Time of use tariffs: when are the best times to use household appliances to save money on energy bills?

Using your household appliances at specific times could save you money on your energy bills this winter

Energy bills are on all of our minds at the moment as we worry about the approaching cost of living crisis.

Ofgem announced that the energy price cap would be rising to £3,549 from October.

If you are worried about the rising bills ahead of the winter, you might be looking for ways to help save money where possible.

One tip to be keep in mind is that depending on the time of day you are using your household appliances it could actually be costing you more.

Here is all you need to know:

When is it most expensive to use appliances?


Using big household appliances like washing machines, dish washers can guzzle plenty of electricity.

If you are on certain tarriffs like Economy 7, Economy 10 and Dynamic Teleswitching, you could end up paying over the odds for electricity if you use appliances at the wrong time of the day.

The most expensive time can vary depending on your company, tarriff or location, but peak hours tend to be during the day and evening.

So if you put on your washing machine after getting home from work, you could be paying even higher fees.

The average household in Glasgow could spend almost £3,000 per year on their energy bill when the new price cap comes into effect in October, analysis suggests.

What are Time of Use tarriffs?


The so-called “time of use” tarriffs are an option for people looking to save money on their energy bills.

It includes options like Economy 7, Economy 10 and Dynamic Teleswitching.

If you are signed up to these “time of use” tarriffs, it will likely be cheaper to use energy at nighttime.

The Sun reports that as of December 2017, around 3M households were on Economy 7 tariffs, while another 700,000 were on Economy 10, DTS and others restricted tariffs, according to energy regulator Ofgem.

But Citizens Advice says people who’ve been on these tariffs for a long time are still not able to save money by using electricity at off-peak times.

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.

“If we don’t fix the long-standing problems of these tariffs now, new time of use tariff customers will experience the same frustrations in the future.”

When are the cheapest times to use household appliances on these tarriffs?

The terms of “time of use” tarriffs will vary depending on a number of factors.

It depends on which company you are signed up to - as well as the terms of your tarriff.


The prices can change depending on which part of the country you are living in.

But for example, the Sun reports, Bulb’s special tariff’s off-peak hours are usually between 10pm and 8am.

EDF customers off-peak hours are likely between 11pm and 8am.

Despite the variance between specific tarriffs, the most common off-peak period is overnight and in the small hours.

If you set your high energy guzzling appliances up to run through a cycle overnight, it will be the cheapest time and could save you money.