Load management, or ripple control, has been around for decades. It's used to avoid large power outages when demand on the electricity network is high. In the South, this is usually over the winter months, in the mornings when your heating and lights are turned on, and early evenings when you get home and turn on your heating, start cooking and switch on the lights. 

To manage high use times on the network we sometimes need to switch off power to hot water cylinders for a short time. Customers opt-in to allow us to do this to avoid a wider power outage. This normally goes unnoticed as your hot water cylinder retains its heat during this time. 

Approximately 70% of our customers across the Dunedin, Central Otago/Wānaka and Queenstown Lakes networks have chosen to be on a ripple control tariff and permit. 

It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact number of customers impacted during any single ripple management event, as the impact is related to both the length of the control period and to the individual customer’s hot water usage during that time. 

What to do if you have issues with hot water

If you’re experiencing issues with your hot water, there are a few things you can do.  

  • Check your hot water cylinder is powered by electricity and is in good working order.  
  • If it is and you’ve got no hot water, then contact your electricity retailer to see if there is an issue with the ripple switch on your property, which, along with your meter, is managed by them.
  • If this isn’t the issue get in touch with us on 0800 22 00 05. 

Find out more about our load management process here.