Sydney: Prepare for peak energy prices this winter

Sydney residents will need to watch their energy use during peak time periods as winter tariffs kick in next month.

From June 1 to the end of August, Sydneysiders living on the Ausgrid network will be charged a higher price for electricity consumption over a four-hour peak period, taking place on weekdays from 5pm to 9pm.

This pricing will impact customers who are on a time of use tariff, which charges a different usage rate for power depending on the time of day.

Some consumers will need to reassess their energy needs and shift the bulk of their power usage outside of these peak periods to avoid winter bill shock, Canstar Blue’s Energy Editor, Jared Mullane explained.

“Sydneysiders on a seasonal time of use tariff may be caught off guard the next time their bill arrives, particularly if they use most of their electricity on weekday afternoons and evenings,” he said.

“That is why it’s so important to check your household’s energy habits around these peak periods in winter and shift usage where you can. And if you don’t know what type of tariff you’re on, now’s the time to check.”

Recent Canstar Blue research found that one in five customers in New South Wales were on a time of use tariff, while majority either didn’t know their tariff type (43%), or were on a single rate tariff (37%).

Ausgrid households on a seasonal time of use tariff traditionally pay higher rates over peak periods in winter and summer, due to an increase in demand of grid electricity.

The seasonal time of use tariff was introduced on the Ausgrid network in July 2018 as a way to “reduce the number of months peak periods apply”. During the months of April, May, September and October, bill-payers are not charged a peak price.

Ausgrid is one of three electricity distribution networks in NSW that services inner Sydney, Gosford and Newcastle.

Compare Single Rate Energy Prices in Sydney

Below we have listed some of the cheapest electricity plans for customers on a single rate tariff. Unlike time of use tariffs, these plans charge a flat rate for all power usage, regardless of the time of day. Please keep in mind, these prices are based off a specific postcode in Sydney.

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.

Ausgrid Seasonal Time of Use Pricing

The winter months on Ausgrid’s seasonal time of use tariff take place from 1 June to 31 August, with peak times differing slightly for residential and business customers. Bill-payers will get the most out of this tariff if they are able to use energy during off-peak or shoulder periods when electricity is generally charged at a lower rate.

Here are the relevant pricing times consumers should be aware of, as stated by Ausgrid:

Residential customers

  • Winter Peak: Weekdays from 5pm to 9pm
  • Winter Shoulder: Weekdays from 7am to 5pm and 9pm to 10pm
  • Winter Off-Peak: Weekdays from 10pm to 7am, all day weekends

Business customers

  • Winter Peak: Weekdays from 2pm to 8pm
  • Winter Shoulder: Weekdays from 7am to 2pm and 8pm to 10pm
  • Winter Off-Peak: All other times

What’s the difference between a time of use and seasonal time of use tariff?

With a standard time of use tariff (also known as a flexible pricing tariff), households and businesses are charged different rates for using power depending on the time of day. A seasonal time of use tariff also applies peak, shoulder and off-peak rates, on top of charging different rates in summer and winter.

These types of tariffs are designed to encourage Australians to reduce their energy usage during times of high demand by offering significantly cheaper rates when there is less demand on the grid, otherwise referred to as off-peak periods. For some households, a time of use tariff may not be suitable if energy consumption cannot be avoided during peak times, like weekdays between 5pm and 9pm, for example.

Only customers with a smart meter installed at their property will have access to a flexible pricing tariff.

Image credit: fizkes/Shutterstock.com

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