Demand management - The way forward 2005/06 - 2009/10

1 Oct 2005

Ensuring that distribution capacity is available to meet South Australia’s few days of extreme peak electricity demand each year, plus the rate at which that peak demand is continuing to grow, leads to a necessity for on-going and increased investment in the State’s distribution network.

This expenditure is the critical driver of ETSA Utilities’ costs. The distribution network capacity is required to be almost three times’ larger to manage those few peak days, than is needed for the remainder of the year.

Under the terms of our Distribution Licence, ETSA Utilities is required to take account of “non-network” alternatives which may provide a more efficient solution to network augmentation. In this regard, the Essential Services Commission of South Australia (ESCOSA) has put in place extremely stringent regulations to ensure alternatives are considered.

This requirement is in line with ETSA Utilities’ own business strategy. ETSA Utilities has been pursuing a research program to explore an astute and strategic delivery of such alternative network solutions within South Australia – namely demand management.

Demand management is a complex area as it relates to technology; to its introduction in a disaggregated, privatised and competitive market, and to its critical dependability (that is, it must be available when needed or it is of no value to a network business). It also requires a willing partnership between ETSA Utilities and the South Australian community.

ETSA Utilities is committed to this way forward, as demand management strategies hold the potential to reduce short and long-term electricity costs for both business and residential customers. The South Australian community stands to benefit most. 

We have confidence that for this reason, South Australians will be open to understanding and embracing how demand management can work, for them as well
as for ETSA Utilities. 

ESCOSA has funded ETSA Utilities to expand its current research program, to conduct a range of pilot demand management programs. These pilot programs will,
between now and 2010, explore what should be the most effective demand management strategies to introduce within South Australia. The pilot programs will
investigate primarily the use of available and emerging technologies, and also take note of regulatory and economic impacts.

ESCOSA has funded an expenditure of $20.4 million for the project during the 2005 – 2010 regulatory period.

APO Editor's note: 
ETSA Utilities is now called SA Power Networks.
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