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Home efficiency: Night rate electricity

16 April 2015

Does the time of day you use electricity make a difference to the cost?  Maybe.  It depends whether your electricity retailer offers time related price options.  Before smart meters time related power pricing was mostly the domain of big business.  Smart meters measure power use in half hourly intervals, making it feasible for retailers to offer night rate options to all - which may help your pocket and the environment.

The off-peak or night rates offered by some electricity retailers are like the ‘Cheaper Tuesday’ promotions at movie theatres and pizza places - they use resources that are otherwise underutilised.

Peaks usually happen from 4pm to 7pm and demand drops dramatically between 11pm and 7am. Sometimes there is excess power generated. There’s no engineering solution to this problem - the answer lies with you.

You can help lower the peaks by using less power at peak times and more overnight - perhaps by using timing switches to operate dishwashers and tumble driers between 11pm and 7am.  It could be argued that the power you use from 11pm-7am has zero environmental impact, because it is generated whether you use it or not.

Shifting power use from peak to off-peak times defers the need to build more power stations and upgrade capacity in the electricity distribution system.  Whether you receive a time of use price incentive or not, spare a thought for the environment and make an effort to limit extra power use from 4pm to 7pm, especially on winter nights.

Component Headline Night rate electricity


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