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Power use soars as "aircons" pump

Published: 19 Jan 2015 4:20pm

Electricity use across regional Queensland soared over the weekend as people turned to air-conditioning for relief from high temperatures and humidity.

Executive General Manager Customer Service Peter Billing said the peak use of 2059 megawatts occurred at 8.10 Sunday night but was no where near a record.

The previous record for regional Queensland was 2725 megawatts set in January 2013.

Mr Billing said high electricity consumption is expected to continue for the remainder of the week with the Bureau of Meteorology forecasting temperatures in the mid to high 30's in many population centres.

He said consumption is typically much lower on weekends due to less industrial and commercial usage, likely indicating high residential cooling demand.

"The electricity network is coping well with the present demand," he said.

"We have managed investment in the network in recent years to ensure it can cope with the steadily rising peak demand during hot spells like this."

However, Mr Billing said there are some handy tips that customers can remember to ensure they efficiently use their air conditioners.

"We understand that people will use air conditioners for their comfort in these conditions, but they can reduce the cost by following some simple steps," he said.

Ergon Energy's top six ways to save on air conditioner costs include:

1.    Set your air conditioner to 25°C. It's the most comfortable and energy-efficient temperature setting for summer. For each degree you drop, you'll add to your electricity costs.

2.    Close windows and doors in areas you want to cool. And remember to close blinds and curtains too. It keeps the heat out of your home and makes your air conditioner more efficient.

3.    Use a fan and open up your home to create cross-breezes instead of switching on your air conditioner. Fans are always friendlier on your hip pocket than switching on your air conditioner. Ceiling fans cost about 2 cents an hour to run compared with air-conditioners which, depending on the size, can cost between 13 and 49 cents an hour to run.

4.    Turn off your air conditioner when you're out. Leaving it on wastes energy and costs you more.

5.    Clean the filter pads on your air conditioner regularly. This helps to ensure it runs efficiently. An efficient air-conditioner will cost you less to run.

6.    Install ceiling insulation with a minimum rating that suits your location to keep the heat out of your home. This well help to ensure your aircon can work more efficiently.

Mr Billing said refrigeration was the other big user of power and he encouraged customers to ensure their fridge seals were in good condition, the fridge was only opened when necessary and a second fridge was turned off if possible.

He said pool users could reduce the cost of filtration using an off-peak tariff or an energy efficient pool pump.

Media Contact: John Fowler
Phone: (07) 4432 8730

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