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Demand side participation to reduce peak demand


In an effort to mitigate investment in critical peak infrastructure, consumers are being given the option to allow their appliances to be remotely disconnected in peak times.

The process known as Ripple Control, is performed remotely between an emitter and receiving devices connected to locations and appliances that consume large amount of electricity and are deemed non-essential. A high frequency signal is emitted through the lines that when detected at a location shuts any appliance connected to the receiver. This shut down continues until another signal is received. It is a common procedure and it used around the world to control load in peak times.

The strategy has been offered by both the Senate Select Committee and the Australian Energy Market Commission.

Large users are included in the scheme on a compulsory basis, while medium users can opt out and smaller users can opt in. The latter will be remunerated for the practice.

Although, the strategy must past many legislative gates, none less than receiving national bi-partisan Federal and State support; as well as logistical hurdles including a national roll-out of smart meters and the introduction of time-of-use tariffs or dynamic pricing.