How have you already overcome reported barriers to participating in Demand Response in the National Electricity Market?

I’m a PhD candidate at University of Queensland.  I am conducting a research project which aims to identify the motivations, risks and opportunities for businesses when deciding to participate in demand response programs.  I’d like to hear from you.



Consumer demand response is an energy management approach that can provide multiple benefits to electricity markets as well as those businesses participating in the demand response activities.

Benefits include improved operational and cost efficiencies, by reducing peak demand and congestion on networks, providing emergency reserves and ancillary services and increasing demand when there is surplus generation.  Commercial and industrial (C & I) consumers can directly participate in demand response programs provided by retailers or demand response service providers, or may use demand response as part of a risk mitigation strategy if purchasing their electricity at pool prices.  Participation involves the business reducing or increasing their electricity consumption, or switching to on site generation, in response to a price signal.


Reported Barriers

Over the years there have been some stakeholders who have claimed barriers to C & I consumers in participating in demand response activities.  These perceived barriers were one of the factors that led to the implementation of a new ‘Wholesale Demand Response Mechanism’ which is scheduled to take effect on 1st October 2021now only a year away.

However, regardless of this, a growing number of Large Energy Users are reported to be participating in demand response.

For instance, I noted the successes in in facilitating Demand Response achieved by Global-Roam as noted here

This was one of the reasons why I approached Paul McArdle with the request for an interview.  Paul offered the opportunity to provide this short initial guest article on WattClarity, through which I might communicate my interest in speaking with Large Energy Users who have had already some success with Demand Response.

Compounding the confusion about Demand Response has been poor visibility of the amount of demand response being provided by businesses in the NEM.

This begs these two questions:

Q1)  What motivated these businesses to overcome the reported barriers to participate in demand response?

Q2)  How did they go about implementing changes to their energy use practices?


Examining how some have already succeeded with Demand Response

To answer these questions, University of Queensland PhD candidate, Nicole Lashmar, is conducting a research project which aims to identify the motivations, risks and opportunities for businesses when deciding to participate in demand response programs.

Through one on one interviews directly with Large Energy Users themselves, Nicole is keen to document demand response participants’ lived experiences and to understand how they overcame any barriers to implement and sustain changes to their organisations’ energy use practices.

By understanding how businesses make decisions to participate in demand response programs, Nicole intends to uncover factors, processes, attributes, capabilities and ways to overcome barriers to demand response program participation.  The results will help to inform and expand demand response programs, as well as identify policy and market mechanisms that will help to sustain reliable participation of businesses.

I’d like to hear from you:

  • If your business is participating, or has participated, in a demand response program;
  • If your business has contemplated participating, but chosen not to; or
  • If you are using Demand Response as part of an energy strategy



About our Guest Author

Nicole Lashmar is currently undertaking her PhD at University of Queensland – Researching commercial and industrial participation in demand response in the Australian energy market.

Prior to commencement of the PhD, Nicole has gained experience in the energy sector in a variety of roles across the sector – including with major energy users (Alcoa, Brisbane City Council and Rio Tinto), with Government Bodies, with Generators and Network Companies.

You can learn more of Nicole’s background on LinkedIn here.

You can contact Nicole on

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