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Peak Demand Reduction Trial

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Incentive to use less power
22 July 2010

Selected Ergon Energy customers on Magnetic Island will be paid a cash incentive to use less power at peak times as part of an innovative Townsville Queensland Solar City project.

As part of the peak demand reduction initiative, trial participants can earn up to $25 a month by using by using at least 15 percent less electricity between 6pm and 9pm each day than they did at the same time last year.

Solar City manager Ian Cruikshank said the trial will help manage the supply of electricity to Magnetic Island during periods of peak demand on Ergon Energy’s network and is expected to significantly defer costly investment in network infrastructure and upgrades.

“Offering small incentives to embed positive change has proven to be an effective project tool for reducing energy use during periods of high demand,” he said.

Mr Cruikshank said Ergon Energy and the Solar City project are committed to finding ways of using electricity in the home more efficiently and encouraging sustainable behavioural change.

“The focus of the trial is to educate customers on the effects of peak power demand on our network and encourage them to shift or lower their average usage of electricity during the peak period.

“Invitations to participate will be sent to 200 eligible Magnetic Island Ergon Energy customers in late July with the expectation that 150 customers will register to participate,” he said.

“Selection will be based on the availability of 12 months smart meter interval data and household energy use patterns.

“We will monitor the trial closely to determine its effectiveness and possible scope for wider rollout on the island and to other communities that may benefit from similarly structured programs.

The peak demand reduction trial will run for 18 months and is scheduled to commence in October 2010.

Ergon Energy’s Magnetic Island Solar Suburb is the focal point of the Townsville Queensland Solar City project, an initiative of the Australian Government under the national Solar Cities program.

The project team works closely with residents to show how the integration of solar power, smart meters, energy conservation, peak demand management and new energy pricing options can meet the island community’s needs, reduce its carbon footprint and defer network investment.

Ergon EnergyTownsville City CouncilDelfinHoneycombesCafaloQueensland Government