Australians want demand response solutions, not new power stations

Solar thrives as coal and gas fired power plants feel the heat.

New polling of 1,421 Australians by The Australia Institute’s Climate & Energy Program, shows voters would prefer to see governments increase energy conservation rather than build new coal power stations.

A recent report by Institute strategist Dan Cass explains that demand response allows energy consumers to sell ‘megawatts’ of reduced demand into the National Electricity Market, to keep the grid stable and reduce price peaks.

“Respondents were asked which they thought was a better way to plan for peak demand events,” Mr Cass said.

“Two-thirds (64%) supported demand response, while 28% supported building new grid infrastructure and power stations.”

Aussies say they will turn their air-cons down rather than accept new coal power stations: Energy conservation

Aussies say they will turn their air-cons down rather than accept new coal power stations.

“This polling shows the public understands demand response is cheaper and faster and are supportive of the technology.

“There’s a real eagerness from Australians to make money by generating, storing and trading electricity. What is needed are smart regulations that would unleash huge benefits to the stability, efficiency of the grid, and lower prices to boot.”

Most people willing to curb electricity usage

According to the Institute, four in five respondents said they are interested in participating in demand response schemes.

Respondents were asked if they would be interested in turning specific appliances off or down for a half-hour period. This would be during a demand peak period, in return for a payment.

  • 85% said they would be interested in turning down the heating temperature two degrees for half an hour
  • 82% said they would be interested in turning off appliances like televisions and computers for half an hour
  • 77% said they would also be interested in turning the air-conditioning off for half an hour

“Demand response can deliver security faster and cheaper than building new power stations and more efficiently than prolonging the life of ageing plants like Liddell,” said Mr Cass.

“Technology has overtaken ideology.”

Energy control is the next wave in homes

At the recent All Energy 2017 conference in Melbourne, a new wave of home energy technology was unveiled, including one from Flex, Energy Matters parent company.

PowerPlay from Flex is a three-in-one home energy platform that coordinates solar panels and home batteries for better outcomes.

The PowerPlay home energy platform controls appliances like air-conditioning and pool pumps. Consequently,  customers could offset 90 per cent of their power usage.

Without solar power battery storage and a smart solar system like PowerPlay, householders will continue to be at the mercy of electricity retailers.