What's the difference between regular off-peak rates and flexible pricing?

Answer:

Hi Jean,

 

Great question.

Most people get charged a 'flat' rate for the electricity they use.  That is, you pay the same price no matter when you use it.

 

However, around 20% of Victorians are getting a different price for electricity at different times of the day.  This is either due to having a Controlled Load (also known as Dedicated Circuit) or a Flexible Pricing plan.

For households with Controlled Load (or Dedicated Circuit) they recieve a cheaper off-peak rate (usually overnight) to help make specific large electrical appliances, such as hot water or slab heating, cheaper to run.  Slab heating and electric hot water systems can be expensive to run so they are often set up on a separate circuit (a dedicated circuit) that uses cheaper electricity overnight.

Flexible pricing is different - all appliances in the home run on cheaper rates depending on the time of day they are used.  Flexible Pricing plans have three different time periods, each with its own price:

  • a peak period, where electricity costs the most money
  • a shoulder period when it costs a bit less; and
  • an off-peak period when electricity is at its cheapest

Consumers on a Flexible Pricing plan can take advantage of cheaper rates by switching on their expensive appliances during off-peak times.