Until recently Tasmanians only had the option of using Tariff 31 and 41 for their power. A little know but definite downside to installing solar panels in Tasmania is solar panels can only be connected to one tariff. This means the majority of solar systems installed in Tasmania only work directly to tariff 31. So there will be times when households are exporting excess power at the low rate of .08 cents and at the same time buying it back at the higher rate of 17.16 on their hot water tariff.
There are easy, cost-effective solutions to circumvent Aurora's current deal for Tasmanian energy users:
Hot water diverter (Catch Power) OR Installing a hot water timer on Tariff 93.
Last year Aurora Energy introduced a new tariff option for residential users, Tariff 93, and by using it correctly it will save you money. Until recently Tasmanians only had the option of Tariff 31 and 41 for power.
Peak periods are weekday mornings from 7am to 10am, and weekday evenings from 4pm to 9pm (Note that the times are not adjusted for daylight savings, so in summer months the peak periods are actually 8am-11am & 5pm-10pm). All other times are off-peak; in the wee-hours of the night, during the middle of the day, and all times on weekends. Since everything is on the one tariff, electricity generated by solar panels will first go to meeting all of your load (lights, power points, hard-wired heaters, and hot water) before the excess is exported to the grid. Tariff 93 is most effective if you have solar panels as it increases solar self-consumption substantially. When homes capture and use power before it is sent back to the grid, the greater positive impact your solar system will have on your power account.
A hot water diverter (Catch Power) is a product that captures surplus energy electricity from your solar power system and diverts it to your hot water or another element based heater. This is an effective way to allow your solar system to act as if it is on one tariff. The diverter is an Australian invention, called a Catch Power. Cost to install is $850 including GST, and usually has a pay back period of two years or less.
The alternative to a hot water converter Catch Power, is to install an electrical timer on your hot water cylinder circuit and then switch your power tariff to 93. (We do this for you!) The biggest and easiest change to your power bill is putting a timer on your hot water cylinder so it is only activated at the off-peak times 10am - 4pm AEST. Cost to install a timer is $350 and has an average pay back period of one year or less. This is an ideal solution when you have a solar system installed on your roof!