Victorian businesses and households will be able to volunteer to get paid to use less electricity at times of stress on the national grid under a program to be trialled next summer.
Incentive payments will be offered to energy users who agree to be on standby to cut use during emergencies or on days of high electricity demand. They will get a further compensation payment if they are called on to actually cut use.
The $22.5 million demand response pilot program, to be jointly run by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and also taking in South Australia, is pitched as an important step in integrating renewable energy into the grid.
AEMO chief executive Audrey Zibelman said it would help the electricity system deal with high demand as it unfolds without the need to build expensive fossil fuel plants – gas-fired generators – that are only called on occasionally.
Read Adam Morton’s story in today’s Melbourne Age - “Businesses, households to be paid to use less electricity next summer.”