Power down II – Australia’s electricity demand

by Hugh Saddler

Power Down, Australia Institute Paper 14, analysed the changes in electricity demand in Australia’s National Electricity Market (NEM) between 2006 and 2013. Since 2010, electricity demand has been characterised by an entirely unprecedented steady fall in the total quantity of electricity consumed each year. Power Down concluded that a number of different factors had contributed to this reduction in demand; the factors include, but are not confined to:

  • national regulations mandating the increased energy efficiency of new appliances, equipment and buildings;
  • a change in the behaviour of electricity consumers since 2010;
  • the closure of a small number of large electricity consuming manufacturing facilities; and
  • the growth in electricity supplied from rooftop photovoltaic installations.

This paper both updates and extends that analysis, bringing in data from an additional year, 2014, and using additional data sources to separate consumption by residential consumers from consumption by business customers with small and medium demand levels, termed in this paper general business. 

Full report