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 appliance generally pull large, steady amounts of 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 under a controlled load tariff provided that 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?
Ah. Yes … well … its called different things depending on where you live. Different retailers might also use different names, so it’s probably a good idea to use some common sense and keep in mind what it’s used for when tracking down what it’s called near you.
Here's a list of the common names in different states and territories:
ACT - Off peak
NSW - Off peak
QLD - Tariff 31 or Tariff 33
SA - Controlled load
TAS - Tariff 41
What if I’m not on a special tariff for my controlled load appliances?
Check out the 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.