Snowy Hydro’s snow depth measurements in the NSW Snowy Mountains have commenced for 2024, with some changes and improvements to data collection and public reporting.

The first reading for 2024 was conducted on 14 June. Manual readings at Spencers Creek  will occur weekly to fortnightly this winter, with a greater focus on the second half of the season when snow depths are peaking and as the spring snowmelt increases. Manual readings at Deep Creek and Three Mile Dam will be carried out on an as-needs basis and supplemented by automated instrumentation.

Following a rigorous process review and impact analysis, Snowy Hydro is investing in new instrumentation across the Snowy Scheme and can now provide more frequent snow depth readings at a site close to the Spencers Creek snow course. This near real-time snow depth information is available HERE, noting that as an experimental site, there may be gaps in the provision of data at times.

The new equipment can measure snow depths accurately up to 3 metres. We expect information from the site to improve the resolution of our overall data collection.

Snowy Hydro is committed to remaining flexible and exploring new technology to maximise the value of Spencers Creek, which is regarded as Australia’s premier long-term snow record. 

We recognise its significance to scientists and the wider community as an index of environmental variability and change. Indeed, having an understanding of the alpine and subalpine environment is essential to our business operations. 

Safety and operational considerations will remain our highest priority when conducting snow depth measurements. By being more flexible with how we collect data in remote locations, including the regularity and frequency of obtaining snow depth readings, we reduce the need to send staff to remote locations in poor weather conditions. This agility allows us to schedule this work to occur when conditions are safest while also maintaining quality records.




Snowy Hydro measures and publicly reports snow depth at a number of designated snow courses across the Snowy Mountains in NSW, including Spencers Creek. Our main objective for collecting this data is to make operational decisions regarding the management of inflows to the Snowy Scheme.

With our strong commitment to the safety of our people, the frequency of our measurements has varied in recent years. Safety is always Snowy Hydro’s number one priority and we continue to refine and improve our safety practices regarding access to remote sites.

By being more flexible with how we collect data in remote locations, including the regularity and frequency of obtaining snow depth readings, we reduce the need to send staff to remote locations in poor weather conditions. This agility allows us to schedule this work to occur when conditions are safest.

Advances in technology and our improved processes are also reducing reliance on manual snow depth measurements at frequent intervals. 

Snowy Hydro recognises the value of long-term records and issues of continuity will remain front-of-mind with the implementation of any changes. 

This year, Snowy Hydro commenced monitoring in mid-June. We will continue to take readings on an as-needed basis, when it is safe to do so. This may result in less regular updates than have occurred in the past.

Snowy Hydro will continue updating its website after collecting each manual snow depth reading. The latest information can be found here.


Experiencing wet conditions


What a difference a couple of months make! Earlier in the year we were preparing for drier conditions off the back of El Nino but, as our Snowy Hydro climate scientists predicted last edition, we are now experiencing decidedly wetter conditions. With only four months of the water year passed, we have already received well over half of our annual inflows and the snowpack hasn’t started to melt yet. Already we have seen some high inflow events in July which affected landholders around the Murray; and NSW water authorities are carefully watching the Murrumbidgee side to manage any water issues that could arise there.

Snowy Hydro is working with local emergency services and property owners to ensure the lines of communication are open and we update people regularly on the conditions we are experiencing on the waterways across our operations. As the snow melts and inflows into the Scheme increase, it’s important local communities and landholders are kept abreast of any major movements of water. We will continue to work with local authorities and communities in the coming months to carefully manage any water events as they arise.

On a pleasing note, Snowy Hydro has ended the 2015/16 financial year in a strong position. This is the first full year that our recent acquisitions – our gas power station in Colongra and diesel assets in South Australia, as well as Lumo Energy and Direct Connect – have contributed to our financial results.

We hit some significant milestones as a business this year – exceeding more than $2 billion in revenue and passing the one million retail customer mark – a position we have sustained and continue to grow. Our retail businesses – Red Energy, Lumo Energy and Direct Connect – are all working together to attract and retain customers, focusing on superior customer service and industry leading customer satisfaction scores. We have more than 1200 staff working in our retail businesses in Melbourne and we are working to bring them all together under one roof by next year.

