How to understand your energy rates

How to understand your energy rates

Published on 5 May 2019

Every energy bill outlines the type of rates you are on, but what does that mean?

Understanding your energy bill can be tricky. Though the better you can read your bill and what rates you are being charged, the better you can become at making savings.

Here is your no-fuss explanation on what all that energy jargon really means.

Peak rate
The amount you are charged during the high-energy use times. These are generally weekdays between 4pm – 8pm. Consider the power your draw during this time and if you can switch to that appliance to off-peaks times. 

Off-peak rate
This is when energy use is charged at its lowest rate. It is generally weekdays and weekends from 10pm – 7am. This is the time you should be running your high power load appliances (if you can) to help reduce your energy costs. 

Shoulder rate
The shoulder rate is the price that is charged between the off-peak and peak hours.

Fixed rate (daily supply)
This is what you pay to be connected to an energy distribution network. No matter your usage you will pay a price in cents per day for this access. You may also see this called ‘daily supply’ or ‘service to property’ charge.

Variable rate
This is what you pay for the amount of energy you actually use. This is also called ‘usage’ and ‘consumption’. Generally, this is listed as cents per kilowatt-hour for energy.

Single rate
This is where you pay the same rate at all times. This may also be called peak, demand, standard or flat rate.

Controlled load rate
Large appliances are usually metered separately. If you think of your home energy bill, something like your hot water system would be charged differently and the electricity for this is supplied during off-peak hours.

Feed-in tariff
If you have solar power panels, you will receive a credit for each kWh of electricity you feed back into the electricity grid. This credit is determined by your provider at the commencement of your plan.

If you have a market offer contract you are likely to see discounts available to you for your energy charges. Some examples of when a discount will be applied include: if you pay on time, set up a direct debit, opt-in for email correspondence or an online signup discount. It is important to check for all discounts you receive whether they are for a benefit period (set time) or if it is ongoing. Make sure to always check your discount is being applied when you are within the benefit period!

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