Aussie energy demands met during heatwave, but for how long?

By Ben Tosi ·

It was hot on the weekend, really hot. In fact, Sydney was the hottest place on earth on Sunday and despite months of energy speculation, the national grid pulled through to deliver power to the many Aussie air conditioners that churned away all day.

The timing of a heatwave which saw the mercury rise as high as 47.3 degrees in Sydney’s west, also affected parts of Victoria and South Australia, was fortunate however.

With schools still on break and many businesses yet to return to trading, Minister for Environment and Energy, Josh Frydenberg told Chris Smith of 4BC that the national energy grid will be put under increasing pressure over the coming months.

“The January and February period will see a very tight supply, demand balance and the skills of the energy market operator will be tested,” said Frydenberg.

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While small power outages were experienced by those in New South Wales’ Central Coast, the Energy Minister remained upbeat about the chances of surviving the kind of statewide blackouts that saw South Australia plunged into darkness in 2016.

“They [Australian Energy Market Operator] have systems in place to ensure supply, not just this year but in the years to come,” he said.

It hasn’t just been supply and reliability of kilowatts that have made headlines recently, but their price too.

In the months leading up to summer the Turnbull Government made a string of legislative changes to the Australian energy market as well as agreements with eight energy retailers to deliver the best possible energy plans to Aussie households.

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And Frydenberg believes that these changes could see cheaper quarterly energy bills for Aussie households in the very near future.

“The Australian Energy Market Submission tells us that power prices will come down over the next two years and the ACCC recently reported that they’ve seen up to a 50% fall in wholesale gas prices as a result of Government intervention,” he said.

“Households will see, and are seeing the benefit of these actions.”

How to cut your energy usage during a heatwave:

  • Stay shady: Some mornings you instantly know it is going to be a hot one. On those days close the windows, pull the curtains and shut the blinds -  a dark room stays cooler for longer.
  • Cut cooking time: Ovens and stoves are huge energy drainers (plus they make rooms really hot) so make the most of summery salads, seafood that doesn’t require cooking and fresh fruits.
  • Stock the fridge: This shouldn’t be too hard this time of year, a well-stocked fridge retains the cool much easier than an empty one. So keep yours topped up, check its seals and keep the thermostat at 3 degrees for the fresh food compartment and -18 degrees for the freezer.
  • Tune out and get out: Turn off those consoles, thrown down the TV remote and get outside where trees provide free and totally renewable coolness in the form of shade!

If one of your new year’s resolutions was to cut costs on the basics, head to Mozo’s state-based energy comparison tool to find a cheap energy plan available where you live!

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