At a glance

  • Energy tariffs are essentially the pricing plans that dictate how much you pay for the energy you consume.
  • The distributor’s initial tariff is just a start; true power comes from choosing a tariff that fits your lifestyle and consumption.
  • Comparing energy providers and tariffs lets you shape your financial landscape through impactful choices.


Energy is the driving force behind nearly everything we do. It powers our homes, fuels our devices, and enables us to stay connected in this modern world. Think of it as the invisible engine that keeps our lives running smoothly. But have you ever wondered about the behind-the-scenes calculations and strategies that determine the amount you’re billed for this essential resource? This is where energy tariffs step in.

Energy tariffs are essentially the pricing plans that dictate how much you pay for the electricity or gas you consume. They are designed to accommodate the diverse energy consumption patterns of households and businesses. These tariffs are formulated based on a complex interplay of various factors, including the cost of generating energy, distribution, infrastructure maintenance, regulatory requirements, and even environmental considerations.

When it comes to comparing energy providers for energy consumption, it’s not just about electricity – many homes and businesses also rely on gas energy for heating, cooking, and various other purposes. As a result, energy providers often offer combined plans that encompass both electricity and gas services. These dual plans can offer convenience and potentially cost savings for customers who use both energy sources.


Tariff Plans for Electricity and Gas


When it comes to selecting the right tariff plans for both electricity and gas, consumers are presented with a range of options designed to accommodate their energy usage patterns and preferences. These tariff plans aim to strike a balance between convenience, cost-effectiveness, and sustainability. From dual single-rate tariffs that simplify billing by offering a fixed combined rate for both energy sources to time-of-use dual tariffs that consider the varying demand throughout the day, each energy plan has its unique benefits.

For those committed to renewable energy, certain providers extend their renewable energy initiatives to gas usage as well, providing a cohesive approach to sustainable living. By carefully evaluating your energy and gas consumption habits and considering the tariff structures available, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your needs and values, ultimately shaping your contribution to the energy landscape while comparing residential or business electricity or gas deals and plans.


Types of Electricity Tariff


Single Rate Tariff


Imagine a tariff that treats every moment of the day equally, no matter when you flick the switch. That’s the single rate tariff – a steadfast option for those who keep their home buzzing throughout the day. Whether it’s breakfast or midnight snack time, the rate remains unchanged. Also known as a flat rate or standard rate, it offers simplicity in a world filled with fluctuations.


Time of Use Tariffs


Smart meters and a dash of strategic timing – that’s the magic recipe for the time-of-use tariff. This dynamic option dances to the beat of different times: peak, shoulder, and off-peak. Peak hours bring higher rates, usually in the late afternoon and evening on weekdays. Shoulder hours are a bit more forgiving, slot in between. And then there’s the beauty of off-peak, an oasis of cost-effectiveness, often during the quiet hours of the night.


Controlled Load Tariffs


When your electric hot water system or underfloor heating is in the spotlight, controlled load tariffs take centre stage. These star appliances run during off-peak periods, often aided by their own meter. Imagine energy distributors dimming the lights at peak times, allowing for lower rates. Controlled Load tariffs provide you the peace of mind that these appliances are costing less than your standard energy rate.


Demand Tariffs


Ever wondered how your power-hungry devices influence your bill? Demand tariffs know it all. Not just about how much energy you consume but also about the highest power spike you send through the grid throughout the month or your billing period. Turn on multiple devices in a short span during peak hours, and your charges soar. It’s a balance of economics, encouraging mindful energy usage during peak demand periods.


Types of Gas Tariffs


Single Rate Tariff


In contrast to the varying rates of electricity tariff types, the single rate tariff for gas guarantees a uniform pricing structure that spans the entire day. This means that regardless of when you use gas appliances, you will be charged at the same rate.

This simplicity offers a level of predictability and reliability to your energy expenses. The single rate tariff doesn’t discriminate between peak and off-peak hours or weekdays and weekends. It provides a stable pricing framework that allows you to use gas appliances without concern for fluctuating costs.

Whether you’re using gas for cooking, water heating, or space heating, the single rate tariff ensures that your expenditure remains constant. This pricing consistency can prove valuable for budgeting purposes, as you won’t have to account for varying rates during different times of the day.

In an era where energy options continue to diversify, the single-rate gas tariff retains its status as a dependable choice, offering not only practicality but also a sense of financial stability.


