Bankstown Sports Club engages an energy broker and a demand side aggregator to assist with the business’s energy management strategy.
Bankstown Sports Club has more than 50,000 members, and operates over four sites. The company directly employs 500 staff.
Company revenue: $79.8 million (2008/09)
Energy consumption: Just under 0.1 PJ in 2010
Energy costs: $2.2 million per annum
Summary of key issues for energy users
Bankstown Sports Club believes the most important issues for end-users to consider when planning energy procurement are:
- Look at market highs and lows to determine price trends. Start looking at the market at the beginning of the year, prior to end of your contract year.
- Check hidden costs such as metering.
- Ask if your broker or retailer offer any other services, such as invoice checking and reporting. Check it is free of charge — some companies charge you for savings made well after the contract has finished.
Bankstown Sports Club uses an energy broker to procure both electricity and gas. The services offered by the broker include:
- Providing data and information on electricity futures contract prices
- Undertaking periodic procurement of electricity and gas for a fixed fee, which also includes checking energy bills for errors.
In the past, the club has used a reverse auction process offered by retailers. However, the Club has found that the broker offers a better service because retailers pick the timing of the reverse auctions, knowing the contract market prices their competitors are offering.
The club prefers two to four year energy supply contracts.
Overall, the club is satisfied with the services provided by retailers, although they closely monitor metering costs and the cost of renewable energy certificates.
Demand management and demand-side participation
Bankstown Sport Club does not actively manage demand. The load profiles of all of their sites are predictable and stay within the maximum demand specified for network tariffs.
However, the club has engaged in demand-side response for several years. through a major demand-side aggregator.
This arrangement was initially implemented several years ago when the network provider advised of pending network problems with major distribution sub-stations. The Club was approached by the demand-side aggregator and entered an agreement to provide network support, rather than face loss of supply due to network outages.
This initial agreement included payment of a standby fee and a dispatch fee for one summer period. The club’s 2.6 MW standby generators were used twice under this agreement. The demand-side aggregator installed a remote, automatic start facility for the club’s diesel generators. The demand-side aggregator was able to remotely dispatch the generators at very short notice (five minutes) during short periods of extremely high spot prices. However, the club retained control over the generators, which could also be locked out, preventing the remote start function, when required (e.g. for routing maintenance of the generator units or controls).
The club has not yet undertaken a full analysis of the costs and benefits of demand-side response but it was clear the overall benefits were reduced as the number of dispatch events and run time increased.
Last year, we were paid the standby fee through the whole summer and were only despatched for one,five-hour period. But this summer, we received about the same standby fee, but were dispatched five times for a total of 48 hours, using 4,000L of diesel fuel. Clearly, the returns in the first year are a lot more favourable than the returns this year.
- Steve Williams, Maintenance Manager, Bankstown Sports Club
Payments received must also be analysed against any increased maintenance or equipment replacement costs in the longer term.