Load Management refers to the way we reduce electrical load on our network during periods of high or peak electrical demand – generally in winter, especially mornings and early evening when heating gets switched on and cooking is taking place.
Why we Manage Load
Turning off the hot water heating during peak times helps to reduce the amount of electricity being used at one time. Hot water can be heated at non-peak times rather than during the peak when households need electricity for heating and cooking.
Essentially it allows us to flatten out the peaks and troughs of demand on the network.
There may also be times when Transpower, or another electricity industry participant, requests that Westpower carry out load management.
How we Manage Load
Westpower uses a system known as Ripple Control. Once power usage reaches maximum limits, a computerised system in our network control room sends out coded signals across the network.
When the signal reaches a household meter board a relay recognises the signal and switches off the electricity supply to the hot water cylinder.
When power demand eases, another signal is sent out to turn the hot water cylinder back on.