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As the name suggests, peak demand is when demand for electricity is at its highest.

It tends to happen at times when everyone is at home, typically between 5pm and 9pm. And on very hot or cold days where the air con or heaters are on.

This peak demand can cause an imbalance, impacting system security and safety, leading to outages. As we experience more extreme weather and hotter summers, peak demand events are becoming more common.

It’s an issue facing electricity networks around the world. As well as climate change impacts, we’re asking more from our electricity infrastructure, with the two-way power flow of renewables, and increased demand.

How does Western Power respond to peak demand?

To manage this issue, we are undertaking a number of activities that, when combined, will help us to reduce peak demand and increase grid resilience, reliability and security. We are:

  1. Strengthening the grid with transmission upgrades and new generators
  2. Improving our forecasting and network management flexibility
  3. Communicating with customers to switch power use to outside peak electricity times
  4. Undertaking extensive bushfire mitigation programs to reduce potential outages from fires
  5. Implementing our long-term ‘modular grid’ approach for future grid resilience
  6. Implementing our longer term battery energy storage program
  7. Increasing the capacity of lines to better withstand peak and allow for more renewables to connect to the network

What are we doing to improve the network

Our long-term transition to a more renewable grid is well underway, increasing the grid’s resilience and sustainability.

As we upgrade grid infrastructure to support more renewables, batteries and EV’s, we’re strengthening its capabilities. This gives us better peak demand management, and more choice for customers around generating, storing and using power.  

Our grid is also data driven, which improves our modelling and forecasting.

As climate change impacts grow, data from technology like Advanced Meters is helping us understand the impact of extreme weather events like heatwaves on the grid, how to better manage them, and how to best target investment into our future network.

More on network improvement 

How you can help at peak electricity times

We also want - and need - the WA community to help.

During peak energy hours, our customers can help by shifting their energy use and reducing power consumption, so we’re not all using energy at the same time. Every small change adds up, and it can save you money on your summer electricity bills.

  • Set your air conditioner to 24 degrees. Plus every degree increase can reduce electricity costs
  • Run your dishwasher and washing machine in the morning instead of after dinner
  • Run all high energy use appliances outside of peak hours
  • Use your pool pump in the middle of the day
  • Turn off your appliances at the wall, they still use power on standby

Peak demand FAQs