Study seeks ways to cut power usage in van parks

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electricity in caravan parks
Caravan park visitors add to local demand for electricity. PIC: Ampfibian

When grey nomads and other travellers flock into small country towns during peak holiday season, it can put a huge strain on local infrastructure … including the electricity supply.

In places like the Borough of Queenscliffe, just west of Geelong in Victoria, the population can swell by some 50% in the holiday season, with a similar surge in power usage.

The local council there has now partnered with Deakin University to investigate how the community – and caravan park guests – can become more energy efficient and environmental friendly.

The Geelong Advertiser reports that the local caravan parks are one of the largest energy users in the community, and the project will help council understand how to make power in the parks more sustainable and reliable.

Throughout this month, researchers will be speaking to visitors across the Borough’s caravan parks to better understand how they use energy during their stay.

And Mayor Ross Ebbels has encouraged caravan park visitors to take part in the project if approached by a researcher this summer.

“A quick chat with a Deakin researcher will help us identify solutions that make our caravan parks more sustainable and improve the stability of our energy supply,” Cr Ebbels told the Advertiser. “Participants will also be offered a kiosk voucher they can spend in return for their time, so it’s a great way to treat yourself and contribute to a better Borough for everyone.”

The research project will identify recommendations to address energy efficiency opportunities.

Lead project researcher Deakin University Professor Tony Arnel said the project will investigate a range of solutions to improve the Borough’s energy efficiency.

“Once we gain an understanding of how power is used in the Borough, we can identify solutions that help the community save money, become more resilient and carbon-neutral,” he said.

  • Are you careful of how much power you use when staying at caravan parks, or do you feel you have paid for whatever you need? Comment below.
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10 Responses to Study seeks ways to cut power usage in van parks

  1. It would be nice if they offered unpowered caravan sites. Most of the unpowered sites are only for tents and camper trailers.

  2. I have paid for it so leave the air conditioner on

  3. We only use power for our washing machine. Ou hot water only works off our own gas and our fridge freezer is an inverter one which runs off our own solar.

  4. If caravan parks want to charge extra $6 or so a night for power I will use it. Our house only uses $3 per day and we have more things running. A caravan only has an AC, hotwater and a battery charger on power. Light are 12v, TV is 12v. So my question is why do they charge so much for a powered sites

  5. C/P over charge already so we will keep what we have paid for in full

  6. I have seen unattended vans run power (air conditioner) all day because they have paid for it! Is there some way of paying for what you use rather than a one price fits all? I gather it is too expensive to have individual meters. Luckily, many Nomads have solar panels and stay off the grid.

  7. A great way to cut power usage in caravan parks is to change people’s attitudes. The concept of using it because I’ve already paid for it as expressed by some previous comments is one of the reasons parks have to elevate their rates to cover this contingency. It would not surprise that these people were also responsible for the queues at the shower block where it was noted one person occupied a cubicle for over 25 minutes during a recent trip at peak time. Obviously cold showers for the rest of us. Lucky it was summertime. But I digress. Provision of power, maintenance of power and water posts to sites is an ongoing expense and must be paid for.

  8. With regards to the comments around a change of attitude which I agree with. Some of this attitude is a result of many guests, unwillingly subsidising the cost of water parks, jumping pillows and the like (which they never use}, in their site fees, leading to them not being entirely satisfied with their stay.

    Not that the kids do not deserve all this, but maybe if the parks gave a genuine 10% site fee discount to seniors who do not use these facilities, they would be less inclined to do everything possible to get their monies worth.

    Also, lets be honest, many guests do not understand the amount of work and costs involved in operating a caravan park business and this, may also lead to some less than satisfied guests.
    I see many caravan parks (especially those in more populated areas) that could do a lot more for nomads which would improve their perception of the value in staying at a park.

    After all, nomads offer a large pool of potential guests for parks and why would you not wish to encourage their custom.

    Thank you for allowing my rant.

    All the best to everyone

  9. Just another reason i refuse to use c/ps. My 14 footer has no a/c,no m/wave and only a gas stove and oven and LED lights. They still want to charge me full rate for a powered site. AND they always wanted me to pay the same rate as a couple. I travel solo except for the dog.They are digging their own graves.I refuse to use them. Full stop!

    • Well said
      Bit unfair to charge you a couple fee when single.

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