Large Scale Energy Users in Australia to Benefit from New Federal Rule

As “Demand Response” has started maneuvering through the energy industry in Australia, it is being increasingly viewed as an ideal alternative. The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) has proposed change that will allow large energy users to sell saved energy, back into the grid through a third party called the aggregator.

Large commercial and industrial energy consumers, following the demand response way, are saving on their usage by reducing it during peak periods. Now they can sell the same back for a price. However, small businesses and households will be excluded from this new proposed introduction.

The Liddell coal-fired power station in the NSW Hunter Valley may shut down by 2022. This has prompted AEMC’s proposal as businesses, consumers and regulators make exigence strategies. AEMC chairman John Pierce wants to hasten the rule change process, in order to take pressure off the grid so energy demand can be certain in the increasingly ambiguous atmosphere.

“These are times in which those consumers have agreed not to consume electricity or consume less or later. Taking demand pressure off the power system is a substitute for generation and helps tackle rising wholesale prices at peak times, reducing electricity costs for everyone. It makes sense to manage demand for electricity if we are going to deliver reliable energy at the least possible cost”, Mr. Pierce said.

The body has identified the potential of savings that can be extracted from large scale usages like commercial and industrial set ups. The AEMC may also considers similar offers for smaller consumers in the near future after a period of 12 months to review consumer protection concerns that will ensure all interests are protected.

The proposal comes after pressure from a range of stakeholder groups including the Total Environment Centre, the Australia Institute, the Australian Energy Council, the Public Interest Advocacy Centre and the South Australian Government.