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If you’re already familiar with what a time of use (TOU) electricity plan is – and you’ve explored whether a TOU plan could benefit you – you might have now made the switch to Synergy Midday Saver.*

Choosing a TOU plan such as our Synergy Midday Saver could be a great first step to embrace WA’s energy future and take more control over your energy management.*

Here are our tips to help you make the most of Synergy Midday Saver and optimise potential savings by taking advantage of the variable rates for electricity.#

 

Know your plan

With Synergy Midday Saver you’ll be charged three different electricity rates (or prices) for electricity based on the times of day it is used:#

  • Super Off Peak time period from 9am to 3pm 
  • Off Peak time period from 9pm to 9am 
  • Peak time period from 3pm to 9pm

The electricity rates for these time periods can be found here.

Make sure everyone in your household knows about these different electricity rates and time periods that apply. This way, everybody can get on board and try to shift as much of their electricity use to the cheaper time periods as possible. If you have kids or creative types in your household, they might like to get involved by creating a poster or sign to remind everybody about the different time periods.

 

Know your electricity usage patterns

If you already have a smart meter installed you can use My Account to track your electricity usage in 30 minute intervals.

To make the most of a TOU plan, you need to understand how much electricity you’re using and the times of day you’re using it, which is easier with a smart meter. If you don't already have one, a smart meter will be installed if you switch to Synergy Midday Saver.* In My Account, you can track your electricity usage from the day before by viewing your usage data available across 30-minute intervals throughout the day.

Once you know your electricity usage patterns, you can do your own energy audit and work out how you’re using electricity. From there, you can consider shifting your electricity use to during the Synergy Midday Saver Off Peak and Super Off Peak time periods where possible. 

 

Optimise your off peak usage

Shifting your usage from the Peak time period on Synergy Midday Saver to make the most of the lower rates during the Off Peak and Super Off Peak time periods could help you to save on your electricity costs.

Try to use your energy-hungry appliances such as your dishwasher, washing machine and clothes dryer in the middle of the day between 9am to 3pm, the Super Off Peak time period that has the lowest electricity rate. This could be easy if you have the ability to work from home and can take advantage of your lunch break or moments between online meetings to run these appliances.

Taking a typical washing machine using about 1kWh per cycle, on Synergy Midday Saver during the Super Off Peak time period assuming once cycle per week could save you around $11.44 a year compared to on the standard Home Plan (A1).^ 

 

Create a plan for the Peak time period

With Synergy Midday Saver, trying to use as little electricity as you can between 3pm and 9pm means avoiding the highest electricity rates.

Your lights, fridge and other appliances will need to keep running, but the idea is to get your electricity usage as low as possible during this time period.

One of the easiest ways to do this, especially when the weather is nice, is to turn off your TV and gaming consoles, turn off standby mode on your appliances, switch off the lights and air con, and head outside. You could head out for a sunset picnic or walk, or just enjoy a morning or afternoon in your own backyard.

Get into the habit of unplugging electronic appliances and switching off lights before you leave home. This could help you to reduce your electricity costs and avoid using more electricity than you need.

Challenge your household to have a ‘no power hour’ one night a week. You can switch off as much as you can during the Peak time period between 3pm and 9pm and find some quality time for reading, exercise, board games or just hanging out together.

If you have older appliances, it may be a good idea to start looking into more energy efficient replacements when the time comes to upgrade them. These options could cost more upfront but will generally use less electricity for each use, which could help you to save on your electricity bills.

 

Timing is everything with a TOU tariff plan

If you’re generally away from home during the day, check your appliances for built-in timers and ‘delay start’ features to help you shift your electricity use to during the day between 9am to 3pm.

If your hot water heating system is electric, try to get as many members of your household to have a shower in the morning rather than at night.

If you can, set your pool pump, hot water system and other electrical items to automatically run between 9am and 3pm during the Super Off Peak time period. This is a great way to make the most of the lowest cost electricity rates available through Synergy Midday Saver.

 

Plan your meals around Synergy Midday Saver

If you can try to do most of your cooking or meal prep during outside of the Peak time period or set your slow cooker to cook dinner between 9am to 3pm to avoid cooking with your appliances in the Peak period during the evening when the electricity rates are more expensive.

