Blog Post Monday 09 December 2019
Understanding peak and off peak rates can help you pay as little as possible for power, as long as your retailer offers them. Here, we explain how peak and off peak power work and how you can take advantage of them to lower your electricity bills.
What's peak and off peak power?
After work, you come home, cook dinner, do the laundry, and start your screen time on a television, computer, or tablet. During this peak period, the country's energy networks tend to be under the biggest strain. This is known as a peak time for electricity.
Energy retailer typically have specified peak and off peak periods. Peak periods means you’re charged standard rates for usage whilst off peak periods come with cheaper prices to help reduce strain on the network.
How can you save with peak and off-peak power?
If you're on a flexible pricing or time of use tariff plan, you can take advantage of peak, off peak, and even shoulder rates if offered by your retailer.
Start by finding out your energy retailer's peak and off peak times.
Type of meter
The type of meter you have at your property can also affect whether you're on a peak or off peak tariff. For example, you do need to have a smart meter or time of use meter to be on a time of use plan.
Single rate tariff
Note if your household is on a single rate tariff, you're paying the same for your electricity no matter the time of day or day of the week. Single rate tariffs are usually lower than peak rates. They're also known as flat rates, standard rates, or anytime rates.
Controlled load and off peak meters
Some properties have controlled load or off peak meters, which apply to just one appliance (such as a hot water system) on your property. These appliances are usually run on off peak rates as they operate during low demand hours.
Strategies for saving with peak and off peak power
Planning your energy usage around peak and off peak rates can make a lot of difference for some households. For example, if you're out of the house a lot at night on weekdays, using appliances during off peak times might be already a necessity. People who spend a lot of time at home during the day or on weekends could also easily take advantage of cheaper off peak rates.
However, if you're ready to make a little extra effort, you can take advantage of peak and off peak rates regardless of your schedule.
Electricity can be cheaper during off peak periods, but you'll need to be on a time of use plan for your electricity rather than a single rate tariff. If you are, find out the off peak periods applicable to your plan. If you plan your power usage around off peak periods, you could save more on your electricity costs just with a little extra effort.