Integrated and synchronised approach to DSM initiatives.
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Demand side management (DSM) interventions aim to influence the way electricity is used by customers through specific actions and programmes. A desired load shape is achieved by encouraging electricity users to consume more electricity at times when excess capacity is available and less during times of constraints. In South Africa, load management is a fixed response between 18:00 and 20:00 and includes load shifting and load curtailment out of the Time of Use (TOU) tariff peak period. Demand Market Participation (DMP), on the other hand, is a more flexible curtailment initiative and is scheduled day ahead only if constraints are expected. This study evaluates the effectiveness of load management and DMP initiatives and proposes an optimised approach. Customer responses to the TOU tariff and the alignment of system and tariff peaks were investigated by making use of TOU metering and system sent out data. The research shows that not all customers respond to the TOU tariff signal. System peaks and TOU tariff peaks are aligned however a number of system peaks occur out of the tariff peak periods. The research further shows that load management and DMP initiatives shift and curtail load effectively. Load management initiatives with an energy efficient component are very effective and highlight the importance of energy efficiency as a whole. Historical system sent out data was analysed and the results show that a significant number of load management initiatives can become more dynamic. It was further evident that curtailment initiatives contribute more to the system than load shifting initiatives. Load management initiatives are initiated by TOU tariff peaks and not system peaks. Load management initiatives could therefore be optimised if system constraints are used as a reference and not TOU periods. It was also evident that load shifting initiatives do not add much value during the low-demand seasons. The results of this study could be utilised to improve DSM initiatives. This study also serves to influence future DSM strategies which will embrace a sustainable DSM programme.