Earlier in 2022, five Australian states were warned they could face power outages and blackouts. The situation was so dire that the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) suspended the spot market through the five states that make up the National Electricity Market (or NEM). These five states were New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Tasmania, and South Australia.
Although they were able to keep the grid up and running, you might be concerned about the future and what you can do to prepare for an energy crisis. This article will give you actionable tips and steps you can take to ensure you can cope in the event of blackouts and your part in solving the energy crisis facing Australia and the world at large.
Surviving a Blackout
We’ve faced brutally cold winters and sweltering hot summers in recent years. It’s imperative to find alternate methods of staying warm/cool and keeping your home running when the power goes out. However, if you’re in a situation where medical devices need electricity to run or face other life-threatening situations during a blackout, you should reach out to emergency services by dialling 000.
Beyond these emergency situations, there are three key areas you should focus on when there’s a power outage. 1) Keep yourself and your family warm during winter/cool during summer. 2) Keeping access to fresh and hot water. 3) Keeping the fridge running to preserve as much food as possible.
You’ll also want to consider having torches on hand, alongside backup batteries. And you’ll want to have a portable charger on hand so you can keep your mobile phone charged as well.
Keeping Your Family and Yourself Warm During a Blackout
Freezing temperatures can quickly make a bad situation worse. So what can you do to stay warm during a power outage? If you have gas-powered appliances such as a stove, water heater, and general heater, then there’s some good news. These don’t require electricity to function so you can run them as normal.
However, if they don’t have gas-powered units, you can resort to using a fireplace or combustion heater if you have those. You just need to make sure you have some firewood on hand. In the worst case, you can use dried, dead wood from the outside.
But what if everything uses electricity? You’ll need to get creative but here are some things you can do to keep yourself warm in a blackout:
- Wear layers of thick clothes and coats
- Cover the doors and windows with heavy blankets
- Cover the floors with rugs and blankets to help with insulation
- Find the warmest room in your house and spend time there (e.g. rooms that get direct sunlight)
Install Solar Panels on Your Home
While staying warm or cool can be achieved through alternative methods, keeping the lights on and the fridge running will require something else. A generator is a good choice but there’s another option that’s even better– solar power.
Solar panels can future-proof your home and lower your energy costs when things are working as normal. Although there are a lot of upfront costs to get solar installed, it will pay for itself with energy savings and keep you with power during blackouts. Furthermore, you can get paid for excess energy that is diverted back to the grid for others to use.
You can also save up energy in solar batteries so you can keep your appliances and electronics running when it’s cloudy outside, nighttime, or there’s a prolonged power outage. This is especially useful if you or your family need power for critical medical devices to stay healthy and alive.
Be Mindful of Your Energy Consumption
The best way to beat an energy crisis is to avoid one altogether. You can play your part by being mindful of your own energy consumption. For instance, don’t turn your heat all the way up during the winter because the higher the thermostat, the more energy is needed to reach that temperature. Find a modest temp where your family is comfortable and employ tactics such as wearing long sleeves and using heavy blankets.
Also, be mindful of leaving on appliances and electronics that aren’t in use. Here are something steps you can take to lower your energy consumption:
- Turn off your AC/heater at night if it isn’t completely necessary
- Use a smart thermostat to turn off your unit when not at home and in rooms not being used
- Wash your dishes by hand instead of running them through a dishwasher
- Turn off your TVs, gaming consoles, computers, and other electronics when no one is using them
- Turn off lights in rooms no one is using
The goal is to relieve stress from the grid, so that it doesn’t become overloaded and goes out for everyone. Not only will it save you from experiencing power outages, but it’ll also save you money in the long run. However, if you use the tips given in this article, you’ll know what you can do to be prepared when the lights go out.
Save Energy with ActronAir
Investing in an energy-efficient AC unit specifically developed and designed for Australian weather is another way you can do your part to fight the energy crisis. We’re an Australian-owned company with over 35 years of experience with air conditioners, helping Australians throughout both cold winters and hot summers. Learn more about which ActronAir unit would be best for your home by contacting us today!