Chances are, you pay peak and off-peak prices for your power. You might even be adjusting how and when you use power to make the most of lower off-peak rates. Traditionally, peak hours fall between 7 am and 10 pm on weekdays. This can vary from state to state but it’s usually within this range. Nowadays, these peak and off-peak fixed rates don’t reflect the underlying wholesale energy market. Traditional peak times are often at odds with what’s happening in the wholesale market. Often, peak prices are charged when the wholesale market spot price is at the lowest (as can be seen on the graph below). Graph showing peak and off peak times in 2019.   This is because the energy market has changed. We have record levels of new renewable generation entering the market, among other factors, that are changing how pricing is set. The keep up with the changing market, we developed our Price Efficiency Factor (PEF).  

Make the market work for you

To make the most of low off-peak rates, you don’t need to shift your business’s energy use to the graveyard shift. Your PEF measures how your business uses energy compared to the wholesale market. It’s here to connect you to the actual peak and off-peak periods in the market and give you the opportunity to make the most of them. You may also hear the PEF referred to as shape premium, or load shape factor. How and when you use power sets your PEF, which will appear as a factor on your Power Active bill or help determine your ceiling price on Power Up.  

PEF in practice

Businesses that use most power when wholesale market prices are highest, tend to have higher PEFs, generally greater than 1 but businesses that do the opposite tend to have lower PEFs. Even though a business may have a high PEF, small changes to energy use can lower it significantly. How does this look in practice? One manufacturer, which used electric forklifts daily, would charge them as soon as its workers had clocked off between 4-7pm, when prices are highest. Our team analysed the manufacturer’s energy use and found that simply setting a timer on the chargers would help lower its PEF. Now, the forklifts are set to charge every night from 10pm, a shift that had no impact on its operations, just it’s energy price. While it might seem like a big ask to make changes to how you use power, it’s much easier than you think and can immediately benefit your bottom line.