Saving energy during peak times

What's happening right now

Current demand reading: Loading value...(MW)

Record summer peak: 4760 (MW) Summer 2009/10
Record winter peak: 4343 (MW) Winter 2008/09

As a community our electricity consumption is at its highest  between 4-8pm. This is when energy-hungry appliances like air-conditioners and pool pumps are switched on at the same time as other everyday appliances. We call this daily peak demand. Network peak demand occurs on days of extreme temperatures, hot and cold.

We can keep building our network to cope with these peaks, or we can work together as a community to manage and reduce peak demand. In doing so, we can build less network, resulting in lower electricity bills.

The network demand meter, shown in the top right corner of this website, shows the current demand for electricity in South East Queensland, this is updated every 30 minutes.

Small things can make a big difference

Understanding peak demand

  • What is daily peak demand? 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, hot and cold.
  • Why do we want to reduce peak demand? Our network is designed to cope with these peaks, and we can continue to upgrade the system to manage growing demand, however this isn't the most sustainable approach. Only 16 per cent of network capacity is used for only a few hours, a few times a year. So all that extra capacity to cater for those extreme weather days, simply isn't used most of the time.

What can you do

Below are some helpful hints to reduce energy use in the home: 

  • Set your air-conditioner to a cool 24 degrees, every degree lower could cost you up to 10 per cent of your running costs.
  • Keep the filters clean. Your air-conditioner won't have to work as hard when cooling or heating the house.
  • Consider using a fan – it's always friendlier on your pocket than switching on the air-conditioner.
  • Shut doors, windows, curtains and lower external blinds early to keep the heat out.
  • Switch appliances like TVs, computers and game consoles off rather than leaving them on standby.
  • Turn off your second fridge or freezer.
  • Use your clothes line instead of your dryer.
  • Wash in cold water and do the laundry outside of 4pm to 8pm.
  • Run the dishwasher outside of 4pm to 8pm.
  • Defrost your freezer regularly. The frost build up should never exceed a thickness of 6mm. A fuller freezer prevents heavy icing.
  • Ensure the seals on your fridge are in good working order to stop cold air getting out.
  • Cook on the BBQ or the microwave instead of an electric stove on those hot summer peak days.
  • Use an energy saving power board.
  • Switch your pool pump to an economy tariff or install a minimum five star energy efficient pool pump.
  • Switch your hot water system to economy.
  • When renovating or building a new home, talk to your electrician about switching appliances to an economy tariff.
  • When you go away on holidays, turn off all unnecessary appliances before you go.
  • Be part of the solution and find out how you can be involved in our initiatives to reduce peak demand.

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