Electrical discrimination means that electricity is cheaper in the so-called off-peak hours, more expensive at peak times and with an intermediate price in the off-peak hours.
With the mass installation of smart meters, it became possible to have detailed information on consumption practically in real time. It is possible to know how many kWh are being used in each household during each hour of each day.
If electrical discrimination used to be very much associated with the regulated tariff (PVPC), with this type of meter electrical discrimination has been extended to all types of tariffs.
In case you have forgotten, here we will explain the difference between the free market and the regulated market. To summarise: In the regulated market there is only one tariff (PVPC). In the free market there is a huge variety of tariffs.
What started out as time discrimination that had a strict range of cheap hours and expensive hours, is now much more flexible.
At what time is electricity cheaper?
You are familiar with the prices for flights and you know that they are cheaper when you travel in low season than when you need to fly in the middle of August or at Christmas. But how does this work with electricity? When is it best to use more electricity?
The answer to this question depends on the tariff you have contracted. We will go over that again: you can be on the free market or on the regulated market.
If you are on the regulated market
Your tariff is called PVPC and the price per kWh varies constantly. It is impossible to know the price you will pay per kWh next week, but with this tool you can check the price you will pay tomorrow and what you have been paying in the previous days and weeks.
In the tariff with prices that have time discrimination there will always be some hours when it is cheaper (off-peak hours: From 12 midnight to 8am), and some that are more expensive (peak hours: From 8am to 10am, from 2pm to 6pm and from 10pm to 12 midnight) and some with an intermediate price (standard hours:; From 10am to 2pm and from 6pmn to 10pm).
If you are on the free market
On the free market there are all kinds of tariffs. Some, like One Luz for example, have the same price at all hours of the day, so you do not need to worry about what time you use electricity.
Others, such as One Luz 3 Periodos Tariff, follow that same logic for time discrimination: With cheaper hours (at night, weekends and on public holidays) and standard or peak hours, throughout the day, when the price goes up (from Monday to Friday except on public holidays).
But the great new feature are tariffs that enable you to choose. The Luz Tempo Happy Tariff, for example, that has a price for all the hours of the day but lets you choose some Happy hours when the electricity you consume is free. You can choose 2 consecutive hours each day or 1 whole day a week in which you will pay 0 euros for each kWh.