Reducing peak demand at home

Peak demand is when electricity usage on the network is at its highest. In the short term this can increase the chance of power outages. Long term it can contribute to the need for costly network upgrades that can lead to electricity price rises.

While we've developed a number of programs and strategies to help lower the effects of peak demand, there's also plenty you can do.

When is peak demand time?

Peak demand at home usually occurs later in the day, between 4pm and 8pm. This is when most people come home and switch on the lights, air conditioning, TV and computer, start cooking, having showers and washing clothes etc. All of this evening activity contributes to a big spike in residential energy usage.

Our network demand monitor shows real-time electricity usage and is a great way to learn more about peak demand times.

How does it affect you?

Power outages at home

The higher the peak demand in an area, the higher the chance of power outages. This can occur if the demand for electricity has outgrown the network originally built for the area and it can no longer keep up at peak times.

Electricity price rises

To stop these power outages, we have to spend more to upgrade the electricity network in areas with high peak demand. This cost is one of the causes of electricity price rises.

Reduce peak demand at home

Reducing peak demand is not about stopping electricity use altogether, but thinking when and how you use appliances. Choosing energy efficient appliances and using them efficiently will help lower electricity usage and demand.

Give these tips a try:

  • Use appliances only when necessary and switch them off when they're not being used
  • Set your air conditioner to an energy-efficient 25 degrees
  • Put the dishwasher on after 8pm rather than straight after dinner
  • Talk to a licensed electrician about switching your pool pump, hot water system and dishwasher to an economy tariff
  • Talk to your local pool shop about replacing your fixed speed pool pump with an energy efficient variable speed pool pump
  • Do things like ironing, baking, clothes washing and using clothes dryers outside the peak period
  • Install a Home Energy Management system that has the ability to measure your home's energy consumption and/or demand, and program appliances to run outside peak times.

By following these simple tips, you'll be doing your bit to help reduce electricity demand during peak times.

Read our other great energy tips for home.  And make sure you check out our Ergon Incentives programs.  You may be eligible to apply for cashback incentives by reducing your peak demand.

Time of use tariffs

Residential customers are charged a flat rate for the electricity they consume under the General Supply Tariff 11.  But to reflect the impact of customers using appliances at peak time, new tariffs are being offered. These tariffs charge higher rates during peak time, but offer significant discounts for electricity consumed during off-peak times.

If your household can manage energy consumption during peak times by implementing some of the tips above, you could see savings on your bill.  Find out more about time of use tariffs.