What are electricity tariffs, and which one should you choose?


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Published 3 January, 2017 by Kirsty Waterford

A tariff is the pricing structure an electricity retailer charges for energy consumption. When you own a battery, or are considering buying one, it’s important to be on the right plan.

Let’s start by understanding your bill. Depending on your local circumstances you are likely to see one or more of the following components on your bill:

  1. a daily fee which is levied regardless of the amount of energy you consume;
  2. a volumetric charge which is based on the amount of energy you consume from the grid;
  3. green fees, often optional, which cover the increased cost of supplying cleaner power to your home;
  4. a feed-in rate which is paid to you for solar exports - this is normally a low rate unless you have the Government regulated premium rate (no longer available);
  5. a demand fee which is based on the maximum amount of power you consumed - for example if you turn on all your appliances at once, even for a short period, this fee will be high. These have been in place for commercial customers for some time and are being introduced on some residential tariffs. and;
  6. a GridCredits rate - this is a special rate, like a feed in tariff, but is only paid to you when the grid is short of energy and prices spike. It is normally a much higher rate than the feed in rate.

The volumetric charge comes in two types:

  • a flat rate  - when there is a fixed rate per unit of energy consumed regardless of the time of day; and
  • a time of use rate (ToU) - customers are charged at different rates of cost per unit, one kilowatt hour, (1kWh) of electrical energy consumed depending on the time of day.

Reposit works best with ToU tariffs. These tariffs fluctuate during the day based on electricity prices and are typically separated into off-peak rates, peak rates, and shoulder rates. ToU tariffs are billed in 30 minute intervals, for example, there would be a billing interval between 1:00am and 1:30am and another between 1:30am and 2:00am.

Many customers are reluctant to sign up to ToU tariffs because they have higher costs during the day when you are more likely to use energy. However, with Reposit’s predictive energy consumption software, your battery system will always charge from the lowest price energy.

Reposit uses ToU tariffs to charge your battery by predicting your household electricity consumption and solar generation 24 hours in advance. Reposit knows when to charge your battery and from what source - either during cheap off-peak power periods, or from the sun when there is plenty of solar generation.

Reposit also works very well for demand tariffs because the battery can be used to reduce your maximum demand during critical periods.