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New research reveals consumer interest in time-of-use tariffs

New research reveals consumer interest in time-of-use-tariffs

Nine in ten of those surveyed are in the market for flexible energy tariffs if they lead to cheaper bills

Nine in ten consumers who are not on a time-of-use tariff or haven't heard of them say they would find one more appealing if they led to reduced bills, according to a new survey released today by Smart Energy GB, the campaign for a smarter Britain.

Gas and electricity time-of-use tariffs are designed to make it cheaper to use energy at times of the day when fewer households are using it, for example in the afternoon, overnight and at weekends. Although they've been around for years, these tariffs are still relatively uncommon. However, the ongoing smart meter rollout means that momentum is beginning to build around this new pricing structure, which has the potential to lower consumers' energy bills and reduce the strain on Britain's energy network.

The survey, commissioned to find out how British people currently feel about time-of-use tariffs, also found that consumers would prefer cheaper energy at weekends or during the day on weekdays rather than cheaper energy overnight. Those who are employed full-time are more likely to want cheaper energy on weekends and those not in full-time employment are more likely to want cheaper energy during the day on weekdays.

In addition, financial benefits including cheaper energy bills are the top reasons for the appeal of the tariffs, and of those who are not on or haven't heard of time-of-use tariffs, 69 per cent said they would find them more appealing if they were better for the environment.

When combined with smart meters, the environmental benefits of time-of-use tariffs are far reaching. In order to meet carbon emission targets, the UK is replacing its fossil fuels with renewables like wind and solar. However, the sun can only provide power during the day and the wind doesn't blow all the time, so along with other solutions such as energy storage, consumers will be able to adjust when they use electricity to take advantage of this renewable energy. Smart meters will allow energy suppliers to offer the wide range of time-of-use tariffs that we urgently need to promote energy security and renewable electricity consumption.

Robert Cheesewright, Director of Corporate Affairs at Smart Energy GB, said:

"As this research shows, smart meters will play a vital part in enabling households to use renewable energy and electric vehicles to make a real contribution to a more sustainable environment. Not only that, but they also have unrivalled potential to reward people with lower bills for doing their bit to save the planet, leaving them with more cash in their pocket to spend on the things they want."

Smart meters, available at no extra cost from your energy supplier, are essential to the rollout of time-of-use tariffs, because they automatically provide near real-time information on your energy use to your energy provider. If you don't have a smart meter, your energy supplier won't know when you are using your energy, and therefore how much to charge you for it.

It's easy to do your bit to protect the environment - just call 0300 131 8000 and ask for a smart meter or search 'I want a smart meter'.


Time of use tariffs is the latest in a series of reports exploring the transformative potential role of smart meter data in diverse areas of our lives.

About the research

Fieldwork was conducted by Lightspeed Research Ltd in December 2018 with 1,500 respondents. A nationally representative sample of GB adults 18+ was used. The full report is available to view here.

About Smart Energy GB

Smart Energy GB is the campaign for a smarter Britain. It's our task to help everyone in Great Britain understand smart meters, the national rollout and how to use their new meters to be cleaner and greener with their energy use. Our national campaign is reaching households and microbusinesses in England, Scotland and Wales. For more information visit our website

About smart meters and the rollout

Smart meters replace the traditional meters we currently have in our homes. they enable accurate bills, near real-time information on energy use in pounds and pence, and greater control over the way we buy and use energy. The smart meter rollout is an essential technology upgrade, unprecedented in its scale, to improve Great Britain's energy infrastructure.

There are already over 13 million smart meters installed in homes and microbusinesses across Great Britain. Every household in England, Scotland and Wales will be offered one at no extra cost. Contact your energy supplier about getting your smart meter.

Smart Energy GB media contacts

For more information including interview requests, case studies of smart meter users, infographics, photography and video content please contact the Smart Energy GB media team:

Ben Welling: Ben.Welling@smartennergyGBorg; 0203 019 1063 / 0792 181 9353