Demystifying peak and off-peak power

It’s the end of a long day; you’ve just come home from work, made dinner, put a load of washing on and are just settling down in front of the TV for some evening viewing. This is a typical scenario in many Aussie households.

During these times, Australia’s energy networks are under the biggest strain, or what’s known as electricity peak times. To take the pressure off the country’s electricity networks, many energy providers offer incentives such as cheaper prices during off-peak times. Using energy during off peak times can help to reduce your bill.

What are peak & off-peak electricity times?

Off-peak electricity rates are times of the day you can use your energy at a reduced cost. These times are usually when most households are not using energy and are typically at night or on the weekends.

A time-of-use tariff works by charging several different rates based on the time of day energy is consumed. 

By choosing to use certain appliances at off-peak times rather than peak, you could save on your electricity bill. For example, you could take advantage of reduced rates by putting your washing on after 8pm or turning your dishwasher on before going to bed.

You could take advantage of reduced rates by putting your washing on after 8pm.

How smart meters make managing off-peak times easier

You’ve decided to take advantage of a time-of-use pricing system, which means the less you use power during peak electric periods, the more you’ll save.

You’ve changed some of your habits by using electrical appliances during off electricity peak times, but wonder if turning the washing machine on after work is really going to make a difference to your bill.

If you live in Victoria, your smart meter will offer half hourly data on your consumption frequently, so you can pin point how much energy the washing machine is using at certain times. This can help you determine whether or not you want to continue using it during peak power periods.

The reading is remotely sent to energy distributors and retailers every day, and can be viewed online using desktop or mobile devices, making it much easier to monitor and control your electricity usage.

The potential of smart meters is strengthened when partnered with smart appliances, which can be controlled remotely. Being able to remotely control the appliances in your home will allow you to set your products to use during electricity off peak hours.

Recently Origin added their smarts to the mix with Home HQ. Home HQ allows you to monitor and control your appliances, keep track of the temperature and humidity of your home, and create alerts for when motion sensors are triggered all for under $300 incl GST.

As Australia’s largest energy retailer, we’re committed to making energy smarter, easier, more sustainable and more affordable for customers.

With disruption ripe in the industry, and new inventions entering the market each day challenging the way we use power in and around the home, we’ll continue to roll out new technologies and tools designed to make dealing with us easier.

Things to consider

In order to take advantage of a Time of Use Tariff, you may need to change your current tariff (which you can find on the second page of your electricity bill). You’ll also need to have a compatible meter. Generally, this means you’ll need either a digital or smart meter, however, some basic meters may have the capability to support this tariff, please get in touch with us if you’re unsure. 

Also worth noting is you only change your tariff once every twelve months. Checking the peak, shoulder and off peak rates and timings will help determine whether a time of use tariff suits your household and lifestyle. 

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