Public Comment

Compulsory demand response for AC?

The Department for Energy and Mining in South Australia has put forward proposed local demand response requirements for selected appliances, including air conditioners.

Appliances with demand response (DR) capabilities can be used to shift load of appliances and to lower peak demand on the network. For air conditioners in particular, DR has the potential to address periods of peak summer demand.

The government of South Australia is currently proposing to adopt public, non-proprietary standards for DR capability for selected appliances offered for sale in South Australia. This includes air conditioners, as well as electric vehicle chargers, pool pump controllers and electric storage water heaters.

The proposed standards would ensure early implementation in South Australia of DR capability requirements that were agreed nationally by Energy Ministers using the Commonwealth Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards Act 2012. As was agreed during development of the national DR measures, jurisdictions with imminent network issues requiring more controllable devices in the system may consider an earlier implementation using local regulation.

There is, however, some concern within the HVAC&R industry about how feasible the plan is. Relatively speaking, Australia is a small market, and South Australia even smaller. Large AC manufacturers are not expected to introduce DR capability into their products to satisfy such a localised requirement.

A consultation paper on demand response requirements has been released for stakeholder feedback.

Submissions on the consultation paper should be emailed to and are due by 5pm (ACST) 9 April 2021.

To read the consultation paper, click here.

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