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It's that time of year again, time to get the heater on?

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23 Apr 2021

It’s that time of year again, the heater is about to go on. Everyone that has been feeling the cold since the end of summer can breathe a sigh of relief this Sunday as they wake up to Anzac Day and they’re allowed to flick the switch on their heater.

Most Canberran’s know the long-standing local tradition that you can’t turn your heater on until Anzac Day, but have you ever wondered why? Do colder temperatures actually start on 25 April, or have we decided that Anzac Day is the best time of the year to start heating your home? We’ve had a look at our data, and we’re pleased to announce we have the answer.

As the owner and operator of both the electricity and gas networks in the ACT, Evoenergy is in a unique position to oversee activity in the energy network and identify trends and patterns in energy consumption, which is important to ensure the ongoing safety, reliability and effective operation of the networks. It also happens to be one of the most interesting things we do!

We get asked for all types of data and observations about energy flows in the networks, but year after year, we can guarantee we’ll be asked about energy consumption levels around Anzac Day. This year, we’ve pulled together data on daily electricity and gas consumption for the month of April for the past five years and compared it to the daily average minimum and maximum temperatures, and the results are clear.

 

April average energy use in the ACT
Source: Evoenergy 2021 & Bureau of Meteorology 2021

 

When we average out the data over the five-year period, you can see that between 24–25 April each year, Canberra’s daily minimum and maximum temperature sharply drops away, and as a result, the heaters go on and energy consumption rises. Although this result is not a surprise, it does confirm that we’re well justified in turning our heaters on from Anzac Day. We turn them on because it gets cold!

Every region in Australia has a different energy consumption profile, and Canberra is one of the few with a defined winter peak, where over half our annual electricity and gas consumption is used between May and September each year, and the bulk of this demand on the energy network is from residential space heating.

As the temperature continues to drop, your heater will become the hardest working appliance in the home and the biggest contributor to your daily energy consumption, so keeping it set to 18 or 19 degrees helps reduce your use and your bills. While your heater has been dormant over summer it may have built up dust, debris and even insects’ nests which can be a fire hazard, so it’s also important to get an annual appliance service by a qualified electrician or gas fitter.

Sadly, too many people in our community won’t turn the heater on this winter. If you’re unable to pay your energy bill or if your circumstances have changed, speak to your retailer to discuss what options and support may be available to you.

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