What should I do during a price spike?


Most price spikes last only a couple of hours. The best thing you can do to minimise costs during a spike is to shift energy intensive activities earlier or later during the day to avoid the spike.

Energy intensive activities include:

  • Cooking with an electric stove top or running the oven
  • Heating and cooling (excluding fans) 
  • Using electric kettles
  • Washing (laundry or dishes)
  • Showers and baths using electric hot water
  • Make sure any non-essential appliances (like pool pumps) are turned off

What to do during a price spike

Price spikes typically happen during hot summer evenings when lots of people are cooking dinner and running the aircon at the same time, putting strain on the grid.

Everyone needs to cook dinner and keep the house cool, but shifting these activities earlier or later in the day will make a big difference to your energy costs on price spike days. For your household, this might look like:

  • Pre-cooling the house during the afternoon when there's still plenty of solar in the grid, then switching off the air-conditioner and running a fan during a price spike, if it's safe to do so
  • Cooking dinner earlier or later than normal, or treating the house to take-away with the savings you've made by reducing your usage during the spike
  • Going on a family outing during the spike - to a shopping centre, a restaurant, the cinemas, or to the beach

You don't need to sit in the dark

There are many devices that you can keep using normally even when the wholesale price is spiking. Because they use way less power than your large appliances they'll still be relatively cheap to run:

  • Run fans to keep cool
  • Continue with normal use of your lights
  • Use electronic devices, such as your TV or laptop
  • Continue running “always on” devices, such as your fridge
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