Innovative demand response programs being trialled for the upcoming summer

Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on facebook

On 11 October, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) jointly announced that 10 pilot projects have been awarded funding under the new ‘demand response initiative’. This is an initiative designed to manage electricity supply during times of intense pressure on the system.

Demand Response Initiative
Demand Response Initiative

Today we take a look at some of the innovative and varied response programs that are being trialled through this initiative including programs offered being provided by energy distributors, retailers and customers.

Background to the demand response initiative

The Independent Review into the Future Security of the National Electricity Market (the ‘Finkel Report’), released earlier this year, emphasised that the continuing retirement of older energy generators will place increasing pressure on the National Energy Market. This was made particularly evident in the 28 September 2016 state-wide blackout in South Australia, as well as load shedding during the February 2017 heatwave in South Australia and New South Wales (see Finkel Report p29).

To increase the reliability of the network, under pressure, a range of mechanisms are being introduced by both state and federal government including the recently announced National Energy Guarantee (which we discussed here).

Another such mechanism, the ‘demand response initiative’ is a three-year pilot project which involves paying energy users to reduce their energy consumption or free up stored supply on request when reserve capacity falls to critically low levels (see here). Such situations are called ‘demand response events’.

The demand response initiative programs

Listed below are some of the different programs that are being funded and trialled through the demand response initiative:

Innovative distribution procedures

United Energy, a Victorian distribution network provider will initiate a program that remotely reduces the voltage at 47 substations without compromising the effective quality of supply to customers. Each customer will have their voltage reduced by an average of 3 per cent during a demand response event. Appliances will still work as normal and customers will not notice the change. This utilises an ability inherent in distribution networks to reduce voltage temporarily without endangering supply.

‘Virtual power plants’

EnerNOC will develop and operate a 50 MW demand response resource to support the National Electricity Market (NEM). At the time of a demand response event, through an agreement with customers, EnerNOC’s equipment will take a portion of usage from each industrial participant (including paper manufacturers, metalworkers and glass manufacturers).

Customer innovation

Most demand response programs being trialled will be operated by NEM participants such as energy retailers and distributors. But not all. Adelaide company, Intercast & Forge, a manufacturer of metal casings, will install energy systems allowing it to provide demand response energy through powering down furnaces during a demand response event.

Smart thermostats

Zen Ecosystems will deploy a network of “smart” connected thermostats which will aggregate and control heating and cooling within buildings at the time of a demand response event.

Intelligent controllers

Flow power will introduce the ‘kWatch Intelligent Controller’ which will allow for customers to switch off their supply from the network and use their own generators at times of peak demand.

Incentive programs

Powershop and EnergyAustralia will introduce, among other mechanisms, customer incentive programs which will reward customers for reducing their consumption at the time of a demand response event.

Adding supply to the network

AGL’s program will, among other things, allow customers to connect up their own device such as home battery storage and rooftop solar, to supply new energy in the case of a demand response event.

For more information on these programs go to the ARENA website


More to explorer

Window lights in multistorey house at night, Kuala Lumpur

A Guide to the Role of the Metering Coordinator

In the complex landscape of the electricity market, the role of the Metering Coordinator (MC) is crucial for ensuring the accurate measurement and efficient coordination of metering services. With the National Electricity Rules (NER) as the guiding framework, AEMO has published a guide to the role of a metering coordinator and this article serves as a summary of that role drawing on the guide. Understanding the Purpose and Scope: The Guide to the Role of the Metering Coordinator is specifically

Digital electric meters in a row measuring power use. Electricity consumption concept.

Roles and Functions in Electricity Metering: A Short Guide

Electricity metering is a complex process that requires the collaboration of various entities to ensure accurate measurement and efficient energy management. Understanding the roles and responsibilities of these entities is crucial for maintaining compliance and facilitating the smooth functioning of the electricity market. In this article, we will explore in detail the key roles in electricity metering, including Financially Responsible Market Participants (FRMPs), Metering Coordinators (MCs), Metering Providers (MPs), and Metering Data Providers (MDPs), as outlined in Chapter 7 of

Preparing to Apply for a Retailer Authorisation: A Comprehensive Guide

The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) oversees the authorisation process for energy retailers in Australia. If you’re considering joining this market, it’s crucial to understand the AER’s guidelines and requirements. This article will outline the preparatory steps your business needs to take before applying for a retailer authorisation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *