Customer Spotlight: City of Canning

Demand response (DR) is an energy management mechanism that has proven to be a great fit across various industries and facility types. We talked to Nick Wilkinson, Manager of Leisure Facilities at the City of Canning, about how this local government in Western Australia participates in DR.

(EnerNOC) How did you first hear about EnerNOC and our demand response program?

(Nick Wilkinson) The Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA) enlisted EnerNOC as part of a Preferred Supplier Panel, which is a resource for local governments to access recommended goods and services that have been reviewed by the association. Through this panel, EnerNOC approached the City of Canning about the program in 2012, where we learned about their offering of additional revenue through DR participation, and their energy intelligence software (EIS).

What changes do you make to equipment or processes during a dispatch?

The City developed Riverton Leisureplex’s Building Management System (BMS) to reduce the facility’s electricity consumption during DR dispatches. Our primary aim is to continuously provide customers with a safe and suitable environment when a dispatch is called upon, while also meeting the program’s requirements.

In this program, a single dispatch can be called for up to a 4-hour period between noon and 8pm. With this in mind, we reviewed the consumption throughout the Centre and developed a daytime and nighttime strategy. This considers all areas of the Centre, and the ability to reduce or completely turn off air conditioning, air handling units, non-essential lighting, non-essential computers, and photocopiers and printers.

How have DR dispatches impacted your organisation?

Since the initiative was approved by the City of Canning Council, the Leisureplex has not had to respond to a critical dispatch as yet. However, we have been required to participate in annual audits as required by the market and to help prepare for a dispatch. In doing so, we have increased our knowledge of the Leisureplex’s energy consumption and areas to make savings. We have also been able to conduct training for staff to ensure we meet our reduction requirements if needed.

Through the audits and staff training, we are confident we can meet our commitment during an actual dispatch. In fact, EnerNOC proposed to the City of Canning an initial option of 100kW reduction, but this has now been increased up to 230kW based on our confidence in being able to meet our targets.

Has your organisation benefited from using EnerNOC’s energy intelligence software?

We have found that the energy intelligence software (EIS) platform is a useful tool to monitor usage and show the effects of our load reduction. Our participation in the program has demonstrated our ability to use less energy and the effects that reducing consumption has to the Centre’s overall usage.

What about non-financial benefits related to demand response participation or energy monitoring?

Our participation in EnerNOC’s demand response program has allowed us to highlight to our staff that we can do more to reduce consumption, not only for a DR dispatch, but in our day-to-day operations. We’re hoping to see more improvements in the future.

Demand response is an initiative that rewards large users of electricity like the City of Canning for reducing energy consumption from the grid during periods of peak demand. Through this mechanism, the grid can count on EnerNOC’s network of DR participants to help balance supply and demand, and rely less on carbon-emitting power plants.