As electricity prices skyrocket, one Aussie mum has shared her simple tip to saving money on her energy bill.
Sharing on TikTok, Amber Paul said she was saving cash by running her appliances during specific times of the day, known as off-peak times.
“Maybe this is really obvious to everybody but me, but I have just discovered a way to save so much money on our electricity bill,” Amber, who is the creator of Influencer Updates AU, said.
“If you look at your bill, you will have a peak charge and an off-peak charge. So, what it doesn’t tell you on the bill is that peak is between the hours of 3:00pm and 9:00pm seven days a week. During that six-hour peak period, electricity costs double what it costs at any other time of day.
“So, now my way to save electricity is I’m making sure I do any washing and drying during the day, and also with the dishwasher, making sure I don’t turn it on until 9:00pm at night.”
While some Aussies were already aware of the tip, others said they had “no idea” about peak and off-peak electricity rates.
“I work in an energy company and the amount of people that don't know this is crazy,” one user said.
Other commentators correctly pointed out that not everyone would have access to peak and off-peak rates, and the times of day would vary.
What is off-peak electricity?
Off-peak electricity refers to lower, discounted electricity prices during specific times of the day. These are generally times when homes and businesses are using less electricity.
Finder energy expert Mariam Gabaji said off-peak times would vary depending on your location and distributor.
For instance, Ausgrid’s peak period is between 2:00pm and 8:00pm on weekdays during the summer months and from 5:00pm to 9:00pm on weekdays during the winter months.
The off-peak period is between 10:00pm and 7:00am, while the shoulder period applies between peak and off-peak times.
You can check with your retailer to see the specific times and rates that apply.
Who is eligible for off-peak electricity rates?
Whether or not you are eligible for off-peak electricity rates will depend on the type of meter you have and how it is configured. For instance, single-rate meters can only charge one single price.
“To be able to get a time-of-use tariff, you need to have a smart meter or a time-of-use meter because the retailer needs to know how much energy you’re using during different periods of time,” Gabaji explained.
“If you’re unsure, you can call your energy retailer to find out if you are able to sign up to a time-of-use tariff.”
How to save money with off-peak times
Aussies who do have off-peak prices can save by shifting their electricity usage to off-peak times. This includes running appliances like dishwashers, washing machines and dryers.
Gabaji said this might not work for everyone and would depend on your lifestyle and energy usage.
“One thing to keep in mind is that 40 per cent of energy use goes into heating and cooling. So, that might be harder to control because if you are feeling really hot and you need to turn the air-con on, you won’t think about off-peak periods,” she said.
For Aussies looking for other ways to save, Gabaji recommended comparing energy plans regularly to make sure you were getting a good deal for your area. If you have older appliances, Gabaji said upgrading them to more energy-efficient options could also save you in the long run.