Preheat your oven for as short a time as possible to use less electricity. If it suits your needs, using your BBQ outside or an energy efficient air fryer could be a cost-effective way to cook too, as they generally use less energy than a standard oven.

 

Find some seasonal savings

It’s estimated that heating and cooling account for 40% of household energy use in the average Australian household.

You might be able to cool or heat your house before you come home for the day through automation with an app on your phone. This way, you could achieve a comfortable temperature at home before the Peak time period begins from 3pm.

In summer, you might be able to switch off your air con during the Peak time period and make the most of the cooler evenings. When the forecast is sweltering, cool your home during the day between 9am and 3pm when your electricity rates are lower and try to switch your air con off during the Peak time period between 3pm and 9pm. You can help keep the cool air in by keeping your doors and windows shut, closing blinds or curtains and using a fan to move the cooler air around. It’s estimated that using a fan can make you feel up to 3°C cooler - and they generally use much less electricity than most air conditioners.

 

Look for electricity drains during the Peak time period

Some electronic appliances drain electricity when they are plugged into a power source, even when they appear to be 'off'. For example, if your TV has a ‘standby’ light on, it is still using power. 

These electricity-draining appliances could be increasing your electricity costs – and when you’re paying more for it during the Peak time period, it’s worth taking action.

Unplug your TV, video game consoles and other tech when not in use. Using a power strip to disconnect devices without unplugging them could be an easy option.

If you work from home, when possible, remember to switch your laptop, printer and other electronic work equipment off at the end of your working day.

 

Change your charging habits

It’s likely that your gaming consoles, cordless vacuum, mobile phone, tablets, laptops and other technology don’t need to be left charging all night. Try to charge them during the Off Peak or Super Off Peak time periods on Synergy Midday Saver when the electricity rates are lower and you could see a big difference in your electricity costs.

 

Make the most of your EV

If you have an electric vehicle (EV), try to charge it outside of the Peak time period to avoid higher electricity rates. Your EV might have a charger or app which allows you to set a time to charge your EV which could help you take advantage of the lowest electricity rates, or you could invest in a timer for the power outlet where your EV charges to control when it charges. 
 
Did you know that Synergy EV Add On$ is a product just for EV owners which includes an overnight time period that could help you to save on your electricity costs? 

It’s similar to the Synergy Midday Saver, where the Super Off Peak time period during the day (between 9am and 3pm) is the cheapest time to charge on the Synergy EV Add On, however, if you’re away from home during this time, the Overnight time period (between 11pm and 6am) has the next cheapest electricity rates. 

If you have an EV it could be worth making the switch, explore more features and find out if you’re eligible for this plan.$

 

Find more energy saving tips

Don’t worry if you can’t achieve all of these changes at home – every small action adds up. Changing to a TOU plan, such as Synergy Midday Saver, and any proactive changes you can make to your electricity usage habits could make a difference to your electricity costs and help support the reliability of the electricity grid.

For more energy tips, visit synergy.net.au/Your-home/Energy-tips

 

* Synergy Midday Saver is available for residential customers only, and to be eligible a compatible meter is required. Meter installation and programming charges may apply. The Synergy Standard Electricity Agreement Terms and Conditions apply to the Synergy Midday Saver product.

^ Estimated savings only. All amounts are approximate and calculated based on the charges that would be incurred on the standard Synergy Home Plan (A1) (the regulated residential tariff) compared to the Synergy Midday Saver with usage occurring in the indicated time period as at 1 October 2022. The age, model and how an appliance is used will affect actual running costs and how much electricity it consumes. Variances in consumption and usage habits will affect individual costs and any potential savings.
 
# The electricity charges during the Super Off Peak and Off Peak time periods on the Synergy Midday Saver are lower than the electricity charge for the standard Synergy Home Plan (A1) (the regulated residential tariff). The electricity charge during the Peak time period on the Synergy Midday Saver is however higher than the electricity charge for the standard Synergy Home Plan (A1) (the regulated residential tariff). Ensure you do your own due diligence when decided whether changing to Synergy Midday Saver would work for your unique circumstances.

$ Synergy EV Add On is subject to eligibility criteria, see the Synergy EV Add On Eligibility Criteria for details. The Synergy Standard Electricity Agreement Terms and Conditions apply to the Synergy EV Add On.