The property industry effectively managing peak electricity demand

Recent events such as the blackouts in South Australia in late 2016 and early 2017, and flow on effects in the wider national electricity grid including significant price spikes on the national energy market have brought energy security into focus as an issue affecting households, businesses and government alike.

With electricity prices at their highest ever levels, the prices paid for electricity at times of peak demand are rising significantly too – now making up 30-50% of most commercial electricity bills.

On 9th August 2017, Buildings Alive brought together* around 40 representatives of commercial office, retail, government and property portfolio owners and operators specifically to talk about the complexity of managing peak demand and the significant savings that can result. Representing around 3% of national energy consumption and around 7% of the demand on the national electricity market, the participants in this forum have significant influence on peak demand conditions.

Dr Hugh Saddler, one of Australia’s most highly respected analysts reviewed current energy market dynamics and electricity pricing implications for the next 3-5 years, noting

Buildings Alive CEO and cofounder Craig Roussac highlighted some of the key results from the 2016-2017 summer, where buildings using our peak demand service were able to ‘hold the line’ or even reduce peak energy demand in the face of unprecedented hot weather and rising energy costs.

Dr Hao Huang, who works across building services and research at Buildings Alive, reported some of the key learnings which stem from 3 season’s worth of peak demand prediction algorithm development and performance evaluation.

Cameron Roach, a research analyst at Buildings Alive and PhD student at Monash University, brought insight from his previous engagement as an energy forecaster at AEMO to highlight some of the challenges of modelling and predicting energy consumption.

Baden Hughes, CTO and cofounder of Buildings Alive focused on three areas of product and service innovation for the 2017-2018 season which will provide earlier and more accurate energy demand prediction, and enable more timely and effective operational changes in response.

Our experience is that accurately predicting peak demand, informing building operators in a timely and actionable way and effectively managing peak demand is challenging and complex. Yet, the opportunities available are financially attractive, operationally viable, and environmentally beneficial. We’d love to talk to your organisation to identify the most efficient way to avoid peak demand costs through the 2017-2018 summer season.

Buildings Alive would like to thank Charter Hall for hosting the event at The Yard, in No.1 Martin Place.

The presentations from this event are available on Slideshare at