08 Apr How to Save Energy Costs Through Off-Peak Schedules
There was a time not too long ago when gas and electricity costs weren’t really a topic of concern at all. Keeping in view expenses such as mortgage payments, insurance etc, energy bills faded in comparison. However, that is no longer the case today. Energy costs have become a major concern for property owners and the need of the hour is for energy – efficient solutions to be incorporated into the home.
And there is no dearth of these types of solutions. Ranging from LED bulbs, use of solar energy, smart lighting, optimum insulation, use of energy-efficient building materials, switching from standard ovens to convection ovens, people are trying everything in the book to coax their energy bills to drop a little bit. While all these measures are definitely helpful in bringing down energy consumption, there is one more thing consumers can do to keep a handle on their energy bills- use smart lighting schedules!
About energy rates
Energy providers in Australia charge consumers a variety of rates; this is based on the type of meter in the house and the manner in which energy is used in peak & off-peak periods. There is no standard rule here as different retailers maintain different energy rates. The one way to get a much reduced rate is to opt for a long-term energy contract. It’s important to shop around a bit as the difference in rates between providers can be significant.
Understanding what off-peak rates are
Off peak times are those when businesses and homes typically use less electricity. The off peak time is dependent on your meter type and location; however, these are typically on weekends and/or at night. When consumers use electricity in busy peak times, it burdens the electricity networks in the country. It’s also why energy usage in the off-peak hours is charged at much lower rates. This is the way consumers are encouraged to use power outside busy hours.
There is another definition of off-peak rates. This can refer to the electricity used by a particular appliance on a dedicated circuit. For instance the electric hot water system in your house could be on a separate circuit and will be billed separately, on the off peak rates your service provider is offering. It’s possible to leverage this off-peak rate to reduce energy costs in your home. You can use interval metering or off-peak hot water to benefit from these lower rates at set times of the day and the weekends.
Smart metering – some features
- If you are primarily using electricity only during the shoulder periods or off peak hours, or if you are open to switching your usage to this period, it can be a cost-effective option to get an interval (smart) meter installed. This type of meter measures your energy use in intervals of 30 minutes. This allows your service provider to charge you different rates, instead of a single flat rate.
- These meters relay the meter readings straight to the energy distributors. No one physically comes to get the meter readings and this also saves you money on the connection & disconnection fees.
- Certain models also allow for 2-way communication between the energy distributors and consumers in real-time. The in-home display or web portal that’s connected to some meter models gives you the functionality to get a more comprehensive picture of your energy usage. This helps you alter the way you use electricity in your home and you can change preferences; it helps save energy & money as you can consciously move all the heavy-duty jobs to the off-peak zone.
If you are considering using smart scheduling, it’s important that you contact your energy provider and find out if it’s something they accommodate and what you are required to do. For advice on smart metering and other electrical installation services, call Allround Electrical at 1300 169 263. You can also drop us a line via email.
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