Power surge as region battles heat

AS THE mercury soared to new heights earlier this week, so too did the region's power bills.

While Warwick residents sweated through temperatures up to 37 degrees, many it would seem turned to their air-conditioners to cool down.

Ergon Energy Corporate Communications Manager for the southern region Rod Rehbein said Monday's energy usage didn't quite reach new record levels.

"The peak usage across the region statewide (on Monday) was 2079MW at 3.54pm," he said.

"Ergon Energy's statewide usage record has been 2285MW."

Locally, and despite temperatures staying above the 35 degree mark, less electricity was used yesterday in the south-west region than it was Monday.

"(Yesterday's) usage was 320MW, compared with 344MW at the same time the day before, so the south-west wasn't trending as high (yesterday)," he said.

The Wide Bay area must have been feeling even hotter under the collar yesterday, peaking at 632MW at 3.17pm.

The south-west record for Ergon Energy consumption is 389MW.

Mr Rehbein said energy usage was "no doubt" driven by the weather, but he said this week's readings were a fair way off the records.

"We haven't yet got dates for when the state record was set - it could have been a winter peak," he said.

"Heating seems to use more than cooling if people are doing similar amounts."

While most would be dreaming of ice-creams and swimming pools, Warwick Heating and Cooling owner Ian Cairns said it was winter that seems to be on the mind of many of his customers.

He said despite the rising temperatures locally, people seemed to be more interested in heating appliances instead of cooling ones.

"We're probably selling more heaters than we are air-conditioners," he said.

"I think people are either building new houses or renovating and are thinking ahead to winter.

"I've had more heater inquiries than anything else. I've already sold one this week, which this early on isn't too bad."

Mr Cairns said wood fires were one of the more popular heating choices.



  • Set air-conditioners at 25 degrees in summer: it is the most energy-efficient setting.
  • Consider installing insulation.
  • Turn air-conditioners off when leaving home.
  • Switch off water heater when you go on holiday.
  • Open a window instead of using exhaust fans in bathrooms if possible.
  • Use an undercover washing line for natural clothes drying on rainy days.
  • Use a laptop instead of computer at home, which use up to $50 less electricity a year.

Source: Ergon Energy

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