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A new requirement applies to electricity retailers operating in South Australia to have a standing offer which includes a tariff structure that incentivises electricity use in low demand periods

The requirement which is in effect as of 28 September 2020 applies to retailers' standing offers for customers with interval meters. This ensures retailers make offers which reward customers for using electricity in low demand periods.

For residential customers, retailers' standing offer tariff structures are required to pass on either:

  • The time of use tariff structure of the SA Power Networks residential time of use tariff; or
  • The demand tariff structure of the SA Power Networks residential prosumer tariff.

For small business customers, retailers' standing offer tariff structures are required to pass on either:

  • The structure of the small business time of use tariff published by SA Power Networks.
  • The structure of the small business time of use with demand tariff published by SA Power Networks.

Retailers have the choice of which prescribed tariff structure they wish to use for the standing offer applicable to small customers that have an interval meter – either the time of use structure or the Prosumer tariff structure.

Further, retailers can meet new requirements with a standing offer tariff structure of the retailer’s choice where the retailer has been assessed to be providing market offers that reward customers for using electricity in low demand periods. The department is now commencing the consideration of retailer’s offers.

Retailers are invited to submit compliant market offers (PDF 311.4 KB) for the Minister’s assessment from 12 August 2020.

Further information

Time of Use fact sheet

A New time of use retail offers and tariffs fact sheet (PDF 208.7 KB) has been prepared including examples in the form of case studies.

Frequently asked questions

What changes are being made to electricity tariffs?

Retailers are now required to provide standing offer tariff structures to customers with interval meters which incentivise electricity use in low demand periods.

These tariff structures may be a time of use tariff structure or a demand tariff structure.

These tariff structures were gradually being introduced by SA Power Networks, following approval by the Australian Energy Regulator. The regulatory change by the South Australian Government fast-tracks these requirements to encourage retailers to provide these offers to consumers and assist in incentivising greater electricity use in low demand periods.

These changes may affect you if you have an interval (smart) meter and are currently on your retailer’s standing offer contract.

Why is the South Australian Government making these changes?

The Government has received advice from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) on the emerging challenges of minimum operational demand in South Australia. Without action, low demand conditions could represent a real risk to the supply of electricity being disrupted to all or part of the South Australian community. Increasing consumption into low demand periods was identified as an option that can assist to mitigate this emerging challenge.  

By placing a new requirement on electricity retailers to provide tariff structures to customers with interval meters which incentivise electricity use in low demand periods, it is hoped that consumers will see more offers which reward them for using electricity in low demand periods.

How will this affect me?

If you are on a standing offer and have an interval (smart) meter you may be placed on your retailer’s time of use or prosumer tariff offer.

Time of Use pricing might benefit you if you’re home during the day on weekdays and use appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines on the weekends or late in the evening.

Can I do anything to avoid this?

You are free to choose a market offer of your choice from any retailer, including those with traditional flat rate structures.

What is a Time of Use tariff?

Time of Use tariffs offer different rates for the different times when you use electricity. These differ from common, flat-rate tariffs where you are charged the same rate no matter when the electricity is consumed.
To get a Time of Use tariff offer you need a meter that measures your electricity usage at different times of the day. These are known as smart meters or interval meters.  
A Time of Use tariff may consist of the following components:

  • Fixed supply charge per annum, measured as a dollar per customer per day.
  • Usage component with Off-peak pricing applied for the Five-hour off-peak block every day (1:00am to 6:00am) charged at 50% of the single rate price.
  • Usage component with Solar Sponge. This applies for a 5-hour off-peak block every day (10:00am to 3:00pm) at 25% of the single rate price.
  • Usage component with Peak Pricing applied for the 14 hours per day which are not captured in the off-peak and solar sponge windows at 125% of the single rate price.

The exact peak and off-peak tariffs will depend on your electricity retailer. You may wish to speak to your retailer about their Time of Use offers, or visit www.energymadeeasy.gov.au to compare offers. You can also find Time of Use tariff offers on retailers’ energy price fact sheets found on their websites.

What is the Prosumer tariff?

The Prosumer tariffs reward customers for ‘soaking-up’ surplus solar energy in the middle of the day.  

The Residential Prosumer tariff structure components are:

  • Fixed supply charge per annum, measured as a dollar per customer per day.
  • Usage component with Peak Pricing applied for the 14 hours per day which are not captured in the off-peak and solar sponge windows at 75% of the single rate price, measured as $/kWh.
  • Usage component with Off-peak pricing applied for the 5-hour off-peak block every day (1:00am to 6:00am) charged at 30% of the single rate price, measured as $/kWh.
  • Usage component with Solar Sponge. This applies for a 5-hour off-peak block every day (10:00am to 3:00pm) at 15% of the single rate price, measured as $/kWh.
  • Summer Demand charge component, charged monthly based on maximum kW demand measured:
    • Highest daily average demand over a four-hour period in November to March only
    • Between 5:00pm-9:00pm

The tariff is designed to provide incentives to move consumption out of peak demand periods. It will encourage battery owners to discharge at these times on hot days to offset their in-house use (air-conditioning in particular) and allow customers to use appliances as necessary during the four-hour period.

Will these changes make my bills more expensive?

Time of Use tariffs may help you save money if you are able to use less electricity during peak periods and more electricity during periods low demand periods. This may require a small change in behaviour, such as setting your dishwasher to run during off-peak times.


Further information

For further information regarding the regulatory changes for smarter homes please contact the Office of the Technical Regulator:

  • Phone: 08 8226 2108 (Monday to Friday, 9.00 am to 5.00 pm)
  • Email: otr.relevantagents@sa.gov.au

Related information

Understanding bills

Understanding electricity meters