Going into 2018, most of Australia and particularly the Western states face a significant shortage of gas leading to the power supply as well as security risks. According to AEMO, SA and NSW are likely to meet the most brunt from this emerging scenario. If things fail to change rapidly for the better, the choice for Australia could be difficult, as between keeping power supplies on versus cutting the supply of gas t business and residential customers. Without new initiatives to step up electricity generation from gas powered plants, the supply shortfalls are predicted to reach alarming proportions by 2020/21 and could further deteriorate in the coming years. Fast tracking the pipeline upgrade has been cited as one measure to help curtailment of gas supplies in the upcoming winter, particularly for big users. The south-west pipeline is in urgent need of an upgrade so that the underground storage for gas in Iona, Victoria can be refilled to address the peak demand during winter.
Climate counsel recommends installing solar power system
1.5 million Australian households have chosen solar power systems, and a further incentive for others to follow is the price of battery storage and solar panels getting cheaper consistently. Over the next five years, some 35% Australian households are planning to invest in solar power systems. For citizens who are building new homes, the council recommends the use of heat pumps or reverse cycle air conditioning.
Exploring alternatives to switching off gas
Consumers are now being advised to explore alternatives to turning off the gas. With moratoriums and bans on fracking in some parts of the nation, onshore gas production is unlikely to be the saviour any time soon. Add to this, the fact that the overall energy mix for the country is witnessing rapid changes, we seem to be heading for blackouts in many states. Consumer groups believe that it is perhaps too early to move away from gas even on the face of the impending energy shortages and the consequent impact on gas supplies. However, based on the website of some suppliers, they recommend their renewable energy. They believe the renewable technologies become the trend for the future.
Householders should research competitive offers from a wide range of energy sources
The ECA is advocating that householders should examine offers from a basket of energy providers to identify what is most competitive. Rosemary Sinclair, the CEO of ECA says that the exercise is worth doing for the consumers and they could potentially save $100 to $200 every year and spending about an hour on the research is worth the effort. Further, it could take some more months before the COAG can make any recommendations for consumers for a long term approach to manage household energy consumption. The Council of Australian Governments will wait till Alan Finkel; the chief scientist submits an independent report.
LED lights and solar are among the recommendations to keep the bills down
Meanwhile, experts are urging consumers to explore ways of finding most efficient temperatures for operating air conditioners, the best time for using the appliance as well as avoiding using multiple machines simultaneously. Other recommendations include switching to LED lights and going for energy-efficient appliances to achieve reduced consumption.
More information on how to pay less on your energy bills can be found at www.energymadeeasy.gov.au