NightSaver meters are a great idea and could be saving you a lot of money already. But with the clocks having moved forward, so too will the times that you're charged cheaper electricity and this could affect your bills.
Although the bi-annual changing of the clocks appeared to be on the way out after the EU Parliament voted in 2019 to end daylight savings, the Covid crisis has put a decision on implementing the change on the back burner. Plus, the Irish Government is unlikely to agree to ending the practice anyway unless the UK and the North does too as it would mean different time zones on the island of Ireland.
So for the foreseeable future we're still turning the clocks back each October and forward every March. But in doing so it has an effect on your NightSaver times i.e. the hours when you're charged cheaper electricity. So to make sure you're not left out of pocket, here's what you need to know.
What are NightSaver meters?
A NightSaver meter records day-time and night-time electricity consumption separately, and allows customers to avail of cheaper electricity at night when demand is usually lower.
If more than 25% to 30% of a household's electricity is used overnight, a customer will usually save money with a NightSaver meter installed.
When is "night" time, exactly?
The definition of when "night" actually ends and a new day begins will be different for all the night owls and early birds out there.
Thankfully, for NightSaver meter users, the hours are clearly defined: "night-time" is 11pm-8am during winter-time (late October to late March).
But when the clocks go forward for summer, so too do your NightSaver times, meaning night-time is 12am-9am from late March to late October.
Will the change affect my energy bills?
Because of the time change, those with NightSaver meters need to remember that their electricity will not be going on to the cheaper rate until an hour later at night for the next seven months - so you may need to adjust your consumption habits.
For example if you waited until 11pm to put on the washing machine and/or dishwasher you'll now have to wait until midnight to get the reduced rate. On the other hand, you'll now have an extra hour in the morning to avail of the lower night-time rate.
Do I need to do anything?
When winter-time moves to summer-time you're automatically charged reduced night-time rates for the new hours of 12am-9am. So, you don’t need to worry about adjusting your meter - just make a note of the new times and adjust your electricity usage accordingly.
What about those with smart meters?
Smart meters are gradually being rolled out across the country and every home is expected to receive one by 2024.
Those with with smart meters can sign up to so-called 'time-of-use' smart tariffs which charge different prices for your electricity based on the time of time, with some plans even offering free weekend electricity.
However these plans are unaffected by the bi-annual time change - so if you're on a plan that offers a reduced electricity rate between 5pm and 10pm for example, this won't change.
Switch and save
If you're worried about rising energy costs remember that the quickest and easiest way to save on your bills is to switch energy supplier.
Just use our energy price comparison service to compare prices and switch and you could save yourself hundreds of euro in just minutes!