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Free Power, You Say?

May 2, 2024
Article by Emily Peterson

Electricity tariffs are fixed and there isn’t much room to create competition between providers and to offer value to customers. Or is there?

On the 25th of January, I participated in the launch of Aurora Energy’s ‘Power Hours’ event for Aurora+ customers. Via the Aurora+ app, I selected my three-hour time slot for free power and prayed that my little people would allow me to make the most of it!

On the day, I wish I’d had time to get food ready to go into the oven (imagine three hours of free oven power!) and that I had a friend on hand to vacuum the house for me while I did everything else. It was not to be. But I am very thankful that, for the FULL THREE HOURS, my four-month-old baby slept!

Meanwhile, I was a headless chook. To begin, I charged our devices, put on a load of washing, put a pot of bone broth on, baked a cake (the older

kids were very excited about this), hand washed some dishes and hot rinsed cloth nappies. In the next hour, I cooked dinner (roast veg in the oven, steamed veg in the Thermomix), put on another load of clothes and ran the dishwasher. I also plugged the cordless vacuum in as I’d forgotten to dothat earlier.

In the final hour, I cooled the house and had planned to vacuum while my husband looked after the kids. It was not to be (he was caught up at work) so I only managed to vacuum for about 20 minutes. Still, I was pretty pleased with my efforts (and very impressed with the baby!).

My strategy was to use hot water early in the three hour period (to allow time for water to heat back up during my free power timeslot) and to have devices constantly in use (e.g. washing machine, chargers and oven).

So what did I save? In summer, my average power bill is about $4 per day (in winter it’s much more expensive as we run the heating). I’d say that I did very well to reach the $2.57 that the Aurora+ app tells me I saved. Mind you, I worked very hard for a rate of just 86 cents per hour!

Would I participate again? Yes. The savings aren’t anything to write home about but they are savings and I also enjoyed having the incentive to do a burst of cooking and housework. Next time, I’d like to have more prep time. I’m also considering inviting friends over. We’ll swap free device charging for help cooking and vacuuming. Just kidding! I’ll be keeping an eye out for the next Power Hour event.


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