A federal coalition government could encourage big business to "bid" to use less energy on peak-demand days as a way of reducing future electricity price rises for households.
Climate action spokesman Greg Hunt says a coalition government would limit power bill rises by ... looking at incentives for so-called demand reduction.
Network costs are to blame for the significant increases in power bills over recent years.
Mr Hunt acknowledged poles and wires had been "over built" to deal with the relatively few days of extreme energy use each year - for example scorching hot days when everyone runs air-conditioning.
"(But) you don't have to gold-plate, as it's described, if you build in the capacity to reduce demand on those days by striking agreements with large energy consumers (such as) supermarkets, which can power-down their large refrigeration units on hot days and then do the cooling later on at night," he told ABC TV on Wednesday.
"Demand reduction bidding is an incredibly effective means of reducing the pressure on capital expenditure."
Mr Hunt said such bidding would require a change to the current regulatory regime. But he met with a major energy company last week to discuss such a mechanism.
Their view was that demand reduction could have a "double benefit" with positive outcomes for providers and consumers.
Mr Hunt noted that demand reduction had been introduced very successfully in Western Australia but it hadn't been implemented on the eastern seaboard.
October 25, 2012 | TransGrid
TransGrid has announced a major new initiative to help reduce peak electricity demand in metropolitan Sydney this summer – potentially saving the power used by up to 50,000 air conditioners.
TransGrid Managing Director, Mr Peter McIntyre, said this major new initiative is one of the largest demand management programs ever undertaken in the Sydney metropolitan area.
“TransGrid has reached an agreement with EnerNOC, Inc., a global provider of demand side response services, to support Sydney’s high voltage electricity grid this coming summer,” said Mr McIntyre.
EnerNOC will provide TransGrid with demand response capacity by contracting with Sydney’s major energy users, such as universities, data centres and manufacturing facilities, to shift their power usage out of peak times. ...
December 2, 2012 | Sydney Morning Herald
Ms Gillard on Sunday announced a strategy to save Australian families up to $250 a year on their electricity bills.
The strategy would tackle the real drivers of energy price rises such as overinvestment in poles and wires - or "gold plating" - of the electricity network, she said.
But opposition climate change spokesman Greg Hunt said the plan [that is, his plan and TransGrid's major initiative] was a "stunt".
Saturday December 8, 2012 | Speaking to Steve Price, 2GB
The Shadow Minister for Climate Action, Environment and Heritage, Greg Hunt, speaks to Steve Price about COAG