Aucklanders consumed a whopping 32.8 gigawatt hours of power yesterday – the highest daily electricity usage across Vector’s network this year, and 2.3 gigawatt hours more than the heaviest usage day last winter.
At roughly 6pm Tuesday night Aucklanders used 1833 megawatts of energy instantaneously – that’s 67 megawatts higher than last winter’s peak, and the second highest for Vector ever.
“To put it in perspective, the peak of 1833 megawatts is enough power to run 450 floodlight lit rugby games in stadiums the size of Eden Park at the same time,” said Vector’s Chief Network’s Officer Andre Botha.
“And 32.8 gigawatt hours is enough to light up a full Vector Lights show on Auckland’s harbour bridge and have it running for more than 167 years.
“We’re really pleased to see that despite the rapid surge in demand the network responded well,” Andre said.
Vector’s highest peak demand ever recorded was in the winter of 2012 when the peak usage reached approximately 1941 megawatts.
With meteorologists predicting a colder than normal winter this year, it is possible that the highest peak for this winter is yet to come.
Andre adds, “The seasons play a big role in how we manage the network and every year at the start of winter we work hard to ensure we are doing everything we can to deliver a consistent experience for customers.
“We’re continually investing in making the network more resilient. We’re also investing heavily in new technology to meet customer expectation and help improve the way we distribute energy across the network, which will play an increasingly important part as seasonal weather patterns become harder to predict.”
Vector’s top tips for keeping your power bill down over the brisk winter months.
Turn off your heaters when you don’t need them, like when you jump into bed or leave the house. If your appliances have them, use timers to switch heaters on in the morning before you’re due to get out of bed, rather than have the heaters running throughout the night.
Keep electricity use to a minimum in the kitchen. With lots of appliances on the go during dinner time, saving small amounts of energy over many tasks can stack up your electricity savings. Defrost food in your fridge or covered on the benchtop to prevent thawing it in the microwave and reducing its cooking time. Put lids on your pots to speed up cooking time. Like your washing machine, only use your dishwasher when it’s full and use the eco-cycle if it’s available.
Switch up your light bulbs from old power-draining models to energy-efficient LED bulbs, which last longer and save more energy.
Shut doors and close curtains. Seems obvious, but shutting off the areas of the house you’re trying to warm heats that space up faster. Make sure your curtains or blinds seal your windows properly, and plug the gaps beneath your doors to stop hot air from escaping.
Wash your clothes in cold water. The energy used by big appliances like washing machines really drive up energy bills. Select the shortest washing cycle or wait until you have enough clothes for a full washing load.
Check you’re on the right pricing tariff. A tariff is the pricing structure agreed by you with your electricity retailer. There are many available to choose from (from fixed rates charged daily, to variable charges based on the actual power used). Check with your retailer (or compare your retailer with others online) to see if there are options for you to get a better rate and cheaper power bill.
The 24 hour measurement period relates to energy consumed by users of Vector’s lines network between 8:30am on Tuesday 26 June and 8:30am Wednesday 27 June.