Maximizing Excess Energy in NZ

Aug 14, 2020
By Staff writer

Power generation involves both excesses and losses that affect how we use electricity. How power companies use excess energy depends on their infrastructure and client base. You may want to maximize excess energy but don't know how to start; your current provider doesn't buy excess energy either. You may want to sell excess solar energy, however not all providers are in the market to buy. 

Simply put, you can make the most of your energy, but only with the right provider. 

Let’s take a further look into maximizing excess energy in NZ...

What do power companies do with excess energy?

In New Zealand, power companies handle excess energy in two ways: buying from consumers and reusing by co-generation.

There’s around eight power companies in New Zealand - including Meridian Energy, Contact Energy, and Trustpower - that buy excess energy from Kiwi households. When consumers have excess power, these providers can purchase and reuse it for power generation. This system is sustainable and environmentally friendly, allowing consumers to generate income by saving excess power. Providers, in turn,  save power by encouraging consumers to save energy. This is a win-win situation for providers and consumers, as both ends are able to save power and money. 

When companies buy excess electricity, they reuse and spread it across consumers and industries. Extra energy from industrial sites is converted to steam, and then to electricity through co-generation. Anything extra from the site is transferred to the National Grid. While this is a way to recycle and to maximize extra energy, it also has downsides; one being the moderate greenhouse gas emissions emitted. 

How do power companies minimize energy loss?

Energy loss happens due to the Joule effect; this is when energy is shed in the conductors as heat during the process of long distance transmission (between the site and the consumer). 

The Electricity Authority summarizes this as: the longer the distance and the lower the voltage, the higher the energy loss. Does this mean that higher voltage minimizes energy loss? Yes; high voltage causes lower currents, and thus less resistance to the conductors, minimizing energy loss. The EA recommends that power companies adopt energy-efficient systems to counteract these losses. 

How do power companies buy excess energy?

With many Kiwis nowadays using solar panels, power companies are able to buy solar power from consumers, as it’s easy to store. This is called buy-back tariff, a scheme wherein electrical companies can buy saved solar energy directly from the grid. According to NZ Herald, Contact and Meridian Energy offer the best rates for purchasing excess energy. 

If you have solar panels installed at home, you may qualify for this income-generating scheme. Wondering exactly how to sell solar energy? It’s really quite simple. You just need to check your latest electricity bill and ensure that you have excess solar energy. Not interested in selling your excess energy? You can maximize power instead by avoiding peak hours wherein the demand for electricity spikes. 

What’s the best way to maximize energy?

During peak hours, Kiwis experience the adrenaline-pumping rush hours, stretching our infrastructure to the extent that power companies need to do back-up generation. Our demand for electricity also peaks during winter and the cold months, and as a result, our bills rise.

When power plants do back-up generation, energy is consumed at a higher rate and carbon emissions increase. You can maximize electrical power by avoiding excessive energy use during peak hours. Turn appliances on when electricity demand is low. You can even make a defined schedule on when to turn appliances on. 

Find the best power provider for even more savings

By finding and selecting the best power company that suits your needs, you can ensure you’re getting the most from your power plan. If you feel the need to switch to a better provider or power plan, you can compare all of your options here at Glimp. 

You can easily compare how NZ power companies handle energy loss and excess energy, and select the best provider that ticks all the right boxes. When it comes to maximizing power in your household, you can do so with the right power plan and provider.

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