Why is is important to save power during peak time?

Peak demand is the time of day when energy use is at its highest - generally when people come home and plug in their air conditioners and pop the TV on.

So why it is important to lower your use between 4​ p.m. and 8​ p.m.? Here are a few ways you - and also the rest of the country - can benefit financially.

How can lowering your peak energy bill help you reduce your electricity prices?

Using less power at any time of the day can reduce your power bills. However, there are some advantages of reducing your needs during peak hour.

The cost of power during peak times is higher, as high demand places extra strain on the current infrastructure. This is why you may notice off- and on-peak charges on your electricity bill. If you can use the bulk of your power during off-peak hours, you may benefit from discounted electricity bills.

Not all power companies offer this service, so you may want to do an electricity comparison to see if there is a deal out there that can better suit your needs.

Why is it good for the entire country to use less peak time electricity?

During these peak hours strain is placed on Australia's infrastructure as it struggles to cope with the extra demand.

This is of particular concern during the warmer months, as more and more people go home to turn on their air conditioning units and other household appliances.

The extra load this places on the electricity network has resulted in the development of extra infrastructure to ensure the systems can cope with demand.

According to Energex, 16 per cent of the network's capacity is only used to cater for a few hours on the hottest days of the year. 

Here are a few tips to ensure you make the most of the cheaper tariff during off-peak time. 

How can you reduce peak time use?

If you can avoid running certain appliances from 4​ p.m.- 8​ p.m. you may notice a drop in your bills. It is best to run your washing machine, dryer and dishwasher in the morning or later on at night if you can.

When the weather warms up, you may need to use your air conditioning unit to stay cool. However, it is best to set it to 24 degrees in order to reduce the amount of power it uses. For every degree under this amount you will add 10 per cent to your cooling bill. If possible, you could limit its use to one room by closing the doors and windows to ensure you are using it as efficiently as possible. 

You could also consider hanging your clothes out on the line to dry in the sun during the spring. 

Speaking of warmer weather, during the spring you could also consider using a barbecue, rather than a more energy-intensive appliance such as the oven or stovetop, to cook your evening meal.

Other energy-efficient measures can be used, such as turning off other appliances and lights when they are not in use. Reducing standby power is one of the easiest ways you can reduce your power consumption. An energy-saving power board can help you do this as you can turn all appliances in a room off using only one 

If you are replacing older appliances with newer models, it may also pay to buy the most energy-efficient model you can. This can be easily determined by looking at the star rating. The more stars an appliance has, the more efficient it will be.

These may seem like small changes, but you could be surprised by the difference they make on your power bills.

Posted by Liam Tunney.