Single rate vs time of use tariffs

Single rate vs time of use tariffs: Which is right for you?

When it comes to electricity rates, the price is just one aspect to look at. It’s also important to understand your tariff type and make sure you’re using electricity accordingly in order to maximise your savings. 

What’s the difference between single rate vs time of use?

A single rate tariff (also known as a flat rate or anytime rate) consists of one single rate for electricity that applies all the time. When you’re on a single rate, you pay one price for the electricity you use no matter when you use it. 

A time of use tariff (also known as flexible pricing) consists of multiple different electricity rates that apply at different times. These are usually:

  • Peak - the most expensive rate. Depending on your network, this could apply in the evenings Monday-Friday, or all day including on the weekend.
  • Off-peak - the cheapest rate. Usually applies overnight and, in some networks, on the weekend.
  • Shoulder - cost falls between peak and off-peak rates and applies between the peak and off-peak periods.

While costs differ between electricity retailers, single rate prices will usually be cheaper than time of use peak pricing, but more than off-peak prices.  

To find out whether you’re on a single rate vs time of use tariff, have a look at your electricity bill. If your electricity usage and pricing is broken into peak, off-peak and/or shoulder line items, you’re on time of use. If there is just the one tariff on your bill, you’re on a single rate. 

How to know the right tariff type for you

When looking at a single rate vs time of use rates for your home, there are a few things to consider. 

Firstly, can you change your tariff? If you have a smart meter, you can ask your power company to switch your tariff type. They’ll check with your distributor who may or may not grant your request. If you don’t have a smart meter, only a single rate will be available to you.

Once you’ve established whether it’s possible to switch tariff types, consider when you use most electricity. 

If you’re often home during peak times (for example, in the evening from Monday to Friday) using electricity, a single rate tariff might be cheaper for you. Similarly, if you just want to be able to use electricity at any time, without worrying about whether you’ll have to pay more for it, a single rate could be the way to go.

However if you’re out a lot during the peak and instead use more electricity during off-peak times, you might be able to take advantage of a time of use tariff. Don’t forget, the exact peak/off-peak/shoulder timeframes could differ between electricity networks, so make sure you know which rate applies when before committing. 

Bear these tariff types in mind when comparing electricity plans through online comparison sites, like Energy Made Easy. These sites usually generate their quotes using typical behaviour and energy consumption profiles. Depending on how you use electricity, these may or may not mirror your situation. 

At Mojo Power, we know it can be a hassle to worry about putting the clothes dryer on at 10pm, or charging your electric vehicle overnight. That’s why we developed our All Day Breakfast energy plan with one low, fixed rate.

Find the right plan for you

At Mojo Power, we offer a range of single rate electricity plans designed for those who don't want to worry about when electricity rates peak - you can put the dishwasher on or binge the latest drama on the telly whenever it suits you! And for those people who prefer time of use pricing, we've developed the G’day Sunshine plan which also comes with an extra high feed-in tariff for solar customers.

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