How does Amber work with Controlled Loads?


Your controlled load is a separately wired line (and often separately metered) and runs at predictable and restricted times as set by the network (who owns the poles and wires). Only some houses have this infrastructure which typically has large electrical devices attached to it, such hot water systems. The network gives a reduced charge for using appliances attached to the controlled load wires, and we pass through this reduced network charge, and then just add on the wholesale costs.


Controlled loads are managed by your network, who dictates the time period that devices attached to your controlled load wire can come on. The benefit of having your hot water system or other large devices connected to controlled loads is that the network charge you much cheaper rates for every kWh used on your controlled load wire than they do for regular usage. This is essentially your network giving you a nice pat on the back for not putting too much pressure on the grid to heat your water or your pool during peak periods when demand is high :)


If you have a controlled load circuit and are with Amber, you may notice different prices in the app for controlled load. This is reflecting the fact that your network is charging you these cheaper per kWh rates for your usage on controlled load. If you have a basic meter, our app may not be able to pick up your controlled load wire, but you can rest assured that you will still be paying these cheaper rates from your network.


Because you don't really get a choice with when your controlled load comes on, it is fair for customers to be a little concerned that the circuit will be set for a time when the Amber wholesale rates are expensive. But rest assured, the rates overnight are actually when you see some of the cheaper prices in the wholesale market due to the low demand overnight - so it is pretty much a win-win!


If you are finding that your hot water is running out by the end of the day, or you think you could switch to an even smaller controlled load window - your network may have options for you to change to a slightly longer or shorter controlled load window. If this is the case, reach out to us and we can help investigate your options. 


If you have a basic meter, and your controlled load is in a separate meter, the smart meter we will install will be able to incorporate this into the single smart meter.


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