Electricity demand in WA is increasing driven by the connection of new businesses and homes, and a rise in the use of air conditioners. This puts increasing pressure on the network and requires large investments to cope with short peaks in demand. Demand management aims to encourage a change in electricity use. This will enable the network to work more efficiently and may allow deferral of major and costly upgrades, financially benefiting all Western Australians.
Working with customers and retailers, we are thinking differently about energy usage. For example: shifting energy usage to off-peak times, agreements to reduce demand at peak times upon request, substituting sources of generation, installing more efficient equipment and appliances, switching fuels from electricity to gas, direct load control and energy efficiency education programs are all strategies to address peak demand.
Initiatives such as Green Town and Power Down are helping us manage peak demand and extend the life of existing network assets.
The electricity network is built to accommodate peak use. Managing the demand of peak use is important to efficiently expand the network and keep electricity prices reasonable. Sometimes we may not even need to expand the network to provide additional capacity as reducing peak demand will be enough.
We embrace demand management which complements our role as an Energy Solutions business and our purpose of connecting people with electricity in a way that is safe, reliable and affordable. We are also obliged under the Access code (which governs the way we supply electricity) to consider alternatives to supply side network capacity investment such as demand management where this leads to lower overall costs.
Demand management can include targeted incentives, technologies and customer education programs directed towards reducing or changing patterns of energy use.
For businesses this could include:
For residential customers, implementing demand management may mean:
We are developing some demand management initiatives to provide alternative solutions to network building more network infrastructure.
Some of the initiatives include: