Possibly unknown to people outside of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), there’s a longstanding tradition connecting ANZAC Day with heaters in the capital…
Canberra is recognised for lots of things – Parliament House and the War Memorial, beautiful bushland/nature and architecture plus much lighter traffic compared to other eastern cities (must be all those roundabouts!) But, what might not be as well known, at least outside of the ACT, is The ANZAC Day rule. This enduring tradition, dating back to the early 20th century, refers to the conventional local wisdom of not turning the heater on at home until at least April 25. This longstanding custom has been passed down from generation to generation, household to household, and enforced on new residents with a healthy dose of societal pressure!
So, is this just local folklore or are there any facts to back it up? According to the ABC, there are some stats to suggest that energy use has increased between 25 and 35% in the city the week after ANZAC Day in each of the past few years.
That said, The ANZAC Day rule may have been easier to stick to in recent years, even for interstate transplants, as April’s minimum and maximum temperatures have been trending upwards. The last time Canberra recorded a minimum April temperature below zero was actually on ANZAC Day 2011.
The Canberra Times reported, with data from ActewAGL, that space heating accounted for approximately 60% of Canberrans’ energy bills and in 2018 there was a 25% increase in energy during May as opposed to the month of April.
But, with a low of nine degrees forecast by nearly all weather services for tomorrow, perhaps not all Canberrans will be turning on the heater until at least the weekend when the lows will be down to a stark one degree!
AEMO would like to take this opportunity to wish all Australians a very safe, warm and happy ANZAC Day and to express our gratitude to Australian veterans, past and present, for their incredible service and sacrifice.