When the demand for electricity at peak times approaches the capacity of network infrastructure, networks must act to maintain reliable electricity supply to customers. Reliable electricity supply to customers can be maintained by either increasing the network capacity (supply side management) or reducing the peak electricity demand on the network (demand management).
Demand management is an important part of efficient and sustainable network operations; and can involve either the moderation of customer electricity demand at peak times or the supply of electricity from generators connected at customer’s premises. Effective use of demand management reduces the cost to maintain the network and results in lower electricity bills.
There are a wide range of demand management solutions available for use by electricity networks. Some of these options are:
- Shifting appliance or equipment use from peak periods to non-peak periods (e.g. controlled load (off-peak) water heating).
- Converting the appliance energy source from electricity to an alternative (e.g. switching from electric to gas heating).
- Use of more efficient appliances (e.g. replacing lights with more efficient, lower wattage options).
- Operating appliances at lower power demand for short periods (e.g. air conditioner cycling)
- Operation of embedded generators
When a review of a part of the network is initiated, a review of options that includes both reducing demand and increasing capacity is completed. The goal is to find the lowest cost and most reliable long term solution.
To ensure a thorough investigation, Ausgrid consults with the community about the demand management options available. If you are a potential supplier of demand management services to Ausgrid or want to remain informed about our demand management activities, then please register as an interested party.
For further information on Ausgrid’s demand management activities, please see our demand management process and the demand managment process tracking.