In Germany I get offers for reduced electricity rates from 22:00 to 6:00 for private households. The reduced rate is about 20% less than the normal rate.

We're a family of 4 persons, 2 adults and 2 children at the age of 5 or less.

Children go to bed at 20:00, my wife latest 23:00 and I between 23:00 and 24:00. We get up between 5:30 and 6:15, depending on how many of us decided to take a shower in the morning.

As you can see, it shouldn't be a problem to turn something on at 22:00, even something that needs manual interaction, and turn it off in the morning around 6:00 or a bit later.

What kind of electric devices in private households are most suitable to operate during night so that I can save electricity expenses? Or is this offer just scam and not really suitable for personal use?

I can hardly think of any device I could operate during night, but possibly I just don't own suitable devices.

A washing machine (~2 hours run time) might be ok, but then the clothes lie there for another 6 hours until they get hung - not the best choice... With an energy class A+ washing machine I could move 220khW (~70 €) to the night shift, saving ~14 €, which is not really that much.

  • Most modern electronics do not actually turn completely off. Computer monitors, TVs, and similar equipment still draw electricity even when powered down. Also, running a fan (ceiling or otherwise) will be less expensive at night with the rate reduction. Commented Jun 18, 2015 at 23:20
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    My domestic machines all have a timer setting. You can say, start in 6 hours. So the washing machine will be finished just when you get out of bed. Actually I do this the other way round, to use my own solar power while I am at work, and have it finish just before I get home.
    – RedSonja
    Commented Jun 19, 2015 at 10:57
  • If your washer is too vintage to have a timer built in, hang it on a time switch.
    – RedSonja
    Commented Jun 19, 2015 at 10:58
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    btw, it's not a "scam" - most people are just like you and need electricity only in the daytime. But it's generated around the clock. So they ask you to see if you can shunt some usage to the night. Some people can. That makes life better for everyone because it lowers peak daytime use. Some people can't. So be it. Commented Jun 19, 2015 at 17:18

2 Answers 2


All kinds of devices can be run overnight such as washing machines, dish washers, tumble dryers, etc...

There are also available, if you have electric heating, devices called night storage heaters which are electric radiators which generate and store heat using cheaper electricity at night and can then release this heat during the day.

Obvious other options would be things such as electric cars. The new Golf GTE plug in hybrid for example takes four hours to recharge. This would obviously be cheaper done overnight to be ready for the following day. The same is probably true of any rechargeable device from simple things like phones and laptops to less obvious things such as shavers and tooth brushes.

As previously stated, plug timers offer a great way to tap into this cheap electricity even with devices which do not offer a delay function.

Final suggestion; electric bread maker. This could be set to run overnight so you would wake up to freshly baked warm bread for breakfast.

  • +1 for the bread maker part. Fresh bread = awesome. Commented Jun 20, 2015 at 14:47

This kind of tariff for electricity is common in France. I think the main thing that people run at night is electric water heaters, the kind that store enough hot water for the day. The electricity supply carries a signal indicating the beginning and the end of the night rate and this drives a relay which switches the heater on and off.

If you don't have an electric water heater or if it operates on demand, you may not get much benefit from a night rate. The main electricity-hungry household appliances are washing machines, driers and dishwashers; you may want to run them at night if they aren't too noisy.

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