In recent months, Energyprice.be has noticed that the price of energy for night rate only meters has risen. Find out the reasons for this increase.

Even historically competitive suppliers for this type of meter have become more expensive. So, what solutions are available so that you can curb this price increase?

What is a night rate only meter?

The night rate only meter works only during off-peak hours and allows powering electric heating devices, known as storage heaters, and/or water heaters, also used during these off-peak hours.

NB: The off-peak period spans 9 hours, schedules are available from your system operator (DSO). However, unlike the dual meter, Saturdays and Sundays are not considered off-peak periods in the case of night rate only meters. In some cases, the distribution system operators provide a daytime recovery whose modalities may vary. Find out which is your distribution system operator and contact it for further information.

Of course, the power accumulated during off-peak times can be used during peak times.

So, how does it work, exactly?

The night rate only meter requires a separate electrical circuit. Moreover, only heating installations (storage heaters, water heating…) can be connected to it. Generally, it cannot be used during daytime barring a few odd exceptions. To find out the conditions applicable to you, we invite you to contact your DSO.

The night rate only meter is an additional meter that must be linked to a standard or a dual meter. The night rate only meter generally has the same EAN code as the “traditional” (standard or dual) meter but may also have its own EAN code.

Did you know that night-only rates increased in 2015?

Arrow indicating an increaseFor some months, Electrabel and other suppliers have begun to warn their customers of the increase in the electricity price per kWh for night rate only meters so that they come more into line with the off-peak kWh price of dual meters. This increase is usually applied when the contract is renewed automatically, one year after signing it.

So, households whose contract expired in August, had the unfortunate surprise of seeing their bill increase significantly because of the increase in the kWh price coupled with the rise in VAT from 6 to 21% in September 2015

The rise in the night-only rate deprives consumers of a financial advantage compared to off-peak hours for a dual meter.

The reason for the increase in the night-only rate

According to the explanations provided by Electrabel, the alignment of the night-only rate with that of the dual rate is justified by the supply costs in the wholesale electricity market. As they are identical, suppliers have deemed it appropriate to increase the night-only rate. Or even to standardize it with dual meter off-peak hour rates.

What can be done about this increase?

The rise in the night-only rate and of VAT has a significant impact on a household’s annual bill. Therefore, it is important to be aware of the main consumers of electricity and heating at your home:

  • Heating: to reduce your consumption, you are recommended to insulate your roof (loft or on the inside of the roof) and your walls (coulisses or interior /exterior insulation);
  • Lighting: when you need to replace bulbs, remember to choose LED bulbs whose service life ranges from 15,000 to 25,000 hours depending on the brand;
  • Domestic appliances: today, each appliance has a label stipulating its consumption. Choose more energy efficient class A devices. Even though they are more expensive, you will come out on top in the long run.

If you have already followed the above advice, we strongly recommend you compare the different electricity deals available on the market to make sure that you have the most competitive deal. If not, you need just change energy supplier via the comparison website. Note that since 2012, it is possible to change supplier at any time, regardless of the duration of your electricity and/or gas contract without incurring a penalty fee.

Is my electricity supplier still competitive?

To ascertain whether you have a competitive night-only deal, you must take into consideration the night-only kWh price as well as the price of the annual fee. However, as you already pay a fee for your standard meter, the energy suppliers usually do not charge an extra fee for the night rate only meter.

Bulb containing a question markIt is important to not limit yourself to night-only rates because, as explained above, you also have standard or dual tariff consumption, even for gas! So the best thing is to compare all the details of the deal in order to choose the most attractive supplier for your energy consumption profile.

Take these parameters into account:

  • The price of the annual fee;
  • The kWh price of your traditional meter (standard or dual);
  • The kWh price of your night-only meter;
  • The contribution to renewable energy.

Where can I find help to make a comparison?

Given that there are hundreds of electricity deals in Belgium, it has become rather complicated to perform a comparison without going through a dynamic price comparison toolIf you would like to get a personalized comparison, we can perform one free of charge on demand, based on your current rates.

To do so, simply send us the terms and conditions of your electricity contract, either by e-mail (info@energyprice.be) or by phone (0800 37 456), and one of our consultants will guide you towards the most advantageous supplier and one of our consultants will guide you towards the most advantageous supplier and formula for your consumption profile.

Respond!