for members to tailor their usage to the cheaper rate. When members recognise this fault in the meter, we can send engineers out for free to fix the situation.

Reminding members to check their meter clocks sounds like a good idea and I’ll pass that on! Hopefully, this all becomes a thing of the past once we all have smart meters.

Thanks SJ. When you say ‘They will always switch when the clocks go back or forwards.’, what exactly do you mean? I understood that the meter clock is always at GMT (or the meter’s idea of GMT!). It’s good to know that meters can be fixed free of charge, although I doubt whether customers benefiting from night time rates in the day time are likely to want this. I’m surprised that the energy companies aren’t chasing their lost revenue!
There seem to be such a lot of things a customer needs to know about obtaining the night time rate accurately, which, to my knowledge, have not been advertised in connection with Economy 7. It’s been something of an eye opener to me, when I thought, in my innocence, that night time rate meant I got a cheaper rate in the night!

@“SJ at Bulb”, from my experience, economy 7 meters don’t automatically change when the clocks change so do you mean that the times will switch or are some meters different to others in this regard (to make things even more confusing)?

@mowcius You are correct. E7 meters are nearly all aligned with GMT. Please email into help@bulb.co.uk to ask what hours your meter switches.

@mowcius Seems like I was in the wrong! Meters are a tricky business it seems :dissapointed:

Hi @andy_bulb, is this something that Bulb owners could be told automatically, and perhaps a reminder in the app (especially when the clocks change)?

@mowcius Another good suggestion, I will definitely pass this on!