Saving energy in peak hours: should the TV be turned off?

Television is a fixed part of peak use in many households. For many people, the eve on TV, of which EditieNL is also a part, is still a regular fixture. Although it could help to change this habit and turn off the TV, according to television expert Tina Nijkamp, ​​this will not be easy.

“The eve is a very important TV moment for many people. If you look at the top 10 viewing figures, many programs from the eve always score high,” explains Nijkamp. “For many people it is indeed a habit, but many people also just watch, as they used to do, to stay informed.”

“We in the media spend all day on the internet and keep up with the news, which is part of our job,” Nijkamp continues. “But many people are just working outside all day. They really don’t have time to follow the news all day and still want to stay informed. That’s what the evening is really meant for.”

“I don’t think you can change much about this as EditieNL,” says Nijkamp. “Of course it is a current affairs program so you don’t sit back and watch it again the next day at 11 o’clock. It really belongs at that moment.”


Professor of energy technology David Smeulders of Eindhoven University of Technology is also not in favor of rigorously changing habits. “I think the idea that we have to save energy in those peak hours because otherwise things will go wrong is quite poor, to be honest. That we couldn’t provide the country with energy is bizarre. The system just has to be in order.”

“People want to decide for themselves when they shower and watch TV,” Smulders continues. “The citizen now has to solve the problems, while that is simply the task of the government. If everyone turns on the television, it certainly consumes a lot of power, but everyone should be able to determine for themselves how much energy and costs you want to save.”

“The energy network works just like the NS”, explains Smeuulders. “As many wagons are bought as the maximum is needed. It is the same with electricity. We must have available what is needed as much as possible. If we can reduce that maximum, there is of course profit to be made.”

Off peak

“If we travel during off-peak hours, the NS will have to use fewer trains. It’s not that they don’t have the trains, but it’s cheaper if they don’t have to use them,” continues Smeulders. “That’s how it goes with electricity. Energy companies buy the electricity and get it sold again, that’s no problem. But it’s about the infrastructure.”

“If there is more load on the grid, then new wind farms, solar farms and cables, etc. are needed,” says the professor. “When the electricity demand is spread more evenly, you don’t have to build as much. That is of course cheaper.”

In addition, the purchase price of energy is also extra high during peak hours, explains Smoulders. “It is a question of supply and demand. If there is a lot of demand during peak hours, prices are high. More expensive power stations are often used for that peak demand.”

Price incentive

Smoulders thinks that flexible energy tariffs could therefore be an option to make consumers think better about the distribution of their energy consumption. “Then you would have to pay more for energy use in the morning and evening than in the afternoon, for example. That way people also get a price incentive to adjust their behaviour.”

Leave a Comment