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Project overview
  • Lead Organisation

    United Energy Distribution Pty Ltd



    ARENA Program

    Advancing Renewables Program

  • Start date

    1 December 2017

    End date

    2 December 2020

  • Project Partners
    This demand response project was completed on 2 December 2020.


United Energy uses voltage control devices installed at 47 zone substations across its distribution network to deliver demand response (DR) as a participant of the Demand Response initiative. The United Energy Distribution Demand Response project delivered over 150 MW of DR reserve during the three-year trial.

Key results

  • Previously, the use of voltage control to provide demand response services has presented a level of risk as it could not be guaranteed that customer voltages would not fall below the stipulated regulated limits, which in turn risks household appliance damage.
  • United Energy has addressed this risk by developing an advanced technique using smart meters to implement voltage reduction without deteriorating their regulatory voltage compliance.
  • Voltage across the network can be reduced by 3% on average to deliver at least 30MW of demand response within 10 minutes when called upon, sustained over a 4-hour period between 10am and 10pm on business days.

How the project works

The United Energy Distribution Demand Response project used the existing fleet of smart meters deployed across the distribution network in Melbourne and the Mornington Peninsula to provide time-lagged customer voltage data from all connected smart meters to enable reductions in voltage while maintaining voltage compliance during the demand response event.

Area of innovation

While a relatively simple idea, the project innovated how the industry can leverage the available voltage range from smart-meter measurements to keep supply to customers within the allowable voltage limits as a way to stabilise the grid in peak demands – without having to ask consumers to reduce their energy usage.


The program helped establish the idea that DR can assist in maintaining a stable electricity grid in Eastern Australia.

Last updated 29 January 2021


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