Understanding controlled loads
Do you have electric hot water? Or an electric slab heater? Maybe you’re lucky enough to have a heated pool! Chances are you would benefit from a controlled load tariff.
What is it?
A controlled load tariff is applied to a large appliance in your home like a hot water service, slab or pool heater, which receives electricity on its own circuit and might or might not be separately metered. These sorts of appliances generally pull large, steady amounts of electrical current at certain times of the day, usually overnight.
Controlled loads are usually separate items on your electricity bill. Since they are separately wired and run at predictable times, you can usually get cheaper rates for them under a controlled load tariff provided that the electricity is restricted to certain periods, usually off peak. Your off-peak hours will vary from retailer to retailer, but are generally overnight and during weekends. If you’ve got a mystery item you’ve not understood on your bill that might well be a controlled load.
How do I find out if I’m being billed for a controlled load?
Controlled load tariffs are called different things depending on where you live.
Here's a list of the common names in different states and territories:
Australian Capital Territory – Off peak
New South Wales – Off peak
Queensland – Tariff 31 or Tariff 33
South Australia – Controlled load
Tasmania – Tariff 41
What if I’m not on a special tariff for my controlled load appliances?
Search on our Energy Made Easy website for controlled load plans in your area. If you see a plan that you’re interested in, have a chat with the retailer. You might need to change your metering setup to make use of the plan, which might cost money to do. The retailer should be able to advise you about this.
You should always get a qualified electrician to work on or inspect your wiring. You might also be eligible for controlled load concessions if you are a pensioner or receiving certain other benefits. Ask your retailer, or have a look at the website of the energy department in your state or territory to see what’s available near you.