Industry News

Should energy providers be able to turn off pool pumps?

September 6, 2017

The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) is investigating the potential of demand-side management (DSM) of consumer and business energy access. Potentially, this could lead to pool pumps being remotely turned off by the energy provider.

In Alan Finkel’s recent Independent Review into the Future Security of the National Electricity Market, DSM is touted as a way to mitigate the necessity for  governments to build more electricity infrastructure.

One aspect of the DSM is direct load control, by which consumers are paid to allow power companies to turn off their air-conditioners or even pool pumps at times of peak demand.

One example of direct load control is by Queensland’s Energex, which currently offers up to $400 for the ability to remotely lower the performance of air-conditioners in peak time.

However, a potential issue with pool pumps being remotely turned off is ensuring that the required turnover rates are still met to ensure safe and healthy water quality.

A spokesperson for the Federal Department of Energy and Environment’s Energy Rating team told SPLASH! that the Australian Government does not have a DSM program for swimming pool pumps at this stage.

“Some state governments or some electricity networks, however, may be considering these types of demand side approaches.”

Regulator open to comment until October 12


The AER recently released a draft incentive scheme to improve demand management in electricity networks, which is open for comment until 12 October.

The draft scheme is intended to provide incentives to electricity distribution businesses to implement demand management options to reduce network costs, so they don’t need to invest in new infrastructure.

The AER invites people to submit their views and suggestions on the draft incentive scheme and innovation allowance to by 12 October 2017.

The AER plans to finalise these instruments by December 2017.

Previously, in April 2013, the Equipment Energy Efficiency Committee requested feedback on an RIS relating to demand-side management. See the article below for more information on this earlier process.


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