How does Amber work with Controlled Loads?


Your controlled load is a separately metered wire connected to heavy loads in your home. Most of the time this is electric hot water systems, but can also include things like pool pumps or batteries. A controlled load wire (also known as a dedicated circuit) is designed to shift these heavy load devices away from peak periods to manage demand on the grid, and therefore will only turn on in restricted times overnight.

Controlled loads are managed by your network, who dictate the time period that devices attached to your controlled load wire can come on. The benefits 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. Too see the difference between a controlled load price and a regular usage price, you can check out the pricing page and hit "Show Controlled Load price." 

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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