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Off-Peak Usage Of Electricity Could Lower Your Bills – But Will It Work For You?

Looking for ways to reduce the cost of your next set of bills? Did you know that you could save energy and potentially reduce your power bill by using appliances at odd hours?

That’s what off-peak electricity could potentially do for you.

Off-peak refers to lower, discounted electricity prices during specific times. Off-peak times are generally when residential homes and businesses use less electricity.

Off-peak electricity can also refer to electricity being used by a stand-alone appliance, like an electric hot water service on a dedicated circuit. This appliance is metered separately and can be billed on off-peak rates.

Off-peak times will vary depending on your location and meter type, but for most people, it usually means at night or on weekends.

Off-peak times can also differ between energy providers.

For instance, according to Australian Power and Gas (APG), the peak times to use electricity are generally 4 pm to 8 pm on weekdays. Then there are ‘shoulder’ times, which sit between peak and off-peak times.

The APG considers shoulder times to be between:

  • 7am- 4pm and 8pm – 10pm on weekdays
  • 7am – 10am on weekends

Hours outside of those times are considered off-peak. It’s worth checking with your energy provider to find out the exact peak, shoulder and off-peak times for your plan, and which kind of tariff you’re on.

A time-of-use tariff works by charging several different rates based on the time of day energy is consumed. Generally, this means you’ll need either a digital or smart meter, the availability of which differs depending on where you live in Australia.

However, some basic meters may have the capability to support this tariff. You can usually find out which kind of tariff you have by looking at your latest electricity bill or getting in touch with your provider. In addition to using time-of-use tariff electricity, many appliances now have timers and delay start features which can help you take advantage of off-peak times.

To learn more about off-peak electricity, you can speak with your energy provider for more information.

If you’re someone who often finds it difficult to make large lump sum payments for goods or services, you may want to consider looking into “Buy Now Pay Later” services.

Buy now pay later essentially means that, rather than paying in a full lump sum payment for a product or services rendered, there may be an option to pay through instalments of a certain amount over a set period to make the sum of the full amount in total. This method should allow you to pay in full for the product or service without overly straining your finances – you pay back what you can, as agreed upon when you begin the buy now pay later service.

Some popular buy now pay later services include Afterpay, Zip Pay, Brightepay, and some credit card networks such as  Mastercard and Visa, can offer buy now pay later arrangements.

Though it can be a convenient, immediate solution, it may be challenging to juggle the necessary repayments with other financial commitments. It’s not always the most appropriate method for people, and you should bear in mind your situation and ability in paying back the amounts. 

Before you sign up, keep in mind: 

  • It becomes easier to overspend with buy now pay later services, so know your limits on what you can and can’t afford.
  • You will be charged fees and costs to use the service, which can add up to a princely sum in and of itself.
  • Keeping track of your payments can be tricky if you’ve signed up for multiple services.
  • It could affect your loan applications for a car or mortgage as lenders consider buy now pay later spending just as much as your credit score.
  • Late repayments can appear on your credit report, which affects your ability to borrow money in the future.
  • Layby can be a cheaper alternative to buy now pay later, with no account-keeping or late fees to consider

If you are someone who could make use of BNPL services, you may wish to:

  • Ensure that when using the BNPL service, you stick to a set limit on what you spend so that you can comfortably pay it back later. 
  • Aim only to have one BNPL account at a time to manage payments through, rather than confuse yourself with multiple payments across different providers.
  • Always budget for bills, loan payments and BNPL payments, and 
  • Rather than use your credit card for payments to your BNPL account, consider linking to your debit account instead.

If you would like assistance in planning your financial future, help in managing your budget or some friendly advice, see us for a chat about what we can do for you.


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John Briggs

Jane Noller has been my accountant for the last 15 plus years. I can testify to Jane’s professionalism and expeditious manner in dealing with the day to day issues that surrounds our business accounting.

John Briggs

Registered Building Certifier