Give your Summer extra Sizzle with our Suggested “Seasons Greetings” Submission (and win your new Premium Beefmaster 6 Burner BBQ on Cart with Side Burner)

Reinforce to your boss that you’re worth every cent – by being named Best Demand Forecaster in the NEM (summer 2013-14)

Outshine your colleagues – and set your 2014 off on a positive note

It’s that time of year again, when Christmas cards arrive (more electronic than hard copy these days), the office parties are held and the general mood relaxes for a brief respite.   You’re reading this post now, which means you’re one of the lucky ones – unlike those poor souls braving the holiday traffic, airport queues and overcrowded beaches this summer:

No matter whether your colleagues are just vegetating in front of the cricket (now that we really have something to watch!) or doing something a little more active (beach and camping seems the order of the season this year) or just downright bizarre and extreme (mixing heli-skiing and scuba diving anyone?), we have to have pity on those poor souls who are missing out on all the fun back in the office.

Well, alright – maybe holidays can be some fun…

It can surely make you feel glum, receiving Christmas cards from the lucky ones who've headed off for a Christmas away

For those of us who are stuck in the office over the next 2 weeks (until COB Monday 6th January 2014) we’re re-opening our popular Christmas Competition, now in its 8th year (and with a new twist), to enable you earn bragging rights, by out-scoring your colleagues & your competitors!

The Context of the Competition (why we want Your Name up in lights)

Even more than before, the ability to accurately forecast what the peak demand is going to be has the potential to generate significant benefits to your organisation – and the broader industry as a whole.

Demand growth began flattening around 2006, and has been declining in more recent times – for a number of reasons, summarised here.

This increased uncertainty about where demand is headed has meant a range of different things across the market, including:

1)  Long-established generation development companies have scaled back their ambitions, placed projects on hold, and downsized their development teams (which has had flow-on effects across the industry), and a new breed of projects has entered the arena:

Updating our Market Map wall charts in 2014 will be a good opportunity to highlight just how much the situation has changed in a few short years (we’re seeking pre-orders by 31st January, to verify the market need, with a significant discount offered as a thank-you).

2)  Network companies have faced increasing scrutiny of network expansion plans – and these plans have begun to change; and

3)  AEMO has centralised the demand forecasting function feeding into the SOO and other documents, and has been investing considerable time and money in understanding the impacts of wind, and now solar PV, on demand across the NEM – along with energy efficiency, price sensitivity and other economic drivers etc….

That’s why we want to have your name up in lights!

The Prize(s)

For a number of years, we have given away an impressive BBQ.

With a significant upgrade of GasWatch™ to be released shortly, to complement the way NEM-Watch provides the industry-standard view of the electricity market, the delivery of a gas-fired BBQ is even more appropriate.

Given its popularity as a prize, we are keen to continue, and have this year selected this beauty for you:


It’s a “Premium Beefmaster 6 Burner BBQ on Cart with Side Burner” as described here at Barbeques Galore.

A new twist

Following the competition of summer 2011-12, we received some suggestions from people who saw that the Ultimate Measure of Your Skill as a forecaster would be to allow each forecaster only one entry.

That year we had enabled people to enter multiple times over the Christmas period, and published all entries (for the first time). There was nothing like a little feedback process to reinforce the competitive tension to get the brain juices flowing!

Last year (2012-13) we incorporated both challenges:

Challenge 1 = We gave away the BBQ to the closest correct entry (using only each entrant’s first entry as the official entry).
Challenge 2 = We know that some people just like the fun of entering, however, so we also gave away movie tickets as consolation prizes to 5 Regional Winners who were closest to the mark (with this we allowed them to enter as many times as they liked).

For this summer, we’ll do much the same thing, but with a different twist.

Challenge #1 – Your first entry is still for the BBQ

Your first entry (only) will be the one measured against all the others received over the period in awarding the prize as the Best Demand Forecaster in the NEM.

As a prize, we’ll give you the wonderful BBQ (shown above). We’ll also reserve the right to come visiting, during the autumn period, with an eski of beer and snags to celebrate (which reminds me, Joy, about that invitation?!).

Challenge #2 – Your best entry is for a nice bottle of Red

You can enter as many times as you like in this competition (subject to the terms in the fine print below).

Your best entry (which may not be your first) will be compared against all others and the best entry per Region will be awarded a fine bottle of Red (or White, if you prefer) with which to celebrate.  Yes, that means that it will be possible for someone to also win a bottle of red to open over their new BBQ.

Challenge #3 – Your best move will get you twice the value for the same low price

To best watch the NEM this summer, we encourage you to get started with NEM-Watch.  The current NEM-Wide Demand can be seen in NEM-Watch can be seen in two places, as shown below (click on the image for a larger view):

Where to see the NEM-Wide demand in NEM-Watch version 8

For any new clients who sign up from today (Monday 23rd Dec) until C.O.B. 6th January 2014 for a 1-year licence to NEM-Watch, we’ll happily add on another year at no added charge.

To Enter

Email us ( with your Forecast* for what the peak NEM-Wide Demand will be this summer to be considered in the running for the BBQ (and consolation prizes)  and look forward to the first snags in autumn tasting so much sweeter on your GLOBAL-ROAM delivered BBQ:


* Forecast, or W.A.G!

You can track entries (to make your entry tomorrow even better) at the special Competition Website here.

