In 2016 Aurora introduced two new time of use tariffs. Until then residential solar power systems were typically connected to tariff 31 meaning the electricity being produced from a solar system would not power the items on tariff 41 such as hot water cylinders, hard wired heaters and heat pumps. The new residential tariff 93 enables you to use the electricity from a solar power system supply all household loads by having no distinction between tariff 31 & 41.
Tariff 93 has two price periods: peak (31.948c/kWh) 7-10am and 4-9pm Monday to Friday, all other times, including all weekend are off-peak (14.876c/kWh). These peak periods coincide with times that solar power systems are not performing at their peak but at least it gives you the opportunity for greater self consumption of the solar electricity. One of the best ways to capitalise on your solar electricity is to put your hot water cylinder on a timer to run during the hours 10am - 4pm. Depending on your cylinder size and hot water consumption you may need to have your cylinder running in the overnight off peak period. Worst case scenario if there isn't enough solar electricity to supply all the electricity to your hot water cylinder then you will at least get your hot water at a less expensive rate than tariff 41. The best case scenario will see you get free hot water.
Changing to tariff 93 should be carefully considered. It may not suit your requirements and could cost you money however in a study conducted by Sustainable Living Tasmania using a large data set of Tasmanian homes with solar power & hot water systems on timers the results were overwhelmingly in favour of tariff 93.
Other scenarios under which tariff 93 could be beneficial include:
People who have the capacity to modify their behaviour to move consumption from peak to off-peak times;
People who install battery storage with solar to store some of their surplus daytime generation for use in peak periods;
Off peak charging of electric vehicles;
Use of grid connected battery storage (including batteries in electric vehicles) to buy off-peak energy and store it for use in peak times.
Households which are able to pre-heat well-insulated houses in order to avoid or reduce the need for heating at peak times.
Changing to tariff 93 can be as easy as calling Aurora and asking them to make the change. Aurora will need to install a new meter for you. In some instances an Electrician may be required to modify your switchboard. Aurora will inform you if this is the case at the time that they attempt to install your new meter.
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