What is peak demand?

During summer in South East Queensland, between 4pm and 8pm, thousands of us do exactly the same thing.

We turn on the TV, make dinner, turn on the air-conditioner, use the computer, put on the dishwasher, the dryer, and more.

All that combined energy use creates daily peak demand.

What is daily peak demand?

We all contribute to peak electricity demand every day.

Daily peak demand usually occurs between 4pm and 8pm, when people get home for the day and switch on appliances simultaneously.

What is network peak demand?

Network peak demand occurs only a few times a year, usually when we experience extreme temperatures.

That's when a much higher number of people use high-energy appliances - such as air-conditioners and pool pumps - at the same time as other everyday appliances such as computers, laptops, TVs, cook tops, ovens, dishwashers, washing machines and dryers.

Millions are spent on extra electricity infrastructure to cater for these peak times.

Network peak demand periods are forecast to grow, driven by a growing population and a growing number of appliances in use.

Why do we want to reduce peak demand?

Energex's infrastructure is designed to cope with these peaks, and we can continue to upgrade the system to manage growing demand.

However, this is not the most sustainable approach as network peak demand only occurs on a handful of days, the extra capacity we must have available simply isn't used most of the time.

In fact, 16 per cent of Energex's network capacity is only used for a few hours, a few times a year. That's wasteful, and it's expensive.

We are looking for more sustainable solutions that will see us use our resources more efficiently, impact less on the environment, and reduce customers' bills.

What you can do...

Here are some tips for reducing electricity use at peak times:

  • Set your air-conditioner to 24 degrees - every degree lower may increase your running costs by up to 10%
  • Shut doors, windows, curtains and lower external blinds early to keep the heat out
  • Consider using a fan rather than switching on the air-conditioner
  • Use your clothes line instead of your dryer
  • Turn on your dishwasher and washing machine before you go to bed
  • Turn off appliances like TVs, computers and game consoles when no one is using them - don't leave them on standby
  • Ensure the seals on your fridge are in good working order to stop cold air getting out
  • Turn off your second fridge or freezer
  • Switch your pool pump to off-peak or install a minimum five star energy efficient pool pump
  • Switch your hot water system to off-peak and save 
  • When renovating or building a new home, talk to your electrician about switching appliances to off-peak

Small things make a big difference.

You require Adobe Acrobat Reader to view or print documents.

Back to top

Related content

What's happening in my area?

Have your say

Do you have off-peak tariffs at your home?