What are the start / end times for day and night rates with Vari-fair tariff?

I have a 4 part question, and wondered if anyone knew the answers: (Bulb didn’t seem to know!)

  • what time of day do day / night rates start and end?
  • when the clocks change GMT to BST and back, do I need to change the clock time on the meter itself to reflect this?
  • If so, how do I do this? Do I need to call out an electrician?
  • Is the ‘kicking in’ of the different rates triggered by the clock setting on the meter, or some other way?
    Ta.

Is this a Bulb SMETS2 smart meter on a dual rate tariff, or is it a traditional Economy 7 meter?

If it’s a traditional meter, then switching supplier has no effect and it all still works however it did before, with the same rate switching times which varies by area. If the clock is wrong, then it needs to be reset by a contractor sent by the supplier. You can’t do it yourself, because if you could then obviously you could just keep changing it so it’s off-peak all the time. If the clock keeps going wrong, because it’s running at the wrong rate, then the meter is faulty and needs to be replaced. The clock does not change during summer time. The rate changes are controlled by the clock on the meter, and so you have to remember your rate changes are offset by one hour.

If it’s a Bulb SMETS2 smart meter, since Bulb do not officially support Economy 7 on their SMETS2 meters no one really knows how this will work. However, there are people reporting on here that they have E7 on their new SMETS2 meters, so Bulb must be doing it without officially saying it’s now available.

The night rate probably works like the the three-rate smart tariff. In which case it will switch 11pm to 7am, which I guess is really Economy 8. This could vary between supplier, as each will have their own Economy 7 (or equivalent) tariff. The clock does change between GMT and BST, and so your rate switches always happen at the same time through the year. The rate changes are still controlled by the clock on the meter as before. My IHD shows a 90 minute countdown to each rate change on the Bulb SMETS1 smart tariff trial.

Hi @Deens,

Have you seen the stickied https://community.bulb.co.uk/discussion/8025/what-are-my-off-peak-hours-for-economy-7 post?

  • what time of day do day / night rates start and end?

It tends to differ per electrical region (and sometimes per meter) - that post should help. Once you’ve fully switched to Bulb (and then Bulb can access your details on the national database), they’ll be able to lookup your meter on the database and let you know this. (BTW, The times do NOT change dependent on supplier: so whatever your current Economy 7 times are, these will be the times you’ll get on Bulb)

  • when the clocks change GMT to BST and back, do I need to change the clock time on the meter itself to reflect this?

No, the meters keep track on GMT. You should never make any modifications to the meters.

  • If so, how do I do this? Do I need to call out an electrician?

No. The meter is the property of your local “distribution supply organisation” (DSO) and should not be modified by any one else (including qualified electricians).

  • Is the ‘kicking in’ of the different rates triggered by the clock setting on the meter, or some other way?

Usually it’s by the clock setting on the meter (although this, in turn, may be set by the Radio 4 time code signal). The clock is unlikely to be exact though - Economy 7 meters have an “allowed variance” of 30 minutes from their set time to prevent all meters in a region switching over at the same time.

Thanks so much RichyB for your explanation, and for the link to the other thread, which has helped me get to grips with the arcane complexities of the dual rate tariff!! I have a traditional meter, the clock for which is 1.75 hours behind BST, and I live in one of the regions where the times are variable, so have been trying to get my head around it. In addition the previous supplier at my property was … Bulb!

Is this a Bulb SMETS2 smart meter on a dual rate tariff, or is it a traditional Economy 7 meter?

If it’s a traditional meter, then switching supplier has no effect and it all still works however it did before, with the same rate switching times which varies by area. If the clock is wrong, then it needs to be reset by a contractor sent by the supplier. You can’t do it yourself, because if you could then obviously you could just keep changing it so it’s off-peak all the time. If the clock keeps going wrong, because it’s running at the wrong rate, then the meter is faulty and needs to be replaced. The clock does not change during summer time. The rate changes are controlled by the clock on the meter, and so you have to remember your rate changes are offset by one hour.

If it’s a Bulb SMETS2 smart meter, since Bulb do not officially support Economy 7 on their SMETS2 meters no one really knows how this will work. However, there are people reporting on here that they have E7 on their new SMETS2 meters, so Bulb must be doing it without officially saying it’s now available.

The night rate probably works like the the three-rate smart tariff. In which case it will switch 11pm to 7am, which I guess is really Economy 8. This could vary between supplier, as each will have their own Economy 7 (or equivalent) tariff. The clock does change between GMT and BST, and so your rate switches always happen at the same time through the year. The rate changes are still controlled by the clock on the meter as before. My IHD shows a 90 minute countdown to each rate change on the Bulb SMETS1 smart tariff trial.

Thank you for the helpful information HooLooVoo