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Time of Use Tariff Trials

Our time of use tariff trials sought to establish whether domestic customers could be encouraged or incentivised to be more flexible with their electricity usage and perform routine daily tasks outside the 4-8pm evening peak.

What we wanted to find out

We wanted to understand to what extent customers are willing and able to be flexible their electricity usage and perform routine domestic tasks outside the period of peak demand. Customers taking part in this trial were offered a substantially reduced tariff to use electricity outside the hours of 4-8pm. We wanted to understand which daily chores and routines (i.e. dish washing, cooking, laundry) our customers were willing to be flexible with and which they were not. Social scientists from the University of Durham conducted a comprehensive study of trial participants energy practices and behaviours and compared the qualitative learning to the quantitive data collected, generating an important new body of research.

Key Facts and Figures

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What we learned

Through our trials we have learned that customers are more willing to flex their electricity usage than was previously assumed. Specifically, through our time of use trials we have been able to conclude;

  • Time of use tariffs proved popular and were easily understood by domestic customers
  • The majority of those taking part in this trial saved money on their energy bills (from £30-£350) and demand for electricity during the 4-8pm peak was 10% lower than in the control group
  • Our qualitative research suggests that laundry and dishwashing were the chores most regularly rescheduled outside of the 4-8pm peak but that people were unwilling to be flexible about cookling and meal times.
  • Unsurprisingly, the older generation and families with young children were the groups who found it most difficult to be flexible with their electrcity usage.

For a summary of findings from our trials with domestic and SME customers, please visit our conclusions page. Some of the key learning documents from our time of use tariff trials are listed below; further analysis and project outputs can be accessed using the advanced search function on our project library. For information on how to obtain the original data collected during this trial for further research and analysis please visit the project data page.

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