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Innovative demand response trial will empower consumers this summer and beyond

Energy Consumers Australia has welcomed AEMO and ARENA’s announcement today to fund pilot projects across New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia as part of a joint demand response trial.

Rosemary Sinclair, CEO, Energy Consumers Australia, said the AEMO-ARENA announcement was a major milestone in the life of the National Electricity Market.

“A majority of consumers are telling us they are willing to change their use to help manage the grid and keep the power on.”

“Consumers are also telling us that they want greater control and agency around their consumption and costs.”

“These pilot projects will explore new ways to work with the community to keep the power on this summer,” Ms Sinclair said.

“Consumers are also quite active in the energy market and long-term, the trials will help test new ways to empower households and small businesses in a new, more distributed market.

Ms Sinclair said the trials were an important opportunity to begin to de-mystify a part of the energy market that is often talked about in very technical terms, using lots of jargon.

“Big industrial users have provided ‘demand response’ services for years and they’re rewarded for doing so. They essentially reduce their energy use when the system is short and get paid for it.

“Until recently the monitoring and control technology that would allow households and small businesses to participate hasn’t existed.

“Put very simply, these demand response trials are about learning how to transition a system where the task was to coordinate and reward a small number of big things, to one where we need to coordinate and reward a big number of small things.”

Media contact: Tim O’Halloran 0409 059 617

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