Pool equipment on Tariff 33 FAQs

Reduce your pool running costs by connecting your pump to an economy tariff.

Common questions

What is an economy tariff?

Economy tariffs are also called ‘controlled load’ or ‘off peak’ tariffs. They provide electricity for up to 18 hours per day at a discounted rate. There are two economy tariffs available:

  • Super Economy Tariff 31 - Up to 44% saving; electricity supply is made available a minimum of 8 hours per day.
  • Economy Tariff 33 - Up to 15% saving, electricity supply is made available a minimum of 18 hours per day.

You'll continue to pay the standard daily fixed rate for electricity at other times of day, or for appliances that are not connected to these tariffs. Contact your electricity retailer for the latest information on tariff rates and supply charges. Learn more about economy tariffs.

Why are some people choosing to connect their pool pumps to an economy tariff?

Pool pump usage is a key contributor to peak demand. Excessive demand on the electricity network affects efficiency and costs. By switching to an off-peak tariff, you'll be saving money as well as helping us to deliver a stable network to the wider community.

Do pools need to be permanently wired to Economy Tariff 33?

A few years ago, appliances needed to be hardwired – that is, permanently connected – to the electricity supply to be eligible for Economy Tariff 33.

Economy Tariff 33 is significantly cheaper than the general use tariff (Tariff 11), but supply is made available only for a minimum of 18 hours a day.

A change was made that removed the requirement for pool filtration and sanitation systems to be permanently wired to the controlled load tariff.

An electrician can now install a power point connected to Economy Tariff 33 specifically for pool filtration and sanitation systems. This allows maintenance to be performed more easily than if the pool was permanently wired, while still reducing peak demand on the network.

What pool equipment can be included in this connection?

Only pool filtration and associated sanitation systems, including pumps, pool filters, chlorinators and chlorine dispensing units, can be connected to Economy Tariff 33 via a power point.

Decorative features of a pool, such as lights or fountains, can be connected to an economy tariff, but they must be hardwired.

How many hours does Economy Tariff 33 operate and what times is it switched off?

Electricity supply is available for at least 18 hours per day on Economy Tariff 33. It's switched via load control equipment supplied and maintained by us.

The specific times of supply are at the distributor’s discretion due to regional and seasonal differences. As a general rule of thumb, supply will be restricted around network peak times. In a residential area, this is usually 6am-9am and 4pm-8pm.

Can my pool pump also be connected via a power point to Super Economy Tariff 31?

Yes. You can connect your pool equipment to Super Economy Tariff 31 via power point instead of being hardwired.

You need to be aware that Super Economy Tariff 31 only provides electricity supply for a minimum of 8 hours a day. The times will be at the distributor’s discretion, due to regional and seasonal differences. In a residential area, it will generally be between 10pm and 7am.

This may not be enough operating time to provide sufficient pool filtration. Additionally, the times when supply is available may not be convenient for pool maintenance to be carried out.

How much money can I save by switching my pool pump to Economy Tariff 33?

We estimate that pool filtration systems connected to continuous supply tariffs such as Tariff 11 can cost a household around $700 a year to run, depending on pump size and filtration settings.

Connecting to Economy Tariff 33 may reduce pool running costs by up to 15%. Contact your electricity retailer for the latest information on tariff rates and supply charges.

What other options are there to save money on my pool running costs?

There are other ways to save money on your pool running costs. These can be done in conjunction with switching to an economy tariff.

  • Purchase a variable speed drive pump or system. These use far less energy, saving you money
  • Review the running schedule of your pool filtration and sanitation system. A pool servicing company will help you optimise the filtration and sanitation requirements for your pool.

Is there any risk to the cleanlines of my pool if I only run the pump when Economy Tariff 33 is available?

In all instances we recommend that pool owners consult expert pool personnel or pool shops before making any changes to pool filtration.

However, the following information is offered:

  • Queensland Health has advised it doesn't have concerns with pool filtration systems being switched off for set periods, or with pool filtration systems being switched off when pools are in use, assuming they operate for the minimum recommended times outside these hours
  • We have undertaken trials of pools on load control (including through one of the wettest summers on record) and no adverse health issues have been reported
  • Tens of thousands of pool owners throughout Queensland have already benefited from Economy Tariff 33 with no water quality complaints.

Will my pool filter's timer device be affected by the power switching off?

Those who choose to wire a pool circuit to Economy Tariff 33 usually have mains powered timers fitted to the switchboard - eliminating any timer/battery problems or issues.

If you're concerned with this issue you should refer to the manufacturer for advice.

How will I know which power point is supplying power from Economy Tariff 33 rather than being connected to a continuous supply of power?

The licensed electrical contractor who carries out the wiring work will mark the power outlet designated for the pool filtration.

Can I plug an appliance other than my pool filtration equipment into the Economy Tariff 33 outlet?

Only pool filtration and associated sanitation equipment is allowed to be connected to the designated Economy Tariff 33 outlet. Remember that supply can be interrupted for up to 6 hours a day.

What is to stop people from using an extension cord to power other appliances in the home from the Tariff 33 socket outlet?

This wouldn't be compliant with the conditions for accessing Economy Tariff 33.

In addition, disruptions to power supply when Economy Tariff 33 is switched off (generally at peak energy times in the morning or afternoon/evening) and the outside location of the socket outlet will form significant barriers for this.

What is to stop people who have their pool filtration system plugged into Economy Tariff 33 via a socket outlet from plugging it into a Tariff 11 outlet during times Economy Tariff 33 is switched off?

If a pool remains healthy and clean on Economy Tariff 33 accessed via a socket outlet, there is no reason for householders to unplug their pool cleaning system and connect to another power source during times of tariff control.

Electricity under Tariff 11 is considerably more expensive than under Tariff 33.

Can pools at schools, retirement homes, hotels or similar businesses connect to Economy Tariff 33 via a power point?

No. This change applies only to domestic installations.

How does the standard power point connection work? Is it connected from the pump via a lead to the house or direct from the pump to the home's power board where the meters live?

As is the case with pool pumps currently supplied by Tariff 11, the pump would be plugged into a standard socket outlet located near the pool.

The Economy Tariff 33 power point/socket outlet will be connected via a dedicated circuit to the off peak meter. This is a separate circuit to other circuits supplying the rest of the house.