Time-of-use Electricity Rates More Attractive with Ausgrid Change
Written by Solar Citizens volunteer Peter Youll.
If you have a smart meter in NSW and are on a standard, flat electricity rate, it might be time to look at changing to time-of-use rates.
Time-of-use rates mean you pay less for the electricity you use during off-peak and shoulder times and more for it during the peak periods.
From the 1 July 2018 Ausgrid, the distributor serving metropolitan Sydney and the Hunter Valley, has changed the hours that peak, shoulder and off-peak charges apply for electricity use. The biggest change is that the hours actually reflect when peak consumption hours occur—amazing— and will vary with the seasons.
For households on the Ausgrid network, there will be no peak hours during autumn (April and May) and spring (September and October), and the winter peak hour will be shorter and apply later than before.
With Ausgrid’s change, it means the higher peak rates won’t be charged by retailers at all for a third of the year.
Is this for you? First up you need to have a smart meter. Secondly, you need to be able to adjust your electricity consumption habits to avoid using lots of power during the peak periods. If you’re home during the day or able to run your appliances on the weekend, it will be easier for you to do things like putting on the dishwasher or washing machine in the middle of the day when you know your solar panels are producing power and not in the evening.
Have a look at the Ausgrid explanation, then check how much power you use and when to work out the changes you should make. Some retailers (Powershop, Origin and AGL) make this easy by providing detailed consumption numbers from your smart meter on demand via their website.
For a detailed explanation about smart meters, have a look at this article from Choice.
Not in Sydney or Newcastle? While Ausgrid are the only distributor who have introduced different peak times for each season, going on to time-of-use rates might still be worth it for your house, have a look at the rates and distribution times.