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Tariff and time cycles

What is the bi-hourly tariff? Are there any advantages to subscribing to this type of tariff? How to choose the right option? How to maximize savings with this type of tariff?

Choosing the right tariff option and changing small energy usage habits could represent significant savings on your electricity bill.

WHAT TYPES OF RATES ARE AVAILABLE FOR THE CONSUMER?

Currently, residential consumers have access to three types of tariffs:

  1. In the simple tariff, the consumer pays electricity at the same price for all hours of the day.
  2. In the bi-hourly tariff, the consumer pays electricity at two different prices, for two corresponding hourly consumption periods: the empty hours period, in which energy has a lower cost; and the period of hours of Fora de Vazio, in which energy has a higher cost.
  3. The three-hour tariff is similar to the two-hour tariff, but it has three hourly consumption periods with different prices: the empty hour period, in which energy has a lower cost, the full hour period, in which the energy has an intermediate cost and the peak hour period, in which energy has a higher cost.

WHAT ARE THE HOURS AND HOW ARE THE HOURS DISCREADED?

The hourly periods for the delivery of electricity to final customers are provided for in Articles 24 and 31 of the Electric Sector Tariff Regulation, of ERSE, and differ in two cycles: the weekly cycle and the daily cycle.

In the weekly cycle there is a distinction between working days and Saturday and Sundays. On the other hand, in the daily cycle the hourly periods are the same for all days of the year.

Daily cycle applicable to Normal Low Voltage (BTN) and Special Low Voltage (BTE) in Mainland Portugal.

Legal winter time

Segunda-feira a domingo

Ponta09h00 às 10h30
18h00 às 20h30
Cheias08h00 às 09h00
10h30 às 18h00
20h30 às 22h00
Vazio normal00h00 às 02h00
06h00 às 08h00
22h00 às 00h00
Super vazio02h00 às 06h00

Legal SUmmer Time

Segunda-feira a domingo

Ponta10h30 às 13h00
19h30 às 21h00
Cheias08h00 às 10h30
13h00 às 19h30
21h00 às 22h00
Vazio normal00h00 às 02h00
06h00 às 08h00
22h00 às 00h00
Super vazio02h00 às 06h00

Weekly cycle applicable to BTE and BTN in Mainland Portugal.

Legal winter time

Segunda-feira a sexta-feira

Ponta09h30 às 12h00
18h30 às 21h00
Cheias07h00 às 09h30
12h00 às 18h30
21h00 às 24h00
Vazio normal00h00 às 02h00
06h00 às 07h00
Super vazio02h00 às 06h00

Sábado

Cheias09h30 às 13h00
18h30 às 22h00
Vazio normal00h00 às 02h00
06h00 às 09h30
13h00 às 18h30
22h00 às 24h00
Super vazio02h00 às 06h00

Domingo

Vazio normal00h00 às 02h00
06h00 às 24h00
Super vazio02h00 às 06h00

Legal SUmmer Time

Segunda-feira a sexta-feira

Ponta09h15 às 12h15
Cheias07h00 às 09h15
12h15 às 24h00
Vazio normal00h00 às 02h00
06h00 às 07h00
Super vazio02h00 às 06h00

 

Sábado

Cheias09h00 às 14h00
20h00 às 22h00
Vazio normal00h00 às 02h00
06h00 às 09h00
14h00 às 20h00
22h00 às 24h00
Super vazio02h00 às 06h00

Domingo

Vazio normal00h00 às 02h00
06h00 às 24h00
Super vazio02h00 às 06h00

Hourly periods in Mainland Portugal are determined taking into account the evolution of the country’s load diagram throughout the year.

The costs associated with each hourly period are related to the demand for electricity in the national market. Thus, the Empty period corresponds to the times when the demand for electricity is reduced, the Flood period corresponds to times when there is an intermediate demand for electricity, and the Peak period, corresponds to times when there is a demand highest amount of electrical energy.

The period of Out of Empty corresponds to an aggregation of the Full and Peak periods. In bi-hourly and tri-hourly rates, the Emptyperiod aggregates the normal Empty and Super Emptyhourly periods.

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE TWO CYCLES?

The daily cycle and the weekly cycle differ both in the way the hourly periods are broken down on a weekly basis and in their duration.

Daily cycle

70 horas de Vazio por semana

Distributed in the same way for the seven days, including 7 hours a day at night.

Weekly cycle

76 horas de Vazio por semana

During the week, the night time has a shorter empty period, so that most empty hours occur during the weekend, that is, Saturday afternoon and throughout the day on Sunday.

Consumers should analyze their electricity consumption habits and understand whether to opt for the daily cycle or the weekly cycle.

For example:

Case study 1

João has a working schedule from 9am to 6pm and likes to walk the family at the weekend, choosing to do housework during the week at the end of the day (late afternoon and after dinner).

João should opt for the bi-hourly tariff with daily cycle, as it would compensate him to have energy at lower prices at a higher hour in the evening.

Case study 2

Andreia is the mother of a large family, in her house all the equipment is electric and she hired a company that handles household chores.

This company operates from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm and, therefore, the house has energy consumption associated with domestic tasks throughout the day.

Andreia should opt for the simple tariff as her energy consumption occurs essentially throughout the day.

Case study 3

Paula lives alone, as she has a very demanding work schedule and during the week she has little time, she decided to only do household chores at the weekend.

Paula should opt for the bi-hourly tariffon a weekly cycle, because during the day she is away from home and it would compensate her to have energy at lower prices at the weekend.

HOW TO MAXIMIZE SAVINGS?

When comparing the unit price of the contracted power to the tariffs existing in the market, it appears that there are different approaches: traders who practice the same unit price and traders who present a higher price for the contracted power. The common element in both cases is the fact that the energy purchased in Fora Vazio is charged at a price higher than the price of energy in the simple tariff and the fact that the energy in Vazio is charged at a price lower than the price of energy in the simple tariff. It is in these two differentials that the potential for saving energy costs lies.

Choosing the right tariff for your home is related to the type of equipment you use and your usage habits.

Poupa Energia can help you with this task using the tools on the portal. If you know the tariff offers on the market and want to compare the unit prices for each one, you can do so on the Tariffs page.

On the other hand, if you want to do a simulation for your case, you can use the Simple Simulator and get the list of the best offers for your consumption profile, based on your home and equipment. If you want a more detailed analysis, use the Advanced Simulator and enter your energy readings.

At the end, save the results in your reserved area, so that you can re-simulate more quickly.