AndyT

Hot news - Interesting off-peak tariff information

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Ebico Night Owl;

I have known about Ebico Zero for a bit and for those who dont use alot of gas have a nil standing charge, great for those who still want to cook on gas but nothing else.

 

Now they have introduced the "Night Owl" tariff for economy 7 users for 0pkWh - yes its free! :o

Well nothing's for free - there is a standing charge, its fixed for 12 months pay by DD, you need a Smart Meter operating in credit mode, or an Economy 7 Credit Meter.

And there is a fair use being 60% of your bill in off-peak hours. All that said you could get all your heating and hot water for free, especially if you were time shifting a heat pump and storing the heat generated for use on demand during on-peak times, but remember the size of the storage you will need is twice the size of something working with E10

 

Ok, so I can hear the cogs going round, so please go and check out if it might be something for you? 9_9

https://ebico.org.uk/energy-plans/ebico-night-owl/  Now I am not sure about those of us who have E10 meters so I may have to do a bit of research.

 

Octopus Tracker;  

For those of you who might be into Demand Side Management of their energy then the next offering is VERY interesting!

Claimed as Britain's first tariff to truly follow the wholesale price of energy!

Every day, they update the price of your energy based on an independently published wholesale market price, so just like shares the price can go up as well as down.

However this means they could pay you to take energy! :D

 

So with an email IFTTT app to link to your Sonoff WiFi switch link you might be able to automatically take advantage, ;) and charge your electric car, store energy for your heating and hot water and use these on demand at other times.

 

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Please go to http://octopus.energy/tracker?r=mhIlS  to check out if this might be able to help you save money on your energy bills

You can also register your interest at the same point.

 

Kind regards

AndyT

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That throws a massive spanner into our power model for Heating, DHW and Electricity! A good one mind!

 

Hot digity does that Night Owl plan make it very tempting to ditch gas entirely. Only concern is the longevity of such a plan.

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I was also reading on another thread of an Economy 2000 tariff, that gives 18 hours of off peak per day at the times of the suppliers choosing but with a guarantee that there would be no more than 2 hours between off peak periods. Aimed at people using electric storage boilers which could easilly be an air source heat pump and decent buffer tank)

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no one said you could not swap?

and frequently mentioned by Martin Lewis be a swap tart

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8 minutes ago, ProDave said:

I was also reading on another forum of an Economy 2000 tariff, that gives 18 hours of off peak per day at the times of the suppliers choosing but with a guarantee that there would be no more than 2 hours between off peak periods. Aimed at people using electric storage boilers which could easilly be an air source heat pump and decent buffer tank)

 

ProDave, I believe this is Scotland based

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2 hours ago, AndyT said:

Now they have introduced the "Night Owl" tariff for economy 7 users for 0pkWh - yes its free! :o

Well nothing's for free - there is a standing charge, its fixed for 12 months pay by DD, you need a Smart Meter operating in credit mode, or an Economy 7 Credit Meter.

And there is a fair use being 60% of your bill in off-peak hours. All that said you could get all your heating and hot water for free, especially if you were time shifting a heat pump and storing the heat generated for use on demand during on-peak times, but remember the size of the storage you will need is twice the size of something working with E10

 

Just checked this and its not "free" as it has a marked increase in standing charge....

 

Ebico Night Owl

Day unit rate 16.7872p per kWh
Night unit rate 0.0000p per kWh
Standing charge 51.48p per day

 

Ebico Prime 18 Fixed

Day unit rate 16.4676p per kWh
Night unit rate 8.9236p per kWh
Standing charge 21.99p per day

 

So whilst the concept is interesting, the economic only stack up if you can put some considerable heat into the slab such as the way that @TerryE is doing.

 

Looks like a candidate for 00:30-02:30 on ASHP DHW, followed by 02:30 to 07:00 with the space heating, kicking the immersion in for the last hour or so to get DHW up past 65c for the start of the day.

 

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I really must get my bottom E7 element changed fixed as I often pay full whack for my water heating at the moment.

 

9 hours ago, Visti said:

Only concern is the longevity of such a plan.

I agree.  It is not as if you will be left without power, but just a pain to change supplier when it happens.

If there is a 60% fair usage ratio, then it is not for me.  When things are working normally my night usage is around 80%.

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I suspect we are about to see a plethora of complex tariffs over the next few months, as suppliers come up with ways to retain revenues when the standard tariff cap comes into force.  According to the news last night, around 11 million people are still on some form of standard tariff - that's a lot of potential customers who could find that the cap impacts on the bills, and potentially a fair bit of lost revenue for suppliers.