Our generation business has also had a strong year. Generation levels have increased as market and operational conditions improved. We are focused on improving the performance of our assets across the fleet and are currently working on a major upgrade of one of the units at Murray 1 in Khancoban, meaning more Snowy Hydro workers will be located in and around that region over the coming months.

We would love to grow support for Red Energy in the Snowy Mountains and, as such, we have been sponsoring local events and festivals and we’re once again sponsoring the ski season this Winter. As a local company with such a long and proud history in the Snowy Mountains, we want to ensure that the communities we live and work in can get the benefit of being our customers, with energy backed by the mighty Snowy Scheme. Our field sales teams have been out and about in the Cooma and Tumut regions over the last few months and will continue to encourage households and businesses to get on board with Red.

Shortly we will be conducting our biennial community research so you may receive a phone call asking you to spend some time talking about Snowy Hydro, how we communicate with you and your understanding of our business and its challenges. If you are approached, we would greatly appreciate you spending the time to give us your thoughts. It’s all confidential and anonymous, of course. It will help us to ensure we are doing the right things to keep you informed about our business. In the meantime, stay safe and dry!


Winter is on its way


Winter is almost upon us and that means the Snowy Mountains region is gearing up for the peak tourism season where tens of thousands of visitors come to the region to enjoy the snow, as well as the hospitality and scenery that locals get to enjoy all year round.

Snowy Hydro, through our retail energy company Red Energy, will once again sponsor the ski fields this year so keep your eyes and ears out for our Red Energy signs and sounds on local radio stations at Thredbo, Perisher and Charlottes Pass. As a local company employing hundreds of people in the region, we’re proud to back the Snowy Mountains and get the message out about our 100 per cent Australian owned and operated energy brand – Red Energy – which is backed by the mighty Snowy Hydro.

Red Energy has been a major sponsor of festivals and events across the region throughout the year, including the very successful Back to Cooma Festival over the Easter long weekend and the more recent Festival of the Falling Leaf in Tumut. Our enthusiastic staff are always happy to chat to potential customers about the benefits of switching to Red Energy and we have been working with businesses across the region in the past few months, spruiking the benefits of Red Energy which is an industry leader in customer service.

With the arrival of winter, locals and visitors alike are keen to know all about the predictions for snowfall. Accurately predicting the weather is a tough business. Snowy Hydro is incredibly lucky to have a talented team of climate scientists who work with us to read and interpret climate indicators to give us as in-depth a view as possible about predicted rainfall, snowpack and inflows to the Snowy Mountains Scheme.

But broadly, we are looking to move out of El Niño with a high chance of La Niña meaning the next few months are looking to be wetter than average, but also warmer. This is good news for predicted inflows into the Snowy Scheme and means we will have healthy water levels to sustain higher levels of generation across the Scheme this year and to deliver downstream to town water supplies, the environment and irrigators.

On the generation front, we have just completed major upgrade works at our Tumut 1 Power Station at Cabramurra and will be moving our major works team to Khancoban to start major works on our Murray 1 Power Station. This is good news for the Khancoban community as, at its peak, we can expect around 80 additional staff working in the region with around 40 staff there permanently for the predicted works over at least a six month period. We understand how important it is to invest in and support our local communities to ensure they remain healthy and vibrant for our workforce and their families.

Lastly, an important reminder about safety. At Snowy Hydro, the safety of our employees and the people that live around and interact with the Snowy Scheme, is our highest priority.

We have noticed in recent times an alarming increase in the number of near misses on the roads around the Snowy Mountains. We drill into our staff the importance of safe driving and the majority of our Snowy Hydro car fleet has speed monitors installed which alert us when drivers are driving over the speed limit. Country roads have their own challenges – wildlife including kangaroos and brumbies, snow, rain and visibility challenges, as well as large trucks and caravans.

Please take care on the roads in and around the regions. Adjust your speed to suit the conditions and keep a watch for other drivers who may be doing the wrong thing. Thankfully, none of our near misses has resulted in serious injury to our staff. But you can never be too careful with your life. It’s critically important that everyone goes home in the same shape, or better, each and every day. Take care when you’re out there.