Load control is used to temporarily interrupt electricity supply to hot water cylinders to manage demand at peak times to avoid overloading the network. Rather than heating hot water cylinders during periods of high demand, these are heated when electricity demand is lower. As hot water cylinders stay hot for several hours, there is no noticeable difference for customers’ who pay a lower tariff to allow their hot water cylinders to be controlled in this way.
By ensuring demand does not exceed network capacity, we are able to maintain network security and reduce the risk of outages. Additionally, load control helps us to defer expenditure on network upgrades, helping to keep customer bills lower.
When is load control utilised?
Load control typically occurs between the peak usage times of 8:00 am – 10:00 am and between 5.00 pm – 9.00 pm during winter, from May to September.
Load control only turns off the electricity supplying the element that heats the water in your hot water cylinder. The hot water already stored in the cylinder can still be used and will stay hot or warm for several hours. However, if a lot of hot water is used following a load control event, your hot water cylinder may take some time to reach its normal temperature or you may run out of hot water.
There are several ways to reduce the potential impact over these peak periods:
- A typical hot water cylinder will retain its temperature over the period we load control, provided it is at operating temperature and there is considered hot water usage over these times. Reducing hot water consumption before, during, or immediately after load control peaks reduces the time the cylinder takes to return to its normal operating temperature.
- Insulating older cylinders with a wrap will also help retain heat over these periods.
- Setting cylinder temperatures to 60°C or above can extend how long the hot water will last, compared with cylinders set at lower temperatures.
- Visit the EnergyMate website for other helpful hints on how to save on heating.
Customers can choose a price plan that does not incorporate the control of their hot water by Counties Energy. This option comes at a cost premium, where customers pay a higher price for line charges across the year than those who allow hot water load control.
Please contact your retailer about Counties Energy tariff charges if you would like to change from a controlled to an uncontrolled rate.