Demand Management Plan
We have the largest Demand Management (DM) program in Australia, with the majority of our residential customers participating in some form of DM initiative. Our program is widely regarded as leading the way in Australia to help manage electricity demand.
‘Demand management’ is the name given to programs that are used to ‘right-size’ the electricity network, while ensuring it remains reliable, secure and cost effective. DM solutions are also known as non-network solutions, as they provide a cost-effective alternative to traditional electricity network infrastructure.
DM has traditionally been about ‘chopping off the peak.’ Peak demand occurs when, as a community, our electricity usage is at its highest. This usually happens daily from 4-9pm when energy-hungry appliances like air-conditioners and pool pumps are switched on at the same time as other everyday appliances. We also see peak demand on the network on days of extreme temperatures.
DM is also used to shift load into the ‘troughs’ experienced during minimum demand, which helps to improve stability during times when a lot of solar energy is coming into the network. Minimum network demand occurs when the community’s electricity usage is at its lowest and the export of energy from rooftop solar photovoltaic (solar PV) systems is at its highest. This usually happens from 10.00am–2.00pm on clear, sunny days during spring and autumn.
Minimum demand is increasingly posing a risk to electricity network security, as it will be difficult with the current mix of energy generation to maintain stable operations through the middle of the day, and ramp up scheduled generation to meet the evening peak.
We have been implementing solutions in response to this challenge and are building on these by exploring additional initiatives to ensure positive outcomes for Queensland customers.