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S - Z

S

Security deposit
An amount of money that may be charged by a retailer as security against non-payment of a bill.

Service availability charge
A charge for the fixed costs associated with supplying energy to a customer. You are charged this fee regardless of how much energy you use. 

Service interruption – see planned outage or unplanned outage

Smart meter (see digital meter)

Solar Bonus Scheme
A NSW government scheme where eligible customers were paid an amount per kilowatt hour for electricity their solar systems fed into the grid. The scheme ended on 31 December 2016. 

Solar Photovoltaic System (PV system or solar system)  
A system of panels which use the sun to generate electricity.    

Solar generation
Electricity produced by your solar photovoltaic system.

Special meter read (also called a check read)
A reading taken by the distributor outside the regular billing cycle, on the request of a customer or the retailer, to confirm the meter read. 

Standard retail contract or standing offer
A basic contract with regulated model terms and conditions that cannot be changed by the retailer. Standard contracts are ongoing (no fixed term), with pricing set by the retailer. Each retailer must offer a plan that meets the conditions of the Standard Retail Contract, though it is unlikely they will call the plan a standard retail contract. Generally, standard retail contracts cost more than market retail contracts. 

Stormwater charge
A fixed charge that applies to some water customers for the disposal of stormwater. 

Supply address
The address your energy is being supplied to under your contract with your retailer.

T

Tariff
The price you are charged per unit for your energy and water use. This will be set out in your plan. A tariff can include fixed charges, which don’t vary with consumption, and variable charges, which do. 

Time of use meter (also known as an interval meter)
A meter which records your electricity consumption at 15 or 30 minute intervals, 24 hours a day. The meter records both the amount of electricity that is used and the time of day it is used, which can allow retailers to charge different rates depending on when customers use electricity. 

Time of use tariff
A tariff where a customer is charged a different price per kilowatt hour depending on the time electricity is used. The tariff bands are usually peak, shoulder and off-peak, though other bands are possible. 

Transfer
The process of changing retailers. 

U

Unplanned outage
An unplanned disruption to the supply of electricity, gas or water, due to unforeseen circumstances such as extreme weather events or accidents. 

W

Wastewater (sewerage) service charge
A charge from a water retailer for the disposal of waste water. 


Water service charge
A fixed charge paid each quarter for being connected to the water supply.