Launched today by Energy Minister, Josh Frydenberg, the Federal Government has launched a scheme which will reward households and businesses in three states, to turn down their air con, furnaces and cool rooms, in a bid to prevent blackouts during peak periods.

The $36 million program, extended to users in NSW, Victoria and South Australia, will offer incentives (such as rebates on power bills) to voluntarily reduce their energy use.

In an environment plagued by increasing power prices and grid instability across Australia’s national electricity market, the Turnbull government will spend $28.6 million on 10 pilot projects over three years.

The news comes as Australian states consider measures to prevent blackouts this summer, amidst a worsening energy crisis.

The Berejiklian government will pay $7.2 million for the setup and operational cost of trials in New South Wales.

Trial projects include; a smart thermostat for controlling air conditioning, plus households reducing energy use for 1 – 4 hours in exchange for a weekend of free electricity.

Reports state around 50 large commercial and industrial businesses across New South Wales and Victoria, will install hardware to automatically (and remotely) control/reduce energy. Sites include; water pumps, gas production facilities, metalworks, paper mills and glass factories.

For Victorian residents who are struggling with high priced power bills, the government will extend flexible payment options, lower tariffs plus a six-month debt payment “hold”. The revisions are part of changes announced by the Essential Services Commission yesterday.

Federal Energy Minister, Josh Frydenberg, informed media yesterday that similar incentives have operated successfully in other countries such as America and Taiwan.

Frydenberg states the “demand response” initiative is tipped to be successful by “providing a financial incentive to energy users to conserve their energy use during times of peak demand”.

“The energy saved can then be directed to help stabilise the grid when and where it is needed”.

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