Tariffs for Electricity Meters Explained


When you set up your electricity plan, you’ll be asked to choose a tariff.

Your tariff will determine how you are charged for your energy.

Available tariffs vary depending on the state you live in and your supplier.

It’s important to carefully consider which tariff is best for you as it can have a significant impact on your energy costs over time.


Single rate tariff

With this type of tariff there is no distinction between peak and controlled load usage.

You’ll pay the same rate for your usage, no matter what time of the day you use it.

This is good for customers who frequently use energy during peak times, such as weekday evenings.

You may also see this tariff type referred to as a flat rate, standard rate, or anytime rate.

Type of meter required: All meter types should be compatible with a single rate tariff.

Time of use tariff

Usage prices vary depending on the time of day.

You will likely see three types of usage on your bill: peak, controlled load, and shoulder.

Pricing periods are determined by your supplier, but as a general rule of thumb are broken down as follows:

  • Peak: The most expensive period, usually in the weekday evenings.

  • Shoulder: Less expensive than peak, covers the times between peak and controlled load

  • Off-Peak: The cheapest period, usually overnight on weekends.

Some suppliers also offer additional pricing periods under flexible pricing periods, though these are not available in all areas.

If you tend to use electricity during controlled load times, a time-of-use tariff could be a good option.

Type of meter required: Interval meter or smart meter.

Controlled load tariff

Not all customers stand to benefit from this type of tariff, which is specific to a type of device in the home that often has a dedicated meter.

For example, a hot water system or under-floor heating system could fall under the controlled load tariff.

With a controlled load tariff, the rate charged is only applicable to the energy used by that particular appliance.

Rates tend to be lower than regular peak rates, because controlled load tariffs usually apply to appliances that run in controlled load times.

Type of meter required: All meter types, but the meter is usually specific to the device in question.


This guide is opinion only and should not be taken as financial advice. Check with a financial professional before making any decisions.