Demand Management and the New Grid

The Demand Management and the New Grid stream at MEFL’s Spark! 2018 Conference discussed the role of demand management in supporting the grid and the importance of effective and socially responsible community engagement in any demand management program.

The stream featured the expertise of:

  • Philip Cohn, a member of the Business Development and Transactions team at ARENA
  • Sandra Centofanti, Product Manager Electricity Markets at Jemena
  • Daniel Zhang, Senior Policy Officer at the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP)
  • Facilitator Kate Nicolazzo, Head of Development at MEFL.

The session began with Sandra Centofanti who showcased the results of the residential demand response trial Power Changers that Jemena ran in the summer of 2017/18.

The trial featured 6 demand response challenges over 2017/18 where incentives were provided to energy users to reduce their electricity consumption during peak times on very hot days.

The trial had positive results including:

  • Households reduced their average peak electricity consumption by 23% – 35% during a demand response challenge
  • Households expressed a high level of satisfaction with the trial and reported that:
    • 84% were motivated to reduce their electricity usage
    • 70% saved money on their electricity bill ($5 over the period and additional $83 average reward)
    • 86% of participants were more conscious about conserving electricity.

Sandra highlighted that a voluntary demand response program was best seen as part of a suite of demand management tools including tariff reform and direct load control.

Daniel Zhang from DELWP then provided an overview of the Advanced Metering Infrastructure Program which is designed to make energy more affordable for households.

By giving households the opportunity to track their electricity usage through Advanced Metering Infrastructure, they are aiming to make energy more accessible and understandable.

Finally, Philip Cohn from ARENA provided an overview of the programs and projects that ARENA is funding to further promote demand management.

Thank you to our speakers for sharing their expertise.

MEFL was proud to support the Power Changers trial. Watch this video to learn more about the program.

For more information on the other streams, please visit our Spark! 2018 page.