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There are times when electricity networks experience periods of congestion. This can occur on cold winter mornings when heating water in residential homes coincides with the start of the business day or again in the evenings when people return from work and switch on heating, lighting and begin cooking their evening meal.
We also experience peaks on our rural network when irrigation pumps connected to our network are switched on simultaneously. At these times, capacity on the network can be fully utilised.
The peaks when our capacity is fully utilised are generally for very short periods. Rather than investing significant sums of money to increase the capacity of the electricity network for these short periods (which would ultimately increase line charges) we use Load Management to reduce the load to manageable levels.
To manage load, we use a ripple signalling system that allows us to switch off appliances (typically hot water cylinders) to reduce the total load on the network – this is recorded as our shedding percentage. As soon as load levels begin to fall we systematically begin to switch these appliances back on.
A shedding percentage of 0% indicates that we are not shedding (or reducing) any load from the network, whereas a figure of 100% indicates that we are shedding all controllable load. Total controllable load is a small percentage of our total load, so 100% should not be confused with all load being turned off.
For more information about our Load Management practice, please contact EA Networks on 03 307 9800.