electricity

Why 'Fixed Price' Electricity Contracts Are Not Worth Signing Up For

Think that by signing a fixed-price contract for electricity or gas you’ll know what the rate is for the life of the contract? Think again. The market regulator has confirmed that power companies have the right to change the rates charged on a fixed-price contract whenever they like — even before the deal begins. What a ridiculous joke.


How We Use Electricity On Christmas Day

On Christmas Day in Australia, fewer people are at their paid employment and more working premises are closed than on any other day in the year. How does this affect demand for electricity, widely seen as fundamentally associated with economic activity?


Five Best Battery Backups/UPS Units

Blackouts, surges and brownouts can all wreak havoc on your electronics. A solid battery backup/uninterruptible power supply (UPS) will keep your gear safe from surges, condition the power as it comes in, and ensure your machine keeps running until you can turn it off safely in case of a power outage. This week, we’re looking at five of the best, based on your nominations.


How Does The Electricity Grid Work?

Where would we be without electricity? Assuming that you own a fridge, there won’t be many points in your life when you aren’t making use of it. But what do we mean when we talk about the electricity grid?


DIY Challenge: Create A Self-Lighting Candle (With Dimmer Switch)

Industrial designer Zelf Koelman has built a fabulously twee alternative to electric light: an auto-lighting candle rig that even has a dimmer switch. Watch the video to see how it was done.


The Hidden Costs Of Lower Electricity Bills

No lights, no power, no internet — and no easy solutions. Fumbling around in a middle of a blackout, hoping to find a torch or some spare batteries, I was struck by just how utterly dependent most of us in Australia have become on low-cost, easy-to-use electricity.


Ask LH: Will Electricity Smart Switches Damage My Equipment?

Dear Lifehacker, I recently had free government-sponsored Embertec smart switches installed which help save power by turning off appliances in standby mode. The equipment works well, however, I have heard of concerns about using these, mostly about the temperature of the electrical equipment in standby mode and how this changes with the equipment being fully switched off. Do you know if there is any real risk of damaging AV equipment by using smart switches? Thanks, Switching Teams


Which Hurts More: AC Or DC Power?

You shouldn’t deliberately hurt yourself with electricity. I’ll repeat that. You shouldn’t deliberately hurt yourself with electricity. But if you do so accidentally, which type of current hurts more?


How Frequent Are Power Blackouts And What Causes Them?

Last year, there were 94 significant power outages reported across Australia and New Zealand, according to the Eaton Blackout Tracker. The causes ranged from rampaging hot air balloons to kamikaze possums. Let’s dig into the statistics.


How Does Peak Power Affect Electricity Prices?

This is the year of electricity prices. Everyone, from the Prime Minister to your favourite barista, is talking about the recent rapid escalation in electricity prices. These increases are a complex story of governments, regulation and an investment program of $42 billion. To put it simply: there is the need to replace ageing assets and to meet safety and reliability standards. But the real bad boy is peak power.