 

The small suppliers have the greatest flexibility, it seems, as this is the second novel tariff structure I've seen in the past week, the other being the one offered by Octupus Energy, their Agile tariff: https://octopus.energy/agile/

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Very interesting tariff, unfortunately we dont seem to get it in Aberdeenshire. 

Think this makes a sunamp big enough for whole days heat energy look very attractive! 

Edited by Alexphd1
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There seem to be two main issues with tariffs, one being that they are different depending on where you live, often by a pretty large amount, the other being that is can be really challenging to work out if some of the more complex tariffs will be cheaper or more expensive than any other.

 

The Octopus Agile tariff is a nightmare to work out, as you need to know how much you can shift your usage through the day and how much electricity you use hour by hour before you can attempt to do a price comparison.  Some may well be easily able to shift their energy usage patterns, some can't.  For example, if it's sunny then my car will start charging, but if there is no sun for a day then I'd need to reset things to charge during the low tariff rate from Octopus.  If we needed to charge the car during the day for some urgent use reason, we could pay up to around 33p/kWh to do so.

 

It's now seemingly harder to set things like washing machines to come on at a set time.  I used to do this with a battery-backed plug in time switch years ago, but our newer machines have had a timer.  Great, except even a very short power interruption kills the timer functionality on the machine and it doesn't then come on at all.  I've lost count of the number of times this has happened to us, but it's always been just a nuisance before.  With something like that Agile tariff it could turn into a very expensive nuisance!

 

I'm coming around to the view that battery storage is a better solution overall, it's just that the cost of them doesn't justify the investment at the moment, but that looks likely to change before too long.

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11 minutes ago, JSHarris said:

I'm coming around to the view that battery storage is a better solution overall, it's just that the cost of them doesn't justify the investment at the moment, but that looks likely to change before too long.

 

I donno, Tesla's 13.5kW unit for £5.6k is a massive improvement compared to anything previously on the market. I think it is just about viable!

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23 minutes ago, Visti said:

 

I donno, Tesla's 13.5kW unit for £5.6k is a massive improvement compared to anything previously on the market. I think it is just about viable!

 

I agree, but the return on investment, taking into account the battery life, still doesn't quite make purely financial sense. 

 

One issue is really the whole life cost of battery systems, and this seems to mainly be driven by the relatively short (in house lifetime terms) battery life.  Flow batteries seem to offer a probable solution to the whole life cost problem, but they are a long way from being a viable market-ready product, it seems.  Getting batteries that have a calendar life out to 20 to 30 years would be a good goal, as then that fits with the sort of life that people might expect for major household fitted systems (tanks, boilers etc).  We're some way from that at the moment, with even the best lithium cells still having an age-related degradation of a couple of percent or more per year.  They are getting better, and are probably now just edging ahead of lead-acid in terms of age-related degradation, so there's clearly still room for improvement.  Cycle life isn't so much of an issue, as this is highly non-linear with regard to depth of charge/discharge, so can be managed by just limiting the state-of-charge (SOC) range over which the cells operate.  It's pretty easy to get well over 10,000 to 15,000 useful cycles out of present day batteries with proper SOC monitoring, so it seem clear that it's age related degradation that is the present limiting factor.

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So is this a migration of the complexity from lots of tariffs into complexity within tariffs now that (iirc) OFXYZ (GEM? Or is that just a lettuce and a wine gum?) have restricted them to 4 (?) tariffs?

 

We need a device which switches it all in real time, or even interrogates a newly-secure smart meter and switches tariffs and/or suppliers every 30 minutes.

 

Roll on the future O.o

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1 minute ago, Ferdinand said:

So is this a migration of the complexity from lots of tariffs into complexity within tariffs now that (iirc) OFXYZ (GEM? Or is that just a lettuce and a wine gum?) have restricted them to 4 (?) tariffs?

 

We need a device which switches it all in real time, or even interrogates a newly-secure smart meter and switches tariffs and/or suppliers every 30 minutes.

 

Roll on the future O.o

 

The problem seems to be that it's a very skewed market, with a lot of government interference.  My personal view is that the energy market is "neither fish nor fowl", in that it is not a true free market and neither is it a government owned nationalised industry.  In some ways it's the worst of both!

 

The government effectively has a strong influence over the generation cost, because they put massive subsidies into some forms of generation, some for good reasons, some for less good reasons.  This skews the wholesale cost a fair bit, and even though some subsidies have now been removed, their impact will remain for the next couple of decades.  The government also seems to have a modest impact on the retail price, with new caps and controls on tariffs and OFGEN interference in the way suppliers operate.

