Time of use electricity plans could cost more than you think

Average Aussie families may find that time of use plans cost more than single rate plans.

New research from NSW suggests that ‘time of use’ electricity plans could cost families almost $370 more each year. This is in direct opposition to the expectation that peak and off-peak pricing structures would save consumers money.

Before jumping to conclusions about the results of this study, there are several things to consider. First, the Canstar Blue study is based on energy usage by an average five-person household; if you have more or fewer people in your household then the results may not apply to you.

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Second, the figures were based on average rates from large retailers and estimated proportions of when people were likely to use energy during the day. Despite these limitations, the study still raises some interesting questions about pricing structures and effective methods for saving on electricity and gas.

The first step to reducing your energy bill is to make sure you’re getting value for money, and that starts with your energy plan. Compare plans from available retailers in your area by visiting ElectricityandGas.com.au. The free service provides you with a quote so you can quickly see how much you could save by switching to another plan.

However, in light of the recent research on time of use plans, Aussies may be wondering which plan to focus on: a single rate plan or a peak/off-peak plan? The answer depends on a few factors, so it’s worth talking to an Electricity and Gas consultant about your situation. Free expert advice is part of the service and it can make a big difference to your savings over time.

Here are a few factors to consider when determining which pricing structure meets your needs:

  • Do you have a smart meter?

    Smart meters are digital devices that record energy usage as it is being used. It allows retailers to implement different rates throughout the day. Consumers can get a detailed breakdown of how much energy they’re using and when, for a better understanding of which plan they prefer.

  • When do you use the most energy?

    In general, peak periods fall between 2pm and 8pm during the week. Off-peak is between 10pm and 7am on weekdays and weekends, and all other times are shoulder periods. If you use more energy during off-peak or shoulder periods, you could be a good candidate for time of use pricing.

  • What types of energy do you use?

    If you work from home during the day when the sun is shining, you might be in a better position to benefit from solar energy. Retailers offer different prices for electricity, gas, and solar usage so keep this in mind when choosing a plan.

To find a great value plan for your household or business, visit ElectricityandGas.com.au for a free quote and expert advice.

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