Flexible pricing

Flexible pricing means your electricity retailer charges you different rates for electricity at different times of the day. Power used in off-peak or shoulder times is cheaper than power used at peak times. Your smart meter ensures accuracy by monitoring your energy use every 30 minutes.


What does flexible pricing plan look like?

Here is an example of a typical plan.

The price of electricity is lower than the peak rate and higher than the off-peak rate, when there is a reduced demand for electricity.

 On Weekends, Off peak is 10pm -7am. Shoulder period is 7am-10pm. On Weekdays, Off peak is 10pm-7am. Shoulder period is 9pm-10pm and 7am - 3pm, Peak period is 3pm-9pm

Legend:

Legend-peak

Peak: The price of electricity is higher during the 'peak' times, typically on weekday afternoons and evenings, when the demand for electricity is the highest.

Legend-shoulder

Shoulder: The price of electricity is lower than the peak rate and higher than the off-peak rate.

Peak

Off-peak: The price of electricity is lowest when the demand for electricity is the lowest.

Contact your energy retailer to find out the rates and what times they are available to you.

The above example is for illustrative purposes only. Electricity retailers may vary the flexible pricing timeframes and rates on offer.

How do flexible pricing rates compare to flat rates?

The off-peak rate will probably be lower than your current flat rate and the peak rate will probably be higher. On weekends there will generally be only off-peak and shoulder rates applicable (no peak rates).

Flexible pricing can save you money if enough of your energy use is in the shoulder or off-peak times.

Compare flexible and flat rate plans with Victorian Energy Compare.

How do I get the best out of my flexible pricing plan?

Flexible pricing saves you money if you can change a significant amount of your energy use to off-peak or shoulder times.

  • Use as many appliances as you can during off-peak times when electricity is cheapest (such as your washing machine and dishwasher).
  • Use timers on your appliances and set the appliance to turn on during off-peak or shoulder times.
  • Charge portable devices such as phones and laptops after 10pm while you sleep rather than when you get home from work.

Can I change my mind after I've switched to flexible pricing?

You can switch from flexible pricing at any time. However, depending on the contract you have accepted, you may have to pay some additional fees or charges. Discuss any potential costs associated with moving back to your previous plan or another plan with your retailer before accepting a new plan.

If you are thinking of changing from flexible pricing, you may want to check offers from other retailers - use Victorian Energy Compare to see the best offer for your household. Make sure to check contract conditions before you agree to switch retailer.

If you are a small business, your contract or plan may have different conditions - check with your retailer.

What's the difference between time-of-use, off-peak tariff and flexible pricing?

Around 20% of all Victorians are already on dual pricing rates. This means you have a flat tariff for general load and an off-peak tariff for either a controlled load (specific appliances such as hot water systems or slab heating) or off-peak times.

If you already receive an off-peak tariff you will have two tariff rates on your electricity bill.

There are differences between current time-of-use plans and flexible pricing:

  • price and time: your current peak and off-peak times and rates will be different to flexible pricing times and rates
  • flexible pricing may be blanket coverage. This means it covers all appliances and usage, not just the dedicated appliance
  • any manual "boosting" is likely to be at the flexible rate when it occurs. Your boost function will be charged at the rate (peak, off-peak or shoulder) that applies when the function is used.

Where can I see what flexible pricing plans are available?

Use Victorian Energy Compare to compare your current electricity offers against others, inclulding flexible pricing plans

The easiest way to see and compare offers is using Victorian Energy Compare. By inputting basic electricity bill information you can compare all retail electricity offers you are eligible for, including flexible and flat rates.

Can I access flexible pricing for gas?

No. Flexible pricing is only available for electricity.

For information on gas plans and prices, contact your energy retailer, or use Victorian Energy Compare to compare offers and get the best deal for your household.

Do flexible pricing times change for daylight savings?

The time display on your smart meter is not adjusted for daylight savings time; it stays on Australian Eastern Standard Time. However some retailers do offer rates that reflect daylight savings.

If you are uncertain about the rates and times offered by your current retailer, call them. 

I'm on a concession rate. Should I change to flexible pricing?

Flexible pricing plans may save you money, but they may also affect your current concession rate. You should discuss this with your retailer.

Can I change my mind?

You can switch from flexible pricing at any time. However, depending on the contract you have accepted, you may have to pay some additional fees or charges. Discuss any potential costs associated with moving back to your previous plan or another plan with your retailer before accepting a new plan. 

Is flexible pricing voluntary?

Yes. Flexible pricing is voluntary. The choice to switch is yours. Your electricity retailer cannot move you to flexible rates without your explicit consent.