COVID-19, its impact on business energy use and opting into our Network Tariff Review

COVID-19, its impact on business energy use and opting into our Network Tariff Review

Twice a year, we offer our customers1 a complimentary review of network tariffs to ensure they are on the best tariff for their business. With government COVID-19 restrictions impacting some business operations, normal energy consumption patterns may have altered, which is why we’re conducting our review differently and asking customers to opt-in to have their sites reviewed 

What are network tariffs? 

Network tariffs are regulated charges set by the network distributor and approved by the industry regulators to cover the cost of building, maintaining and operating the poles and wires to deliver electricity to customers.  

Network charges can make up to 39%2  of a business’s electricity bill and can significantly impact the overall energy costs to a business, which is why we know it’s important that tariffs are regularly reviewed to ensure these charges are minimised as much as possible.* It’s a complex process, that we conduct on behalf of our customers.  

Changing energy usage due to COVID-19 

As part of the review, we use historical usage data from the past 12 months and if energy usage patterns have changed, significant savings can be identified. 

With government COVID-19 restrictions impacting many business operations, your normal energy consumption patterns over the past 12 months may have changed, and might not be reflective of your expected future usage. This can create difficulties in recommending an appropriate network tariff. If this is the case for your business, we’d suggest that a review is probably not beneficial for you right now. 

Reviewing your sites energy usage and opting-in 

Rather than conducting an automatic review, this year we have asked customers to review their sites, to assess if there are any impacts to energy usage over the past year and determine which sites they would like to opt-in for the review.  It is important that any tariff change recommendations are checked thoroughly as network distributors will only accept one tariff change request per year. 

Haven’t opted-in yet? 

For those customers yet to advise us of the sites they would like to opt-in to the network tariff reviewwe encourage you to contact your account manager to discuss. Once we know which sites you’d like to opt-in, we’ll be able to conduct the network tariff review and let you know if we’ve identified potential savings for your business.  

Legitimate savings through network tariff changes not realised 

In 2020, we identified $4.16 million in potential savings for our customers that could be realised by changing tariffs. However, only $2.38 million^ of the identified savings were implemented by customers choosing to proceed with a tariff change, leaving many businesses paying more than they needed to in network charges.

We encourage all our business customers to make the most of our complimentary network tariff review to realise network tariff savings for their business.  

Want to find out more? 

If you’d like to find out more about network tariffs or need help determining which sites to opt-in, please contact your account manager. If you’d like to make a tariff change, they can also help do the paperwork and submit the request on your behalf.  

Important Information 

1 Excluding Small Market sites in Victoria 

2 Shell Energy customer invoice, average for calendar year 2021 to date. 

^ Estimated savings identified by Shell Energy’s (previously ERM Power) Network Tariff Review Optimisation program for C&I and SME multi-site (excl. Victoria) customers in the October 2020 and whole of 2020 tariff reviews. Actual savings will vary depending on customer usage and network charges. 

*Network tariff eligibility requirements apply and changes are at the discretion of the Distributor. Shell Energy does not guarantee that the Distributor will accept a request to change the network tariffs. Our recommendations are based on your business energy consumption for the 12 months from last year to the previous year. If your business has been impacted by COVID-19, it is important that the recommendations are checked thoroughly. If the tariff selection does not reflect your expected usage, you may incur additional charges.