The energy market has proved again to be one of the most volatile commodity markets in Australia, much to the dread of businesses. While many people have opinions over where the cost of power, the truth is that no one really knows.

Since the closure of the Hazelwood Power Plant, energy prices began to stabilise and then started falling steadily. This seemed like a sign that Australia was heading back towards some normality after winning the title of the most expensive wholesale energy in the world.

Politicians promoted this as a sign their various energy policies were working, while energy analysts were split with some thinking the market was equalising while others were unconvinced Australia had fixed the underlying issues in baseload energy supply.

As it turns out the latter were right – the wholesale cost of power has increased by more than 15% in 6 weeks due to an unseasonable cold snap in the southeastern states.

This cold blast meant that natural gas supplies were in high demand, meaning gas electricity production became more expensive. The demand for power also increased with more households trying to keep warm. At the same time, a planned maintenance shutdown of Bayswater Power Station and an unplanned shutdown of Lidell for maintenance meant the supply shortages again saw the market react.

The net result is a 15% surge which will hit Victorian bills in January, NSW bills in July, and Queensland bills in April. The equals tens of thousands of dollars out of pocket for fabricators already feeling the heat of high prices.

Frame and Truss Fabricators, as well as timber processors and sawmills are able to seek relief by installing commercial solar. Solar isn’t for everyone, but for fabricators that use the bulk of their power during the day, solar can be hugely beneficial against the climbing cost of power and giving them back some control over their costs.

A recent example is the team at Calco Truss and Timber who are working with Choice Energy to reduce the consumption at their two major production sites. While August in Victoria isn’t the sunniest time of year, Spring is just around the corner and with it the best nine months of solar production. Choice Energy will be working with the team at Calco ensuring their systems are optimised and producing a high level of savings for a long time to come.

If you would like Choice Energy to talk to you about ways you can avoid higher energy prices, please email:

Photos: Choice Energy’s work

with Calco Truss & Timber