Increased Controlled Load tariffs and how they’re driving smart home devices

Oct 26, 2023 | Energy Saving

Australian households have seen a marked increase in their electricity tariffs since 1 July 2023. Yes – Australia now has the most expensive electricity prices in the world. Not only has everyone’s Domestic/Mains Tariff shot up, but Controlled Load electricity tariffs have jumped too.
What once used to be considered cheap electricity, Controlled Load is now as expensive as the Domestic/Mains Tariffs were until recently (the rates used to sit around 7-11c/kWh and now they’ve spiked to between 22-30c/kWh + GST). As a result, households are scrambling for solutions that enable them to reduce their reliance on the grid by using more of the solar that their system is producing at the time of generation.

Load management devices like solar energy diverters and smart switches do just this. They facilitate greater solar self-consumption by automatically switching on specific appliances whenever there’s surplus solar energy. Think electric hot water systems, heat pumps, air conditioners, pool pumps, irrigation pumps, stock watering pumps, underfloor heating and garden water pumps. All of these appliances can run from surplus solar power whenever it’s available with the help of one of these clever devices. The grid is always there as a backup in case there’s insufficient sunlight for the appliance to do its job. eg. an electric hot water system or a heat pump will kick in at a set time in the afternoon if the desired water temperature hasn’t been reached.

It’s much smarter to ‘store’ your surplus solar energy in your hot water system with a solar energy diverter than it is to export this energy back to the grid, where the average Solar Feed-In Tariff sits at around 8c/kWh. Given the average household without batteries or load management devices will generally only consume 30-40% of the solar their system produces, exporting the remaining energy for a low Feed-In Tariff just doesn’t make sense. If instead, you divert this energy to your electric hot water system (which commonly uses between 8 – 15kWh/day), this could equate to a saving of up to 30-40% of your overall usage.

Costing just $1,100-$1500 supplied and installed, these devices are a smart and cost-effective alternative to countering the steep price hikes and are a much cheaper alternative to battery storage.

If you’d like a quote for a smart switch or solar energy diverter, which can save you up to 40% on your overall electricity bills, please get in touch. We’re here to help.

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