Suggested Reading

On WattClarity, you might find the following context useful in determining your entry.

1)  Over-arching this competition, and all forecasts for demand (which underlie a number of investment planning decisions), is the question about where demand is headed into the future.  To answer that question, one must first understand how demand has been changing in the NEM, and some of the many factors contributing to the current trend of decline.

2)  Our prior year competition entries will also factor into your estimate for this summer:

Last summer (2012-13) Joy Chan (of Delta) just scraped past other colleagues at Delta, and the rest of the entrants, with an entry just shy of the mark – in a summer where the peak demand crept close to 32,000MW.

Summer was lacklustre in 2011-12, but the competition still sparkled, and Aden Fanning (of InterGen) was awarded the BBQ and the kudos for a 12 month period.

Summer 2010-11 competition winner – Richard Hickling (of AEMO) – bid <200MW (just 0.6%) higher than the actual demand peak.

Winter 2009 competition winner – Andrea Prouse (of EnergyAustralia – i.e. the original Sydney retailer!) – was 577MW from the mark in a winter that failed to spark.

Summer’s peak in demand in summer 2008-09 , when Thao Doan (of Stanwell) was a whopping 900MW below the peak in a summer that smashed the previous record.

Summer’s peak in demand in summer 2006-07 , when David Turnour (of Origin) was about 100MW from the mark (0.3%)

Summer’s peak in demand in summer 2005-06 , when Trevor Persal (of Ergon) practically nailed it, with an excellent entry!

3)  Especially if you’re keen on getting your hands on the other prizes (noted below), or you’re the patient, considered type of analyst, you might like to keep an eye on what the other entrants have submitted on this special Competition Website.

The Fine Print

(a.k.a. suggested reading for those who are really keen!)

1) Entry is open to anyone who works in, or around, Australia’s National Electricity Market (NEM), except for employees, shareholders and other general hangers-on of GLOBAL-ROAM Pty Ltd:

1a)  We will be particularly supportive of employees in organisations that are clients of ours (email us with questions, and we’ll be more likely to point you at references that might help you with your guesstimate, for instance)

1b)  We reserve the right to “lose” entries from companies we deem as competitors to us (can’t have them enjoying a new BBQ on us, can we!)

2)  To be a valid entry:

2a)  Your entry must be received on or between Monday the 23rd December 2013 and Monday 6th of January 2014.

2b)  Your entries must be emailed to

2c)  Your entry must contain your estimate of the peak NEM-Wide Demand this summer (for clarity, this year we’re sticking with defining “Summer” as the period 1st December 2013 to 28th February 2014).

2d)  Your entry must be from a valid email address, and contain your phone number (on which we can contact you to arrange for delivery).

2d)  If you feel exceptionally lucky (or think you’re a good forecaster) you can also tell us where to have the BBQ delivered.  You don’t need to tell us which it is (i.e. if you’re just lucky, or if you think you are an exceptional forecaster)!

3)  The winner will be judged differently in each of the three prize pools:

It will be your first entry (only) that will be accepted in the competition for the BBQ.  Your entry needs to be closest to the peak NEM-Wide demand to win.

CONSOLATION PRIZES (the nice Bottle of Red/White)
If your first entry is not sufficient to win the BBQ, you can still be in with a chance to win. The first entry we receive each day the competition is open will be assessed against all others in the second prize pool, and the closest to the mark in each of the five NEM regions will be awarded a consolation prize of a nice bottle of Red or White (Dave, you’ll have to leave us to judge what’s “nice”).

THE BEST PRIZE (or at least we think so)
Surpassing the value of either of the above prizes, we will grant a second year’s licence (at no charge) for any new client who signs up for a new 1-year licence of NEM-Watch within the period we’re accepting entries.

4)  For those who really do need the details, we calculate this on AEMO’s InfoServer as follows:

select top 1 * from (SELECT SUM(TotalDemand) as Demand, SettlementDate
from DispatchRegionSum
GROUP BY SettlementDate)q
order by Demand desc

5)  The winner will be notified directly soon after the end of Summer, and the winner’s name will also be published on the WattClarity ® site .

Delivery of the BBQ will be organised to a location within the standard delivery area of an Australian Barbeques Galore store. If the store in your delivery area is out of that particular stock, we’ll arrange a suitable, similar, model for you – at around the same price.

6)  The decision of the judges (global-roam Pty Ltd) is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

You could try to bribe them, but that won’t work (though they might be able to save up to have their own holiday next summer).

You could try to get in their “good books” by purchasing lots of NEM-Watch (or by referring NEM-Watch to those poor unfortunate souls who don’t yet have their own copies) – but, whilst that would make them happy, it will not get you closer to being declared the winner (though you will have a pretty good view of what the demand is, all summer!)

So sharpen your pencils, polish your calculators and crank another can of your favourite sugar-laced, caffeine-filled and stimulant-pumped “energy” drink.

If your colleagues have abandoned you in preference for some R&R in some exotic destination, and your Boss has locked you in so you can’t also escape, why not devote a little brain space to solving the multi-billion dollar puzzle of “what’s the peak demand going to be across the NEM this summer?”.

Happy Christmas, from all of us at GLOBAL-ROAM!

About the Author

Paul McArdle
One of three founders of Global-Roam back in 2000, Paul has been CEO of the company since that time. As an author on WattClarity, Paul's focus has been to help make the electricity market more understandable.

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