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Report on time of use tariffs released by Citizens Advice

12 July 2017

‘The Value of Time of Use Tariffs in Great Britain’, co-authored by UCL Energy Institute staff with The Brattle Group, commissioned by Citizens Advice has just been released.

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The report, ‘The Value of Time of Use Tariffs in Great Britain’, was commissioned by Citizens Advice to assess the value of time of use tariffs to the UK energy system and to domestic energy consumers. UCL- Energy researchers Mike FellMoira Nicolson, and Gesche Huebner, working alongside The Brattle Group, found that a significant proportion of consumers have an interest in time of use (TOU) tariffs, with a 26% of participants in a nationwide survey indicating they would switch to such a tariff.

TOU tariffs charge different prices for energy at different times of day, and can provide benefits to the system such as making best use of low-carbon renewable generation and easing congestion on the network. Consumers could benefit from lower prices under time of us tariffs, particularly if they shift electricity use. However, they could lead to higher bills for people who are unable to change their use patterns.

As part of the research UCL-Energy undertook a systematised review on uptake of TOU tariffs, which involved screening over 4000 sources and incorporating 66 measures across 27 studies. They also conducted an online survey experiment on a representative sample of 3000 energy bill-payers in GB, testing the effect on uptake of different tariff designs, marketing approaches, types of incentive, automation, and the possible effect of offering time of use tariffs on trust in energy suppliers.

A launch was held by Citizens Advice on the 10th July at the Institution of Civil Engineers.

Full findings and recommendations from the report can be found online here.