‘Time of Use’ tariff customers ‘not actually saving money’

Citizens Advice warns lessons learned must be taken into account before such tariffs become more widespread

By Jonny Bairstow

Energy customers on ‘Time of Use’ tariffs are continuing to receive poor information from suppliers and many are not able to save money by using electricity at off-peak times.

That’s according to Citizens Advice, which says although these customers should be able to pay less by using electricity at off-peak times, just 49% of customers on tariffs like Economy 7, Economy 10 and Dynamic Teleswitching are actively trying to do so.

Around 39% said it wasn’t practical to use appliances at off-peak times, with 28% suggesting they needed to heat their home at times outside the cheaper periods.

The organisation blamed poor information, claiming only 40% of people on these deals were confident they knew when their off-peak time was.

Citizens Advice has warned unless lessons are learned, customers may experience the same problems on new ‘Time of Use’ tariffs that emerge with the smart meter rollout.

Victoria MacGregor, Director of Energy at Citizens Advice, said: “It’s clear from this research that even motivated customers may not get the benefits from time of use tariffs if they don’t get the right information and support.

“To do this, suppliers need to communicate clearly with their customers in ways they understand.”

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