Summer Demand Management – 2019-20

Summer Demand Management If you participated in Change Energy’s Summer Demand Management Program and reduced your consumption when we issued peak alerts, your Capacity Charges beginning October 2020 could be dramatically lower. Capacity usually accounts for around 30% of total electricity cost. Calculation of Capacity Cost Change Energy provides Summer Demand Alerts to customers that have registered for our program. The aim of the program is to assist in reducing customer Capacity Costs for the coming year. At the end of each summer, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) identifies the four days in December-March on which the grid experienced the highest demand. On each of these four days, the three 30-minute intervals showing highest demand for the day form the total 12 peak intervals that are used to calculate each customer’s Capacity Charges. Summer Demand – Peak Days in Detail Change Energy issued alerts on nine occasions and was successful in issuing alerts on all four of the peak days for the 2019-2020 season. The result – Change Energy customers participating in the program will save a total of $580,000 over the 12 months beginning October 2020, with some customers reducing their Capacity Cost to nil. If you would like to sign up to our Summer Demand Program for next season, please contact us via (free to all Change Energy customers with no obligation to participate). Peak Days: The four peak days were all business days of normal trading with hot maximum day-time temperatures. Compared to last year’s less predictable mix of non-working days including public holidays and weekends, this year’s peak days were more in line with historical trends reflecting a strong correlation between maximum temperatures and peak demand. Thursday 12/12/19 3590 MW Monday 03/02/20 3620 MW Tuesday 04/02/20 3919 MW Friday 14/02/20  3580 MW The peak demand of 3919 MW occurred on Tuesday 4th February between 5:30-6:00pm; it was preceded by two consecutive days over 35 degrees. This peak occurred on the hottest day of the year and was the second-highest peak (and third-highest daily peak) event since the market began in 2006. This is the highest peak demand since the 2015-2016 season. All 12 peak intervals occurred between 5pm and 7pm, reflecting the impact of the growing amount of rooftop solar. Solar reduces the demand on the grid during daylight hours, pushing the peak events later in the day as reflected in the table below. Table 1
Source: 2020 Electricity Statement of Opportunities – Australian Energy Market Operator, pg. 24
Change Energy issued alerts on the following days: Friday 14/02/20 Tuesday 04/02/20 Monday 03/02/20 Friday 13/12/20 Thursday 12/12/20 Friday 06/12/20 Thursday 05/12/20 Wednesday 04/12/20 Tuesday 03/12/20

Solar Output

Solar panel installation in WA continues at a rapid pace. According to AEMO, there is approximately 1100MW of solar panels installed in WA. This has had the effect of pushing peak demand later in the day, reflected in Table 1. While this summer the peak demand occurred at 17:30, AEMO estimates that solar panels reduced the underlying demand by 179MW (up from 106 MW last year), even this late in the day. As customers add more solar, summer peak demand will continue to be reduced and possibly push the peak time later in the day. While this summer did not have many hot days with significant cloud cover, in the future this will increase the variability in the output of the solar panels and make it harder to forecast demand.

Next Summer

Change Energy will continue to refine its forecasting methodology to factor in the changing dynamics and increased variability in overall system demand. We will be monitoring information released by AEMO regarding the increase in solar and the market response to grid peak events.  We are mindful of the need to balance the frequency of alerts and the cost and inconvenience to customers, against trying to assist in reducing their electricity costs. Any contacts registered for our Summer Demand Alerts will remain registered for the season beginning 1 December 2020. If you would like to add extra contacts to your alerts list, please contact us via If you have any questions about our Summer Demand Management Program, please contact Geoff at or call us 1300 924 140.