Westfield is obtaining financial benefits from participating in an electricity demand response program.
When wholesale electricity prices spike, Westfield reduces electricity consumption at a number of its shopping centres where this would not impact tenants or customers, Sue O’Malley, Westfield general manager facilities and sustainability, states.
“At certain times our shopping centres have some capacity to reduce electricity consumption for very short periods without negatively impacting the environment for our tenants or customers – for example, by taking advantage of chilled water storage in air-conditioning systems,” O’Malley states. “This capacity means that we are able to access the financial benefits of participating in electricity demand response at certain times.”
Westfield is one of the first Australian businesses to benefit from a deal between ERM Power Limited and EnerNOC, which saw ERM Power’s sales business, which trades as ERM Business Energy, become the first Australian retailer to offer EnerNOC’s cloud-based services to customers, enabling them to participate in demand response activities.
The technology allows customers to specify demand response parameters and be switched off remotely when their parameters have met the market’s need. “Customers can nominate, for example, that power to a particular piece of machinery can be shut off between 12.30pm and 2pm, but at no other times,” Mitch Anderson, ERM Power CEO electricity sales, explains. “Using EnerNOC’s technology our traders can monitor the market, monitor the curtailable load available to us in real time, and use our customers’ pre-approval to switch off automatically when prices spike.”
“When ERM sees that there is value in load curtailment, we receive an automated phone message telling us the proposed time, and we can accept or decline the opportunity. We also receive real-time electricity data via a web portal to help us optimise our demand response and analyse our energy consumption and efficiency,” O’Malley imparts.
Participation in the ERM Power-EnerNOC program also gives customers the option of accessing tools that include customisable dashboards, reports and alerts that help them use energy more efficiently and reduce expenditure.