Tariff initiative for irrigators
We’re inviting primary producers to work with us and your electricity retailer to connect certain farm equipment, like irrigation pumps, to a load control tariff (for example Tariff 331).
Tariff 33 is cheaper than primary tariffs because the supply is interruptible and we control the times when power is available. For equipment like irrigation pumps that don’t need power to be available on a constant basis or at a regular time each day, it makes sense to connect them to Tariff 33 to reduce your electricity running costs.
How much you might save by moving to Tariff 33 will depend on many things including your current tariff, the amount of electricity you use and when you use it. Your electricity retailer may be able to help you estimate potential savings on your power bill.
The aim of this initiative is to help farmers better understand how a load control tariff works and its suitability for your operations. We’ll help you understand how to move key loads and ancillary farm equipment to Tariff 33. You must also have a primary small business or residential tariff at the same connection point.
Tariff 33 details
Tariff 33 is a load controlled tariff which has power available for a minimum of 18 hours per day. The times of day that power is available may differ across regional Queensland, change from day to day and vary in duration.
Electricity supply may be interrupted on a daily basis or as required to manage load on the network. In some areas, we use a dynamic network load management system. In these areas, we'll only switch Tariff 33 off for local network constraints to maintain security of power supply.
As Tariff 33 is a secondary tariff, you must retain a separate primary tariff at the connection point if you move your pumping loads to Tariff 33.
As part of the application process, we'll advise you how Tariff 33 'off' times are generally managed in your area but you won’t be notified prior to Tariff 33 being switched on or off. This may be available at some time in the future. Your electricity retailer will advise you of the pricing and eligibility for this tariff.
Using Tariff 33 in conjunction with a primary tariff is an option that's already available and there's no set end-date. You don't need to be part of this initiative to access this tariff now.
To participate you must:
- Be connected to the Ergon electricity network
- Be classified as a ‘small’ energy user (using less than 100MWh/year)
- Have a primary small business or residential tariff at the same connection point
- Have connected loads that don't rely on having power available 24/7
- Have a compliant meter box and switchboard that's suitable to install a new meter (if required) and a load control receiver.
If your meter box and switchboard are not already compliant, you’ll need to arrange to upgrade them to current standards before the start of the initiative. Even if your meter box complies with current electrical standards, your electrical contractor may need to do additional work so that load control equipment and new metering can be installed. This will be at your own expense.
Attention electrical contractors: Please read our Meter Installation Guide (PDF 319.3 kb) which highlights the key issues to be addressed with the installation of advanced meters and load control equipment for irrigators.
We'll assess the suitability of your meter box and switchboard from the photos you provide us during the application process.
You may also incur costs for:
- Separating circuits to connect specific loads
- Changing business practices and equipment to accommodate power supply interruptions.
Please note: While your usage and current tariffs will be reviewed for suitability on Tariff 33, the decision to participate in the initiative is yours. There’s no reimbursement available for any differences in electricity costs you incur. You’ll also be responsible for any damage or loss incurred due to electricity supply interruptions.
How to apply
To apply, click on the Apply Now link below, complete the online expression of interest form and attach photos of your meter box and switchboard. Please ensure you review and agree to the terms and conditions.
As part of the application process, we'll provide advice on:
- The suitability of Tariff 33 for your farming needs
- Compliance of your meter box and switchboard
- How Tariff 33 timing is generally managed in your area.
If your application is successful and you'd like to proceed, you should contact your electricity retailer to follow their standard tariff change process. We'd also like to understand your experiences during this process and may request your feedback through an email survey.
Read about other ways we are supporting Queensland’s farmers on our Agricultural industry webpage.
Help and support
Please let us know if you’d like more information or help to complete your application.
Phone: 07 3851 6218 from 9am to 4:30pm Monday to Friday
1 Some Retailers may refer to load controlled Tariff 33 by a different name.