In a drastic effort to stop blackouts during summer, Queenslanders may face the ultimate test of discipline by being asked to keep their air conditioners at 26 degrees.
A blueprint for the proposal has already been planned by The Palaszczuk Government, due to warnings of high electricity usage this summer. The plan to keep air-cons' set at 26 degrees is one part of a 5 step plan, to “effectively manage demand during risk periods”.
“We can’t change the fact that Queensland will continue to have heatwaves and extreme weather events and, while we cannot predict every risk scenario, the taskforce has presented a way forward for the short and medium-term,” said Energy Minister, Mark Bailey.
Businesses will also be asked to set their aircon at no lower than 26 degrees to help “manage demand and mitigate the risk of load-shedding”.
“Workplaces may be asked to use air conditioning at 26 degrees only in occupied spaces, avoid using advertising lights and other non-essential lighting, and turn off non-essential electrical equipment,” the plan states.
As part of the Power System Summer Preparedness Plan, the PeakSmart air conditioning program is also being expanded to regional Queensland, where residents will receive up to $400 cashback if they purchase a PeakSmart air conditioner.
“Not only is this an innovative program that assists Energy Queensland with managing peak demand, it also provides households with additional cash that can make their electricity bill more affordable,” said Queensland Treasurer, Curtis Pitt.
Energy Minister Mark Bailey said households taking part in the PeakSmart program wouldn’t have their air-conditioning turned off during peak times, but instead, air-con would run at a lower level.
“It is simply a win-win – households and businesses get a highly efficient air conditioner that is, lower operating costs and our networks can better manage high demand,” he said.
While it appears that Queenslanders may have a tough summer ahead, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen an unconventional scheme to control Australia’s energy usage.
Mozo recently reported on the new “demand management strategy” in Victoria, where Aussies will earn credits on their energy bill by turning off air-cons and pool pumps for 30 minutes a day during peak hours.
And for NSW, an energy relief package was released and offers discounts to households and small businesses who trade in their old energy-draining appliances for energy-efficient options.
How to keep cool this summer and slash your energy bill
Unplug - Instead of staying glued to the TV or computer this summer, make the effort to unplug appliances and embrace the great outdoors - you’ll save 5% on your energy bill!
Chill your sheets - Some of us cannot sleep without the feeling of a sheet over us, but by keeping the aircon on while you snooze, you’re adding $270 to your bill. Try putting your sheets in the freezer a few hours before bed - just remember to put them in a plastic bag first or you’ll be sleeping on ice, literally.
Try cold showers - Put your willpower to the test by having cold showers. Not only will this cut down your bill, but cold showers have been proven to improve your health!
Use appliances during off-peak hours - This will work in your favour if you’ve got a flexible energy plan and are able to get a cheaper rate during off-peak times. Do your washing early in the morning and run the dishwasher at night.
One tip we can all benefit from is by switching energy providers to find a better value plan. Check out Mozo’s energy comparison tool and switch to a better plan today.