Residential Pools and Spas

Government looking for input on demand response management of pool pumps

April 23, 2013

The Equipment Energy Efficiency Committee (E3) is looking for feedback to its consultation Regulation Impact Statement (RIS), on demand response management (DRM) for a range of selected appliances, including swimming pool pumps.

Peak electricity demand is a growing problem for the electricity supply system in Australia. The electricity network infrastructure must be designed to cope with the highest demand for electricity, the cost of which is passed on to consumers. It is estimated that 25 per cent of retail electricity costs is accounted for by peak demand that occurs for less than 40 hours per year (less than 0.5% of the year).

An important part of the solution to the problem of peak demand is direct load control (DLC). Under the DLC approach, consumers have a choice to allow certain household appliances to be remotely controlled by their electricity provider, which will reduce the demands placed on network capacity at peak times. The main benefit of DLC is the reduced need for investment in costly electricity network infrastructure.

For a DLC market to operate, appliances must be equipped with a demand response interface. These interfaces enable communication between distribution network service providers (DNSPs) and specific appliances.

A consultation regulation impact statement (RIS) has been prepared to examine a proposal to mandate the inclusion of ‘smart appliance’ interfaces in air conditioners, pool pumps, water heaters and electric vehicle chargers. If this proposal is implemented, it will create a DLC market.

Modelling for the consultation RIS projects that DLC could permanently offset three to five years of peak demand growth. If these benefits were passed on to all householders equally, it could result in a reduction in electricity bills of $60 to $120 per household per year, from 2014 to 2028.

Interested parties are asked to provide feedback on the consultation RIS including responses to the some or all of the questions posed.
Written submissions should state ‘Mandating Smart Appliance Interfaces’ in the subject heading and should be emailed to

All submissions must be received by Friday 17 May 2013

Following consultation, the Equipment Energy Efficiency Committee (E3) will consider all submissions and may decide to proceed with the development of a decision RIS. The decision RIS would be used to seek agreement from all state and territory ministers for the introduction of the new regulation.


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