As Australia and New Zealand prepare to face each other in the Rugby World Cup final this weekend, National Grid reveals how demand for electricity has soared throughout the tournament.
“It’s our job to ensure supply and demand are matched second by second. It’s something we are very good at, but the forecast shows it will be an interesting day for TV pick-ups.”
Jeremy Caplin, Energy Forecasting Manager at National Grid.
Energy experts at National Grid have calculated that the total TV pick-up throughout the tournament so far currently sits at 12,522 megawatts (MW) – the equivalent of 835 million fridge doors being opened at once, or enough power to cook over two million pizzas.
Known as a ‘TV pick-up’, this increase in demand occurs when people boil kettles, open fridge doors or turn the lights on at the same time, often when a television programme has ended or during an ad break.
Analysts expect demand during the final at Twickenham on Saturday afternoon to increase by 650 MW at half time – the equivalent of 43 million fridge doors being opened at once.
Jeremy Caplin, Energy Forecasting Manager at National Grid, said: “Throughout the course of this Rugby World Cup, we’ve seen an interesting pattern of TV pick-ups during half-time and at full-time. This is a strong indication of how popular the tournament has been, despite none of the home nations progressing past the quarter finals.
“Because the Rugby World Cup final lands on the same day as Halloween and none of the home nations are involved, we’re expecting fewer people to be at home watching the game. Families may be attending Halloween parties or out trick-or-treating instead, as they did last year, when we saw demand go down by 1500 MW, owing to the Halloween effect.”
Jeremy added: “It’s our job here at National Grid to balance the national transmission network, ensuring supply and demand are matched second by second. It’s something we are very good at but the forecast shows it will be an interesting day for TV pick-ups.”
The biggest peak ever recorded during a Rugby World Cup occurred when England beat Australia in the final in 2003, as electricity demand reached 2110MW at half-time – the equivalent of two million kettles being turned on.