For a few hours a year, the electricity network’s infrastructure (poles and wires) are not able to handle the demand for electricity without intervention – think really hot days when many people are blasting their air con. Some generators are only turned on for as little as 20 hours a year just to meet peak demand.
The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) can either shut down certain areas of the grid (planned blackouts) to avoid larger-scale blackouts or recommend spending large amounts of money to upgrade the grid so it can withstand those few hours a year when demand for electricity reaches its highest. These two solutions aren’t ideal, as one results in black outs and the other results in expensive upgrades.
Rather than relying on these solutions, we work together to collectively reduce how much electricity is being used. It’s cheaper and more efficient, with various retailers getting on board to make this initiative impactful.