 

The "free" bit of the market is really just the bit between the wholesale half-hourly traded energy price and the supplier tariff setting methodology.  The wholesale half hourly price is massively impacted by government subsidised generation.  Look right now: http://gridwatch.co.uk/ , nuclear, solar, wind and biomass are all getting government subsidies (or have been), and they are supplying a fair bit of our total energy right now.  Given that the strongest government intervention in the market currently seems to be associated with generation, and hence the half hourly wholesale price, it's no wonder the suppliers wish to pass that volatility (and risk) on to consumers.

 

I wonder what would happen if we did have a device that switches tariffs in real time, every 30 minutes?  I rather suspect it would remove any real added value from any supplier - consumers may as well just buy directly from the generators.

 

Oh, hang on a minute, would that be what we had when energy supply was nationalised?............................

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One of the problems with variable tariff is that the general public will not cope with it.  They can barely cope with E7.

I was chatting to someone that is involved on the periphery of the energy market and he was telling me that it will be all sorted hen we have meters that bill every 15 minutes.

So 96 different price segments.

Just not the way forward.

 

The real problem is that electricity is pretty cheap and will probably get cheaper in real terms as time passes.  There have been government surveys that show that the big energy companies do not make huge profits on retail energy trading, but that myth is still there.

A kWh of electricity is about the same a kWh of gasoline even allowing for the vastly different tax regimes.

The real problem is that we are attacking the problem from the wrong end.  People with resistive heating (like me) should be considering heat pumps.  Trouble is that the cost, and physical restrictions, of installing a heat pump are often prohibitive.

 

Standard Tariffs are not so bad as they can give you payment flexibility.  If you have ever had EDF try to take £2500 out of your account, then just under £2000 and then just under £1000 in 4 days because of a meter misreading, you will know what the bank charges are (about £90 at the time).  I was a student at the time so only 'got paid' 3 times a year.

I could change to the very cheapest deal on direct debit and save myself a 'whooping' £74/year.  But one missed payment will screw that.

I shall stick with paying every 3 months, which I can drag out to 4 months if needed, thanks.

 

Because I am a relatively low user, sub 5MWh/year, I have never seen much point in changing.

Edited by SteamyTea

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5 minutes ago, JSHarris said:

Oh, hang on a minute, would that be what we had when energy supply was nationalised?

Maybe when we actually got reliable power.

 

I agree that subsidies have skewed the market, never been keen on them.

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1 minute ago, SteamyTea said:

Because I am a relatively low user, sub 5MWh/year, I have never seen much point in changing.

 

That's really a key point, as I reached the same conclusion a year or so ago.  Our use is less that this, and when you're down at that sort of consumption level the differences between all the various tariffs, especially when weighed against some of the hidden costs (like just a single billing error as mentioned) sensible use and choice of a standard tariff can make sense. 

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What about incentives. Let me get you on octopus Jeremy we both get 50 quid!

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2 minutes ago, Oz07 said:

What about incentives. Let me get you on octopus Jeremy we both get 50 quid!

 

Nice one!  Sadly I don't think it would be enough to make me switch, based on the quick and dirty sums I did.  Because of our pretty big PV array our daytime electricity use is pretty small, but early evening use is probably our peak much of the time (in terms of imported power).  This plot from them shows that we'd be importing mainly during their highest tariff period, and barely using anything at all from the grid during the low tariff period.  It's hard to time shift eating...............:D

 

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8 minutes ago, JSHarris said:

This plot from them shows that we'd be importing mainly during their highest tariff period,

It is set up for just that.

No one is going to give power away.

When we opened the tap on the Norway gas interconnect, we had negative gas prices.  That never filtered though to the retail consumer.

But at the moment we have higher than average import prices, and that is not filtering though yet.  Though the exchange rate difference will this year.

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6 hours ago, JSHarris said:

It's hard to time shift eating............

 

........a slow cooker! 

Or........ salads only :) 

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A friend has a tariff from British Gas which gives her free electricity for one day a week.  She chose Sundays and does all her washing/cleaning/tumble drying on that day.  She reckons it saves her a fortune.  Interestingly, she does not like tumbel dryers as they use electricity to do something the wind does for free,  But this way, her washing is washed and dried and put away in a couple of hours. 

I already use Octopus for our dual fuel and I can say that I really like them. The bills are easy to understand and their emails are polite and informative.  :D

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On 26/02/2018 at 23:10, PeterW said:

 

Ebico Night Owl

Night unit rate 0.0000p per kWh
Standing charge 51.48p per day

 

Ebico Prime 18 Fixed

   
Night unit rate 8.9236p per kWh
Standing charge 21.99p per day

 

e34968.gif So by my maths, (0.5148 - 0.2199 = 0.2949 / 0.8923 = 3.3) as long as you take more than 3.3kWh during the off-peak period, the night owl tariff is a winner even accounting for the higher standing charge. e34974.gif

 

 

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