Conventionally, Tasmanian homes are connected to the grid on TWO flat rate tariffs, tariff 31 (light and power) and tariff 41 (heating and hot water).
Tariff 41 heating and hot water, refers to the electricity charge for your hot water systems, air conditioners, hardwired heaters in your homes and also private residential, domestic indoor pools (not spas). Tariff 31 is basically everything else in your home, your lights and all your powerpoints.
Below are the current rates for tariff 31 and tariff 41 as of January 2021.
Where does solar fit? For those that already have a solar system installed only one of these two tariffs can be offset by the solar production. Tariff 31 (light and power) is the more expensive of the two tariffs, homes who have had solar systems installed for some time often have their solar connected only to the light and power tariff and export their excess solar power back to the grid at roughly 8.471 ¢/kWh (this is the current solar feed in tariff rate). This means when they buy power back for their heating and hot water they are charged the higher rate at 17.265 ¢/kWh, which isn't allowing many homeowners to make the most of their solar production.
This is where Auroras Tariff 93, Peak and Off-Peak comes into play for both homes with solar and those without as it allows homes to combine both tariffs into one and gives homeowners the choice of using electricity at cheaper times of the day.
This is very beneficial for homes with solar systems installed as it allows the solar production to off-set the electricity in the whole household, at a potentially cheaper rate.
Tariff 93 Explained
Tariff 93's Peak rate (the more expensive time to use power) operates during weekday mornings (7am-10am) and evenings (4pm-9pm) and then the cheaper Off-Peak rate runs the rest of the time, including all weekend. Taking advantage of the Off-Peak times and using less power during the Peak times could save you money on your energy bill.
Below is a chart that shows the Peak and Off-Peak rates and times on the Time of Use Tariff 93.
Changing over to Tariff 93 may require Aurora to exchange your current basic meter to a new advanced meter. Aurora is rolling out smart meters across Tasmania and charges may apply, though we have also seen this fee waived due to the state-wide rollout. You can request moving to Tariff 93 by contacting Aurora via Phone 1300 13 2003 OR you can do it in combination with other works to save on multiple call-out fees. Please feel free to use our Contact Us page if you require any further assistance.
If you are thinking of making the change and combining your two conventional tariffs to the Time of Use Tariff, it is important to understand how making a few small changes in your power usage can dramatically effect savings.
How to Optimise Tariff 93's Peak and Off-Peak Rates
Optimise Auroras Tariff 93 by making small, non-drastic changes to your lifestyle. Here are a few suggestions your could implement:
- Adjusting appliances like dishwashers, washing machines and other programmable appliances to a delayed start so they are operating during the cheaper Off-Peak times of the day and night.
- Using appliances such as vacuum cleaners during the cheaper, Off-Peak times of the day or leaving the vacuum cleaning for the weekends when the rate is Off-Peak.
- Setting timers on your heating and cooling systems so they come on just before the Peak rate turns on. An example of this would be setting your AC unit to turn on at 6.30am (30 minutes before the Peak rate) and then maintaining the temperature until 10am when the rate is Off-Peak again. Same goes for the afternoon, reaching the desired temperature before the Peak rate kicks back in at 4pm and maintaining the temperature through the evening.
- Heat Pump Hot Water Systems are another great way to use less energy, they are up to 5 times more effective than standard electric hot water systems. HPHW systems also have a timer function built in, so you can program it to operate during the cheaper times of the day and night.
If you have a standard electric hot water system, you can have a hot water timer installed in your switchboard that allows the hot water system to operate between these off-peak times. Speak to your electrician to find out whether a hot water timer would be beneficial for you.
These small changes could help put yourself in a beneficial position to optimise Aurora's Tariff 93. The above solutions are also helpful changes to make if you have a solar system installed on your home or business, as it is important to optimise what your solar system is producing - by using your power-hungry appliances during the peak solar production time of the day, which is also the cheapest time to be using power, as the greatest savings are made with solar when you consume as much as you can of what your system produces.