Insight Report: Shifting domestic demand through appliance use restriction at peak times
As the deployment of non-dispatchable forms of energy generation increases and existing electricity network assets approach their rated capabilities, it is increasingly important to understand to what extent it is possible to shift electricity demand away from the times of greatest network stress. As part of the Customer-Led Network Revolution project, several low carbon technologies and pricing structures were trialled for this purpose.
This report considers two test cells which explored restricting the use of devices during peak consumption hours. In test cell TC10a, customers were provided with a smart washing machine, set to a default which restricted operation during weekday evening peak hours, and with a time of use tariff which penalises consumption during those hours. The customer could override the default setting if necessary.
In TC12 customers were provided with heat pumps and were also on a time of use tariff. For the wet white goods test cell, the tariff and restricted hours operation appears to have been successful, indicating that laundry (and therefore potentially other wet white good activities such as dishwashing) is a load which can be shifted in time using a tariff.
This is supported by the following:
- Compared to the baseline domestic customer in TC2a, on weekdays customers in TC10a show a wet white appliance demand which is higher in the mornings and lower in the 4-8pm peak-pricing period. This indicates that customers may be planning their energy consumption in advance of the peak.
- For TC10a there is evidence of increased consumption on weekdays from 9pm (just after the end of the peak tariff period). This suggests customers are, on average, delaying use of the washing machine until after peak hours.
- For TC10a wet white good demand was highest during weekends, coinciding with the cheapest period of the time of use tariff.