What is load control?

Load control temporarily interrupts electricity supply to hot water cylinders to manage the peak demand on the Network, this is typically between 8:00am to 10:00am and 5.00pm to 9.00pm. Following a load control period it may take some time for your hot water cylinder to reach its normal operating temperature and, if a lot of hot water is used during that time, some customers may run out of hot water.

  • Used to limit demand for electricity at peak times on the distribution network
  • Mainly used during winter morning and evening periods (May-September)
  • It shouldn’t mean cold water unless a customer uses up all the hot water stored in cylinder

Why do we load control?

Turning off the hot water heating during peak times helps reduce the amount of peak electricity being used, and prevents the electricity network overloading. Hot water can be heated at non-peak times rather than during the peak when households need electricity for heating and cooking. Essentially, it is a simple, effective way of flattening out the peaks and troughs of demand for electricity, meaning lower costs to consumers.

Does this turn off the hot water altogether?

No. Load control only turns off the electricity supplying the element that heats the water in your hot water cylinder. The hot water already stored in the cylinder can still be used and will stay hot or warm for several hours. The difference is it won’t be reheated during load control periods. Once the hot water in the cylinder is used, the cold water will not be reheated until load control ceases. 

How can I conserve hot water?

A typical hot water cylinder will retain its temperature over the period we load control provided it is at operating temperature and there is limited hot water usage over the period of control. By understanding the typical periods of load control and reducing hot water consumption before, during or immediately after a load control period the cylinder will take less time to return to its normal operating temperature.

Other measures that can be taken include reducing the heat loss from your hot water cylinder (using a cylinder wrap) and/or setting your cylinders temperature to 60°C or above which can extend how long the hot water will last for versus those set at a lower temperature.  Refer to the Energywise website for helpful hint on how to save on hot water.

Is it posible to be excluded from having the hot water heating turned off?

Yes.  Customers can choose a price plan where Counties Power does not control their hot water, however these Customers pay a higher price for line charges across the year than those who allow control of hot water. 

Tariff changes are arranged through your Retailer who will advise you of any additional charges incurred to change from a controlled to an uncontrolled rate.  For further information on Counties Power tariffs please click here.    

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