What is a PeakSmart event?

Peak demand is when electricity usage on the network is at its highest, usually between 4pm and 8pm. Every now and then, the network reaches a point of extreme stress, such as during a heat wave, when households and businesses across South East Queensland switch on their air-conditioners at the same time. On these occasions, Energex’s innovative PeakSmart technologies are called on to help manage demand. We call this a PeakSmart event.

PeakSmart air-conditioners receive signals from our network when we experience unusually high demand. The signal tells the air-conditioner to drop into an energy efficient mode, similar to an economy setting. This only happens a few times a year, usually when the demand on the network is over 3000 (MW) which is from high to extreme on the Current Demand Meter.

There are over 70,000 PeakSmart enabled air-conditioners connected to the Energex electricity network, and participation is increasing every day.

Learn more about PeakSmart air-conditioning or visit our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

PeakSmart events at a glance

PeakSmart events only occur a few times a year, but they have major benefits for the network. Our most recent event took place on:

Sunday 12 February 2017: 5.30pm to 7.30pm

Current demand reading: 4343 (MW) - Extreme
Demand Response Mode: 3 - capped to operate at 75%

This means that on 12 February 2017, the Current Demand Meter registered an unusually high reading.  We signalled our air-conditioners and capped their energy usage at 75% of normal capacity.

After the event, we surveyed our PeakSmart air-conditioning customers. They did not experience any discomfort; in fact, they were not even aware that a PeakSmart event had occurred.

PeakSmart technology means small changes to household or business air-conditioning usage can have big benefits for the community. By reducing demand on the network, we reduce the potential for power outages as well as the need for expensive power infrastructure.

History of signalling PeakSmart air-conditioners

Energex monitors the electricity demand on the network.

Meter range

The range of the demand meter is as follows:

  • Low – up to 1999 (MW)
  • Moderate – from 2000 (MW) to 2999 (MW)
  • High – from 3000 (MW) to 3999 (MW)
  • Extreme – above 4000 (MW)

Demand Response Modes

There are a number of performance responses for signalling appliances. There are 3 Demand Response Modes (DRM) for air-conditioners, depending on how extreme the need for demand management becomes.

  • DRM1: Compressor off  
  • DRM2: capped to operate at 50%
  • DRM3: capped to operate at 75%

Our signals are also equipped to target specific regional groups of air-conditioners, depending on areas of maximum need for demand management. The table shows that PeakSmart events only happen a few times a year.

List of PeakSmart events

See below for examples of the level and duration of PeakSmart events.*

2017

Date

Start

Finish

Duration

Demand Response 
Mode

13 Feb

15:25

18:25

3 hours

DRM3

12 Feb

17:30

19:30

2 hours

DRM3

2 Feb

16:45

17:45

1 hour

DRM2

25 Jan

16:10

17:10

1 hour

DRM2

2016

Date

Start

Finish

Duration

Demand Response 
Mode

2 Dec

15:00

17:30

2.5 hours

DRM3

16:00

18:30

2.5 hours

DRM3

2 Feb

16:30

17:30

1 hour

DRM3

1 Feb

16:30

17:30

1 hour

DRM3

2015

Date

Start

Finish

Duration

Demand Response 
Mode

20 Mar

17:30

19:00

1.5 hours

DRM3

19 Mar

17:30

19:00

1.5 hours

DRM3

5 Mar

15:30

17:00

1.5 hours

DRM3

2014

Date

Start

Finish

Duration

Demand Response 
Mode

19 Dec

15:00

16:00

1 hour

DRM3

16:00

17:00

1 hour

DRM3

16:30

16:45

15 min

DRM2

9 Jul

6:00

6:30

30 min

DRM3

2 Jul

17:15

17:45

30 min

DRM3

17 Mar

15:00

16:00

1 hour

DRM3

2012

Date

Start

Finish

Duration

Demand Response 
Mode

4 Dec

17:30

19:30

2 hours

DRM3

*PeakSmart events are occasionally called for testing and continuous improvement purposes.