White Meters are the Scottish equivalent of Economy 7 tariffs and enable users to pay a lower rate per unit during the night and a higher rate during the day. Switching to a white meter can save you hundreds of pounds if you spend most of your time during the day out the house, and can provide you with a plan that accurately reflects your usage.
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White Meters are the Scottish version of Economy 7 meters and essentially allow you to pay a higher rate for your energy during daytime hours and a lower rate for a seven hour period during the night. The time frame in which this seven our off-peak period falls into is dependent on your provider, though they tend to be between 11pm and 8am each day. As such, they are well suited to people who spend most of their time outside their home in daytime hours, and who typically use most of their energy in the evening. It is also a great way to save money if you have a wet radiator electricity system with a electric storage heater because you can heat water up at a lower rate during the evening and then use this to service your house in the day. In order to use a white tariff deal, you will have to have a special white meter installed to replace your existing one because the dual pricing nature of the deal means you have to take two different meter readings. You will have to hand both of these in to your provider, and the total value is how much you are billed for when the time for payment comes.
When considering a White Meter, it is essential that you identify the times of the day that you spend the most time in your house. White Meters will not save you money if you use most of your energy during the day and indeed you will end up overpaying for your energy due to the higher peak hour rate. However, if you use over 40% of your energy at night, then a White meter could save you hundreds by allowing you pay less for when you use energy the most. It is also worth looking at how you heat your house and whether you have an electric storage heater, because this will also help you to determine whether a White Meter can save you money. If you are in possession of one, then you can heat up your household energy supply during the evening at a lower cost, and then utilise it over the course of the next day. If you do not have one, then another energy deal may be better suited to you as you will have to pay over the odds any time that you choose to spend your day at home. One last thing worth looking at to determine how useful a White Meter could be for you is what times of the day you use your high energy consuming appliances such as your dryer and dishwasher. If you tend to do this in the afternoon or early evening, then you will pay dearly each time you utilise them, but if you use them overnight, then you could make a considerable saving over an extended period of time.
White Meters are different to standard meters as they have two different readings rather than the conventional one. This is due to the fact that you have two distinct price brackets for peak and off-peak hours, so you will have to take both meter readings and hand them in to your provider for legitimate billing. Your meter should have a button that lets you simply browse between the different readings though it might be programmed to do this automatically as well. In order to take the reading, simply read the values displayed on the meter screen, write them down, and pass the information onto your energy supplier, who will then bill you accordingly to the figures they have received.
Switching back to a standard meter can be difficult as it requires re-installation which is usually quite costly. If you want to switch energy deal or provider, you will have to alert your old supplier and begin looking for a new deal. After this, you will have to let your new provider about your White Meter, and they will send someone in to install a standard meter at a set price.
Ultimately, a White Meter is beneficial to people who use a large proportion of their energy at night and have an electric storage heater in their home. This is because you will be able to save money by paying a cheaper rate when you use energy the most, and the electric storage heater will ensure you obtain energy for the next day at a lower rate by heating up over night. However, if you have children who spend time at home during daytime hours, or you yourself enjoy the flexibility of turning your heating on during the day, then a different deal will probably be better suited to you because you will end up paying far more for your energy overall than you would on a standard package. Nevertheless, the merits of a White Meter are reflected in your energy usage, so if you use most of your high energy consuming appliances in the night, and are confident that you can maintain energy usage predominantly in the later hours of the day, then a White Meter could save you a considerable amount of money on your energy bill.