Ireland's consumers will soon have access to time-of-use tariffs, which should make it easier for them to manage peak energy usage.
According to the Irish Examiner, the Commission for the Regulation of Utilities (CRU), confirmed that as part of a €1bn programme to provide 2.25m smart meters to households and businesses, a standard smart tariff will be part of the offering.
Current studies estimate that savings of between 2.5%-3% could be saved by consumers and help Ireland meet its EU energy reduction targets.
The tariffs will be broken down into three time tranches – a peak rate from 5pm-7pm; a day rate from 8am-11pm (excluding the peak); and a night rate at 11pm-8am. These rates will be applicable year round.
It has been further determined that “meaningful price differences” must be seen between the three rates. According to the CRU, the tariff structure must be easy to understand and it must be clear at what time of the day electricity is more or less expensive. Additionally, the tariffs will apply across all suppliers, making it easier for consumers to compare prices and supplier offers.
It is expected that time of use tariffs will be crucial to reducing costs and ensuring supply is more resilient and secure. Additionally, it is anticipated that the desire to save will shift load, thereby also reducing the need to invest in expensive peak generation plants.
According to the Examiner, "it is expected that electricity bills based on the new tariffs will be issued at some stage during 2020.
"The regulator maintains that the introduction of smart meters will bring many benefits for customers, including enhanced competition between suppliers, making bills more accurate and providing better information on energy consumption."
Read our commentary on lessons learned from the Irish smart meter rollout.