Transpower launches new demand response app

03 February 2015

Transpower today launched a new App to help increase the accessibility of demand response for participants in its demand response programme.

Demand response allows electricity consumers to reduce electricity demand for a period of time in exchange for a payment. The demand response programme is designed to help manage peaks in New Zealand's electricity demand that could otherwise require expensive investment in new lines.

Transpower's Demand Response Manager Quintin Tahau said that the new App will make it significantly easier for electricity consumers to participate in demand response, either in the current programme underway or in future programmes.

"The App provides a one-stop shop for participants and will be the key tool for the programme. It provides a range of services including: animation to explain the programme, registration to participate, notification of upcoming demand response needs, bidding and reporting about specific energy performance during events," he said.

The current demand response programme targets commercial building owners to reduce power usage at specific times, by switching to a standby generator. In April, the programme will expand to include agribusiness, healthcare, and tertiary education institutions with further expansion to other customer segments planned for future years.

"By developing the market sector by sector, we are building a sustainable framework so that when New Zealand needs demand response, there is confidence that it will be available and successful – maybe during an unexpected cold snap when everyone is using their heaters more than usual for example,” said Quintin.

"Demand-side response is an emerging innovation as consumers are using newer technologies like smart meters, online tools and smart appliances which provide opportunities to manage electricity usage,"

"We recognise that the environment that we are operating in continues to evolve and therefore we need to adapt and be flexible in our planning and operations to meet the changing needs of electricity users. This is especially important given the current uncertainties in electricity demand. Developing demand response capability as an alternative to transmission investment will help deliver long-term benefits to consumers and provide us with options to meet ongoing changes in the wider environment," he said.

The App was produced by Alphero, a New Zealand-based mobile app development company. The App will help make the user participation experience much simpler than the existing, complex system for communication and transactions.

The App is available on the iTunes App Store.