Sydney: Watch out for peak energy prices this summer

Sydney residents will need to be mindful of their energy use during peak time periods as summer tariffs come into effect across most of the city.

This means that Sydneysiders living on the Ausgrid network will be charged a peak rate for using electricity over a six-hour period – from 2pm to 8pm each weekday until the end of March next year.

The peak period will apply to households on a time of use tariff, which charges customers a separate electricity usage rate depending on the time of day.

It’s known as a ‘seasonal time of use tariff’ and consumers may be unexpectedly caught off guard the next time their bill rolls around, Canstar Blue’s Energy Editor Jared Mullane explained.

“These tariff changes could see a big increase to energy bills over the summer period if customers aren’t paying attention to when they’re using electricity,” he said.

“As the weather warms up, many homes are going to be consuming more power for cooking and cooling, so customers may need to shift their usage habits to save on electricity costs if they’re on a flexible pricing tariff. For Sydneysiders who don’t know what type of tariff they’re on, now’s the time to check.”

A recent Canstar Blue survey found that more than two fifths (43%) of customers in New South Wales are not sure what tariff they’re on, while only 19 per cent reported to be on a time of use tariff.

Prior to Ausgrid’s summer tariffs kicking in, time of use customers were only paying shoulder and off-peak rates due to lower demand on the grid. Peak periods also apply to homes and businesses during winter.

Compare Single Rate Prices in Sydney

Below are prices for single rate tariff energy plans, meaning customers are only charged one usage rate, regardless of what time of day it is. These prices are for a specific postcode in Sydney, so please use our comparison tool for a range of quotes in your area.

Here are some sponsored deals from the retailers on our database that include a link to the retailer’s website for further details. These are products from referral partners†. These costs are based on the Ausgrid energy network in Sydney but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 3900kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area and to see other products in our database that may be available. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Here are some of the cheapest published deals from the retailers on our database that include a link to the retailer’s website for further details. These are products from referral partners†. These costs are based on the Ausgrid network in Sydney but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 3900kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area and to see other products in our database that may be available. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

What is a seasonal time of use tariff?

A seasonal time of use tariff is a type of payment structure that charges customers depending on the time of day, as well as the season – usually only applying in summer and winter. Bill-payers must have a smart meter installed at their property to be connected to a time of use tariff.

Customers will get the most out of time of use tariffs if they are able to use power during off-peak or shoulder periods when electricity is generally charged at a lower rate. For some households, a time of use tariff may not be feasible if energy consumption cannot be avoided during peak times, like weekdays between 4pm and 9pm, for example.

Ausgrid seasonal time of use pricing

The summer months on the seasonal time of use tariff refers to 1 November to 31 March, while the winter months are from 1 June to 31 August. Here are the days and times energy customers in Sydney will need to be aware of:

Residential customers

Peak Summer: Weekdays from 2pm to 8pm
Winter: Weekdays from 5pm to 9pm
Shoulder Summer: Weekdays from 7am to 2pm and 8pm to 10pm, weekends from 7am to 10pm
Winter: Weekdays from 7am to 5pm and 9pm to 10pm
Spring & Autumn: Weekdays from 7am to 10pm
Off-Peak All other times (e.g. weekdays from 10pm to 7am)

Source: Ausgrid, Time of Use Pricing

Business customers

Peak Summer: Weekdays from 2pm to 8pm
Winter: Weekdays from 2pm to 8pm
Shoulder Summer & Winter: Weekdays from 7am to 2pm and 8pm to 10pm
Spring & Autumn: Weekends from 7am to 10pm
Off-Peak All other times

Source: Ausgrid, Time of Use Pricing

It’s important to note that Ausgrid is only one of three electricity distribution networks in NSW.

Image credit: New Africa/Shutterstock.com

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