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Australian Ergon Energy Expands Hot Water Demand in North Queensland

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Ergon Energy’s hot water demand management project is expanding in North Queensland, to better manage the daily spike in peak demand.

The project involves around 70,000 customers, and involves changing the on and off times of residential hot water systems.

The tariff effected is Tariff 33, which is used for hot water systems, swimming pool filters and air conditioning. A separate channel for hot water has been installed in 23,000 customers switchboards to facilitate the planned change.

“Peak demand was not a critical issue for North Queensland when Tariff 33 was introduced in the mid 1980s. However, the demand for power in peak times has been growing faster than general consumption and we are now seeing a spike in electricity usage between 4-8 pm each day,” said Graham Lynes, Regional Services acting manager. “This has meant we have had to review our load management practices right across regional Queensland.”

Tariff 33 supplies power for a minimum of 18 hours per day during time periods set at the discretion of Ergon Energy. The new switch off times for Tariff 33 will occur during peak times, which usually fall between 6 am and 9 am and 4 pm and 9 pm. In addition the current 1.5 hour evening off period will move to 2 hours off.

The changes to the switching times will initially start from mid-May into June, before being phased into all Tariff 33 customers over the next 12 months.

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