Managing peak demand using smart appliances

Consultation overview

Click to view the introduction and presentation being used for the public consultation.

Click here to open the Consultation Regulation Impact Statement: Mandating ‘Smart Appliance’ Interfaces for Air Conditioners, Water Heaters and other Appliances.


Peak electricity demand is a growing problem for the electricity supply system in Australia. The electricity network infrastructure must be designed to cope with the highest demand for electricity, the cost of which is passed on to consumers. It is estimated that 25% of retail electricity costs is accounted for by peak demand that occurs for less than 40 hours per year (less than 0.5% of the year).

An important part of the solution to the problem of peak demand is direct load control (DLC). Under the DLC approach, consumers have a choice to allow certain household appliances to be remotely controlled by their electricity provider, which will reduce the demands placed on network capacity at peak times. The main benefit of DLC is the reduced need for investment in costly electricity network infrastructure.

For a DLC market to operate, appliances must be equipped with a demand response interface. These interfaces enable communication between distribution network service providers (DNSPs) and specific appliances.

A consultation regulation impact statement (RIS) has been prepared to examine a proposal to mandate the inclusion of ‘smart appliance’ interfaces in air conditioners, pool pumps, water heaters and electric vehicle chargers. If this proposal is implemented, it will create a DLC market.

Modelling for the consultation RIS projects that DLC could permanently offset 3 to 5 years of peak demand growth. If these benefits were passed on to all householders equally, it could result in a reduction in electricity bills of $60 to $120 per household per year, from 2014 to 2028.

Interested parties are asked to provide feedback on the consultation RIS including responses to the some or all of the questions posed.

Public consultations will occur in several cities. Dates and venues for meetings are as follows:

DATE        TIME                  CITY              VENUE

3rd April    10 am – 1 pm     Sydney          Cliftons, Level 13, 60 Margaret St

4th April    10 am – 1 pm     Brisbane        Cliftons, 288 Edward St

5th April    10 am – 1 pm     Melbourne     Cliftons, Level 1, 440 Collins St

8th April    10 am – 1 pm     Perth             Cliftons, Gnd Floor, Parmelia Hse, 191 St George’s Tce

9th April    10 am – 1 pm     Adelaide        Hotel Grand Chancellor, 65 Hindley St

Registering your attendance at a consultation session

To register your interest in attending a consultation session, please email (by midday Tues 2 April) noting the number of attendees and the location of the meeting you wish to attend.

Making a written submission

Written submissions should state ‘Mandating Smart Appliance Interfaces’ in the subject heading and should be emailed to

Submissions must be received by Friday 24 May 2013. Submissions received after this date will not be considered.

Following consultation, the Equipment Energy Efficiency Committee (E3) will consider all submissions and may decide to proceed with the development of a decision RIS. The decision RIS would be used to seek agreement from all state and territory ministers for the introduction of the new regulation.