Thursday, June 02, 2011

Alice Springs Electricity tariff trial closed to new participants

Participation in an Alice Solar City trial which aims to shift the time of day residents use electricity, has been snapped up by over 370 residents - exceeding the program’s target.
“The Cost Reflective Tariff (CRT) trial is now at capacity and is closed to new participants”, said Sam Latz, Alice Solar City’s Acting General Manager.

Under the CRT trial, participating householders have moved from being charged a flat rate for their electricity consumption, to a peak / off-peak pricing structure instead.

This means their power costs more during peak periods (9am – 6pm Monday to Friday) and less in off-peak periods (6pm – 9am), encouraging them to ‘shift’ their power use, which in turn aims to reduce the peak load on the town’s generators.

“By reducing the peak loads on our electricity network, we can help defer expensive investments in increased capacity, and reduce pressure on electricity prices”, said Sam Latz.
“We have seen CRT customers shift their power use for things like putting on their pool pump or a load of washing in the evening, turning off unneeded appliances during the day, and being mindful of when they use the booster on their hot water system.”

“Alice Solar City will now focus on monitoring the consumption patterns of CRT trial participants, producing results that will inform future energy policy.”

“Our target was to have 350 customers in the CRT trial, and we are pleased that residents have been so keen to get involved. In addition to those involved in the CRT trial, 275 extra customers who installed rooftop solar with Alice Solar City are automatically put on CRT.”

“This is a total of 645 residents participating, and Alice Springs is one of the few places in the country where this sort of technology is being trialed.”

All CRT participants have also been given an In-house Display. By touching the portable LCD screen, householders can see their overall electricity consumption, a breakdown of their peak and off peak electricity use and CO2 emissions by day, week or month and power costs for the current month.

“Normally, the only feedback or information we get about our electricity consumption is once every 3 months when we get our electricity bill. This technology instead gives information in real time to householders.”

“The In-house Display allows them to become smarter with their energy use by giving them live information about their electricity consumption and helping them to make more informed decisions about when they choose to use their electricity.”

The Alice Solar City project is part of the Australian Government's Solar Cities initiative, which is helping change the way we think about and use energy. Trials involving governments, industry, businesses and residents across Australia are helping create a new energy future for Australian communities.

Twittercue: Participation in Alice Springs electricity tariff trials exceeds expectations & is now closed to new participants #alicesprings #topend

For media enquiries please contact Laurelle Halford from Creative Territory on 0417 222 211 or (08) 8952 9412 or

About Alice Solar City

The Alice Springs Solar City Consortium is led by the Alice Springs Town Council and includes broad community support from the Northern Territory Government, Power and Water Corporation, Tangentyere Council, the Northern Territory Chamber of Commerce, the Desert Knowledge Cooperative Research Centre and the Arid Lands Environment Centre. Funding sources include the Australian Government, the Northern Territory Government, Power and Water Corporation, and Alice Springs Town Council.

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