The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) has approved proposals filed by utility firms Energex and Ergon Energy to implement Time of Use (ToU) energy pricing.The approval of the energy pricing proposals will allow the two energy distribution companies to implement demand response programmes to reduce energy consumption during peak periods for the reliability of their grid networks in Queensland.
Demand response energy pricing
The ToU energy pricing programmes will help consumers to reduce their energy bills by shifting heavy energy usage during peak periods to when the energy demand and cost is lower.
Jim Cox, AER Board member, said: “This will help reduce the need for future network upgrades and replacement, lowering prices for all customers in the long run.
“Today’s decisions complement other reforms taking place in the electricity market, including the gradual rollout of smart meters and provisions enabling customers to have access to their own consumption data,” added Cox.
The two utility companies are expected to continue their rollout of smart electricity meters in December 2017.
Under the approved energy tariffs, 35% of consumers’ energy bills will cover utilities’ energy distribution charges.
Residential and small business consumers who choose to opt out of the ToU energy pricing programme will continue to have their energy bills charged in line with the existing Queensland Government’s uniform tariff policy. [HECO files plans for demand response programmes].
The news follows an announcement made last December by the Australian government that it will commence its Smart Cities and Suburbs Programme in the first half of 2017.
The Smart Cities and Suburbs Programme will aim to improve research, development and adoption of smart city technologies in Australia.
Through the programme, the Australian government will provide funding in the form of grants for implementation of research, development and testing of new smart city technologies.
The government plans to spend $50 million over the course of four years.
Under the programme, shortlisted Australian municipalities, research organisations, utilities and the private sector will receive grants ranging between $100,000 and $5 million to deploy smart technologies.
The smart city funding programme will be divided into phases with the first phase set to provide $10 million in funding.
Projects to secure funding during the first phase of the programme will be deployed through to June 2020.
The programme will fund projects, which include the development of data analytics technologies, to help cities improve management and operation of resources such as water and energy.
Image credit: www.choice.com.