Dynamically managing hot water systems in SA

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has announced $2.72 million in funding to PLUS ES to develop Hot Water Control Load demand management capability. This will allow project partner AGL Energy to access and dynamically manage up to 20,000 hot water systems in South Australia via their smart meters.

AGL Energy will control the hot water load to maximise the optimisation of hot water demand and take advantage of SA Power Network’s ‘solar sponge’ time-of-use tariff to enable increased renewable energy generation.

The $5.4 million project will demonstrate dynamic load control management via Metering Services API, while also helping to inform the design of network-controlled load tariffs in locations outside South Australia, and other retail products.

Customers with electric hot water systems and time-of-use tariffs are also expected to see the benefits through cheaper energy prices as their load is shifted into the midday solar sponge period.

If the trial is successful, PLUS ES will look to expand their portal to be made available to all of their meters in the National Electricity Market (NEM) and eventually to inform a new approach for all off-peak electric hot water systems where a smart meter is installed.

ARENA CEO Darren Miller said the project strongly aligns with ARENA’s flexible demand strategic priority which seeks to better match the use of electricity to when renewable energy is cheap and abundant.

‘The program with PLUS ES and AGL will show how dynamically managing hot water systems presents a scalable solution for controlling a large source of electricity demand in a smarter way that benefits both the customer and retailer.’

The project is expected to be completed in late 2024.

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