Choosing the Right Energy Tariff


When it comes to managing your energy costs, the tariff you are charged plays a significant role. Think of it as a key that unlocks potential savings and aligns with your energy consumption patterns. Your tariff is usually determined by your energy distributor, what location you are in, and your meter type. Being aware of your tariff type and how you are charged can make a substantial difference in your monthly bills. Let’s delve into the process of choosing the right energy tariff and how it can impact your financial bottom line.


The Initial Set-Up: Who Sets Your Tariff?


Your energy distributor holds the reins when it comes to setting your initial tariff. This foundational decision is based on factors such as your location, the type of metre you have, and prevailing regulations. However, the power to optimise your tariff lies in your hands, and this decision can have a lasting impact on your financial outlay.


Tailoring the Tariff to Your Needs


Basic Meter


If your home features a basic meter, you’ll typically find yourself on a standard peak tariff. This involves a consistent rate regardless of the time you use energy. While simple and straightforward, this tariff might not always be the most cost-effective option, especially if your energy consumption habits vary throughout the day.


Digital Meter (Non-Communicating Meter)


For those equipped with a digital meter that doesn’t communicate data, you might be eligible for a peak and off-peak tariff. This provides the flexibility to align your energy-intensive activities with off-peak hours, reducing costs during high-demand periods. If you also require a controlled load for specific appliances like electric hot water systems, this often involves a separate meter, which will be located within your meter box.


Smart Meter (Fully Communicating)


Embracing the future of energy management, a smart meter opens up a realm of tariff choices. Peak, off-peak, and controlled load tariffs become accessible. With a smart metre, these tariffs can be charged separately based on the time you use energy. Alternatively, a single time-of-use tariff might be available, aligning your costs more closely with your actual energy consumption patterns.


Making Your Choice


Usage Patterns


Reflect on when you use energy most frequently. If your peak usage aligns with off-peak hours, an off-peak tariff might be beneficial.


Appliance Needs


Consider if you have appliances that can benefit from a controlled load tariff, such as electric hot water systems, heated flooring or pool pumps.




Evaluate your consumption patterns against different tariffs. The goal is to find a tariff that reflects your habits and offers savings potential.


As you embark on the journey to comparing energy providers and understanding energy tariffs, you’re stepping into a realm where your choices hold the power to shape your financial landscape. The initial tariff set by your energy distributor is merely a starting point; the real empowerment lies in selecting the right tariff that aligns with your unique lifestyle and energy consumption patterns. The ripple effects of this decision can be felt in your monthly bills and long-term financial stability.

Consider your energy tariff as a customised suit, tailored to fit your needs perfectly. It has the potential to significantly impact your energy costs over time. Here’s how:


Savings Unveiled


Opting for the right tariff is like unlocking a treasure chest of savings. The different tariff types, whether it’s peak and off-peak, controlled load, or time-of-use, allow you to strategically plan your energy usage. This, in turn, can lead to reduced costs, especially during off-peak or lower demand hours.


Matching Consumption Patterns


Each tariff type corresponds to a specific energy consumption pattern. By aligning your energy-intensive activities with the appropriate tariff structure, you can maximise your cost savings. Whether you’re a night owl benefiting from off-peak rates or a savvy consumer of controlled load appliances, your tariff can reflect your routine.


The Role of Smart Meters


If you’re equipped with a smart meter, the possibilities expand. A fully communicating smart meter enables precise tracking of your energy usage, allowing for even more tailored tariff options. You can choose peak, off-peak, and controlled load tariffs based on your actual energy consumption, resulting in a more accurate representation of your costs.


A Path to a Brighter, More Cost-Efficient Future


Your energy tariff isn’t just a line on your bill; it’s a bridge to financial empowerment. It grants you the ability to control how your energy expenses unfold, offering the potential for both short-term savings and long-term financial stability. Whether you have a basic meter, a digital meter, or a fully communicating smart meter, the tariff you choose can be the beacon guiding you toward a brighter energy future.

Your tariff will most likely change if you move or upgrade your meter or if you install rooftop solar panels. You can also contact your existing energy retailer to request a tariff change and they will request the network operator to make your change. This isn’t something that most consumers are aware can be done or on how to do it, however, if you are really focussed on lowering your energy bill and trying to align your energy usage patterns with the most applicable tariff, then this may be something you wish to research further.


Are You Ready to Harness the Power of Tariffs?


Ready to unravel the impact of tariff types on your energy costs? Visit Select and Switch today. We are dedicated to helping you navigate the intricate world of energy tariffs. We’ll also guide you through comparing energy plans and identifying the optimal tariff structure for your home or business. Together, let’s illuminate the path to smarter energy choices and financial well-being.


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