World first scheme to cut peak energy use and save $1.2 billion

Consumer savings are at the heart of a world-first energy efficiency scheme, that will provide households and businesses in NSW with discounts if they buy or install equipment that uses less energy during peak times.

Man cooking rice in a rice-cooker, Sydney

Energy Minister Matt Kean said the Peak Demand Reduction Scheme is expected to save consumers $1.2 billion on their energy bills between 2022 and 2040.

“By reducing peak demand we can supply power to everyone who needs it, when they need it, at a lower cost,” Mr Kean said.

“We are also investing $25 million in the scheme to support the development of emerging technologies and software that allow households and businesses to use power when it is cheap and abundant.”

The scheme, due to commence in time for the 2022–23 summer, will provide discounts to consumers who install more efficient appliances that operate more during off-peak periods when electricity is cheap, like smart pool pumps or household batteries.

Energy retailers and large energy users then buy peak reduction credits from the local businesses that install the appliances to meet their energy savings targets.

“There are so many easy ways to reduce our peak consumption without impacting our way of life,” Mr Kean said.

“If all the backyard pool pumps and filters across New South Wales were used outside of peak periods, we could save up to 450 MW – that’s more than the capacity of a generating unit at the Liddell Power Station.”

More fuel switching activities will also be added to the existing Energy Savings Scheme. This will include incentives for households to switch to solar and heat-pump hot water systems, and for businesses to replace gas, diesel or grid supplied electricity with renewable energy technologies like a biogas boiler.

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