Working with the community across north Melbourne, Jemena will trial Direct Load Control (DLC), a Victorian first, to test the management of two household appliances – smart air conditioning units and smart swimming pool pumps.
The trial is an opportunity to test smart meter technology and see how this can provide household cost savings.
It will also be an opportunity to see how spreading the electricity load between the customer and utility can positively reduce demand on the electricity network at peak times.
Direct Load Control refers to instances where a utility company directly adjusts a user’s energy consumption by managing the control of key appliances.
Direct Load Control is used in other parts of the world, such as Norway and the US, and is also being trialled in New South Wales and Queensland.
The Jemena trial will enable a better understanding of:
- The most effective form of DLC
- Customer interest and support in this new technology
- The customer experience
The benefit to the homeowner is peace of mind, knowing they don’t have to do anything in order for their smart appliances to operate at their most efficient.
Jemena’s trial utilises smart meter technology to help customers better manage their consumption and bills.
By using smart meters as a communications network, Jemena can send wireless messages to the home, to monitor and remotely modify the operation of smart air conditioning units and swimming pool pumps.
This is made possible by a new device, co-developed by Jemena, inserted into the appliance.
Customers won’t experience a change to their comfort levels, however, they will see their bills decrease.
Other DLC trials operate in Australia, however, Jemena’s utilises the connectivity of the wireless smart meter system and does not rely on other third party system providers.
The focus of this trial is the residential segment.
The application of this technology could, in future, be scaled up for other domestic and commercial applications.
It has the potential to cut household bills and reduce stress on the grid across a wider area, for example, the entire Jemena Electricity Network.
In doing so, the 11,000km system, delivering electricity to more than 319,000 properties in north Melbourne, would be the largest DLC trial in the country.
The technology could also be applied to other heavy-use energy consumption units, for example plug-in electric vehicles.
The trial will only be conducted with the express permission of the homeowner.
This collaborative approach enables participants to hand over management of their smart air conditioner and/or smart swimming pool pump to Jemena for a limited time, on a specific day, after which the homeowner resumes control.