A new electricity trial in Victoria has been launched by Jemena to encourage households in Melbourne to change their 2017/18 summer electricity habits to reduce the states electricity grid.

The new demand response pilot, which is a partnership with the Victorian Government, encourages households in Melbourne’s north to make small changes to their summer electricity usage that will have a big impact on Victoria’s electricity grid.

To be piloted across Alphington, Craigieburn, Eaglemont, East Ivanhoe, Fairfield and Ivanhoe, participants in the Power Changers pilot will be rewarded for modifying their electricity use during peak periods on their local network.

Demand response programs are increasingly being offered to customers to encourage them to trim their demand on the grid at peak times, by making adjustments to how and when they use their power.  

Jemena’s Power Changers trial utilises smart meter information, with participants tracking their electricity usage during peak times on a new interactive app, created by Victorian-based software company Billcap in conjunction with app developers GreenBe.

Jemena Executive General Manager, Customer and Markets, Shaun Reardon, said the program notifies households when the grid is under pressure.

“The pilot program uses innovative technology and smart meter data to set targets and provide feedback to households during peak times, enabling our customers to make informed choices about how and when to shift their consumption,” Mr Reardon said.

“The availability of smart meter data is significant as Jemena adopts innovative ways to deliver information to households in a simple, convenient and engaging way.  

Mr Reardon said demand response has the potential to assist users and at the same time, benefits the electricity grid.

He said there are an increasing number of demand response pilots across Australia and internationally.

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