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Power demand down despite record heatwave

Tuesday January 22, 2013 - 09:23 EDT
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Macquarie Generation says a combination of high power prices, more solar energy, and more efficient use of appliances has reduced power usage. - ABC

Macquarie Generation says the fact that last week's record hot temperatures did not set a summer record for power use, shows how well people are managing their energy usage.

Nobbys recorded its hottest day on record on Friday, with the mercury going above 42 degrees and the entire Hunter region was sweltering at temperatures well above 40.

But, the operator of the Hunter Valley's largest power stations says the peak period for power generation late in the afternoon was well below previous records.

Macquarie Generation's Rob Cooper says it is a combination of high power prices, more solar energy, and more efficient use of appliances.

"It spiked from the generation point of view about 4:30 in the afternoon, it tends to be when people get home and start to put air conditioners on and that sort of thing, and it was in the range of over 13,700 megawatts, which is not a summer record," he said.

"A summer record was set a few years earlier, with an additional 500 or 600 megawatts on top of that."

Mr Cooper says there are several factors driving the change.

"Increased use of roof-top solar, various demand management initiatives, obviously the recent increases in prices that people are seeing at home, all of those factors have led to a reduction in electricity demand over recent years," he said.

"So the fact we had such an incredibly hot day, but we didn't see record demand is another indicator that demand has been dropping in recent years."


- ABC

© ABC 2013

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