The ESB has confirmed that a minimal number of smart meter customers in Ireland are using the ‘time-of-use’ feature - which could save them money depending on their energy use habits.
It was confirmed today that just 4% of more than 900,000 households are using the service available on smart meters, which would bring an end to their estimated bills going forward. A ‘time-of-use’ tariff is a time-based billing structure which means the rate charged for each unit of electricity consumed varies depending on the time of the day.
For example, you could have one rate for electricity consumed during the day, another rate for electricity consumed during the night, and another rate for electricity consumed during peak hours. The Standard Smart Tariff time structure is:
- Day: 8 am to 11 pm, excluding peak time
- Night: 11 pm to 8 am
- Peak: 5 pm to 7 pm
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Therefore if you use most of your energy in the off-peak night time hours, and less during the daytime and peak hours, instead of having an estimated bill for usage during this time, you’ll be charged for exactly what you use. Speaking on RTE's Morning Ireland, ESB's smart metering manager, Carmel O'Connor, said different time periods always have different prices and that customers can see which appliances are using more electricity with a time-of-use tariff.
Ms. O'Connor said the best advice to minimise the chances of being handed a hefty bill is to avoid using non-essential electrical goods between 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm - such as the dryer - to save money as it will have the highest price tariffs. She went on to say that by November this year, thousands of customers will be able to log on to their account online and check their usage on a customer portal.
Then in time, it will show real-time usage, so people can monitor their personal usage and alter their timings to effectively lower their incoming bills. While it is taking time to ensure people are aware of exactly how smart meters work, she said more and more people are switching to smart services.
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