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energy crisis

The lowdown on Australia’s energy crisis

27 Feb 2018
Chris - amaysim blogger

Chris

amaysim's Energy guru

There’s a lot of confusing information about Australia’s energy crisis on the web. Get the simple facts you need to know here.

Australia’s energy crisis. You’ve read the doom and gloom headlines and watched politicians bicker about it on TV. With so many contributing factors to break down and finger pointing occurring, it can be a little tricky to understand what’s happening.

Don’t let media-scare tactics let you believe we’re in for an energy apocalypse. We can help navigate you through Australia’s energy crisis (so there’s no need to start packing your bags for Canada just yet).

the crisis: what is it?

To start off: what is Australia’s energy crisis?

Stated plainly, it means our power is becoming one of the priciest in the world due to our limited supply of energy for the demand of our economy. Yikes.

Also, in spite of gradual attempts to utilise more renewable energy, Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions continue to climb, which isn’t a great look. A stable national energy system needs to be reliable, affordable, and low in carbon emissions.

To understand the current energy crisis, let’s take a look at how the heck it happened.

the gas crisis

Gas is currently in a supply and demand crisis. The majority of gas produced in Australia is exported overseas, which has meant a reduction in domestic gas supply. The shortage of gas available has increased the price considerably.

Unfortunately for us, experts predict the gas shortfall will be 3 times worse than previously expected for 2018. Fortunately, Malcolm Turnbull seems to be all over it and gas producers have agreed to increase supply for the local demand. Phew (for now).

balancing renewable energy and fossil fuels

Along with the gas shortage, the closure of several coal-fired energy generators has been labelled one of the top contributors to the energy crisis in Australia. The generators closing down coincide with their end-of-life date but it’s also to help make the transition towards renewable sources, such as wind and solar power. In theory, this is awesome for reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. However, renewable energy is pricey and can’t yet meet the current energy demands to make up for the generators being shut down abruptly, which has also placed higher demand on gas.

no clear-cut policy

There’s no denying the lack of a consistent policy on cutting greenhouse gas emissions has contributed to Australia’s unstable energy system. The back-and-forth between governments in power and the disagreement among politicians on a suitable policy has greatly impacted Australia’s ability to smoothly transition to a cleaner energy system.

In order to decrease energy prices, a Clean Energy Target (or similar) should be implemented. But we’ll leave that one up to parliament.

what it means

So what does this mean for you at home? The crux of it is the retail price of electricity and gas has increased and will continue to climb. If you don’t have a decent energy plan in place, you may be hit with the brunt of the cost. Energy retailers are upping their electricity and gas prices – if you’re not with the right energy provider you’ll be shelling out more dollars per year on your power bill.

The other thing is the power grid might not keep up with the high energy demands, which would result in power outages. The inclusion of nonsynchronous generated power such as solar and wind, means the grid is less stable and more prone to possible blackouts as it cannot deal with a sudden change in frequency – like the blackout South Australia experienced due to wild weather in 2016. To stabilise the system, it’s been suggested that we need a greater mix of renewable energy.

what you can do

We aren’t about to succumb to eternal darkness tomorrow, but we still might be hit with a hefty price.

So how can you avoid being hit with costly energy bills? It starts and ends with your energy provider. Make sure your energy plan is cost-effective and suitable for your household’s needs; shop around and compare the prices of energy plans to ensure you’re receiving the best deal.

If you haven’t already, implementing green energy in your home such as solar power is a great way to reduce your power bill as well as your carbon footprint. Switching to an energy retailer who is investing in a renewable market is a step towards a stable energy system in Australia.

So, if you're looking to make the switch, remember to check out our great-value home energy plans.

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winter energy

5 Ways to Reduce Winter Energy Usage

10 May 2020

Many of us watch our energy bills creep up during the peak of winter, but a warm home doesn’t have to go hand in hand with a massive power bill. These energy saving tips will help you discover how to save electricity in winter. Try our seasonal winter home energy saving tips and keep your energy bill manageable.

1. Stay old school, where possible

Being able to walk around your home without having to wear a lot of layers or carry a blanket is a wonderful luxury in winter. However, there’s a certain vintage charm to getting warm under a heavy blanket while the air outside your cosy blanket haven is still chilly.

Keeping things old school as much as you can, pulling out thermals, putting on socks, and cuddling up for warmth during a Netflix session, are some of our favourite power saving tips for winter.

Smart Home Devices

2. Go smart

Not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about how to lower an electricity bill in winter, but smart devices can help you save heaps when it comes to your power bill.

If you use household heating, a programmable smart thermostat can save households up to $180 per year in heating and cooling costs, according to Energy Star. Some of these smart home devices can even be operated from smartphones, for when you just don’t want to leave the warmth of your blanket.

Who would have thought having an awesome home automation setup would bring your energy bill down!

Standby Power

3. Upgrade to energy efficient appliances

Just like choosing smart devices to save power, you can upgrade to energy-efficient appliances to save power too.

In Australia, most household appliances are rated according to their energy efficiency. Since efficient appliances use less electricity, they’re way cheaper to run. Of course, you don’t need to toss out your washing machine, dryer, fridge, microwave, and kettle just to save electricity in winter.

If you have an appliance that’s costing you a lot to run, it might actually save you money in the long run to buy a new, more efficient replacement.

Look up the energy ratings for all your big appliances (and small ones too if you can) and find any that could do with replacing.

4. Switch to energy-efficient light bulbs

Energy-efficient bulbs are a no-brainer when it comes to ways to save money on electricity in winter. In fact, you should use these bulbs throughout the year to keep your electricity bill down, no matter the season.

These efficient bulbs use less power to produce the same amount of light. They also last longer than traditional bulbs.

If you feel like splurging, check out smart bulbs, they can be controlled by your phone as well as being energy efficient, neat! The savings from swapping these bulbs alone aren't massive, but every little bit adds up when you know you’ll spend more power heating your home in winter.

5. Build up the washing pile

There’s no point in chucking on two jumpers and a pair of jeans into the washing machine during winter, how dirty could they really be? Before doing a load of washing or drying make sure you have a full basket.

It’s no secret that the washing machine and dryer chew up the most electricity in your house. Don’t let the chilly season increase your wash load because of the more layers of clothing being added to the basket.

Follow these simple tips on how to save electricity in winter and you should hopefully see some great results during the cold season.

Reducing your energy usage all year long will help you get in the mindset before June even comes around or if you want to be even more prepared for when summer rolls around.

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