Horizon Power’s pricing pilot project in Port Hedland has been recognised by the national renewable energy industry at the Clean Energy Council awards last week.
The Power Ahead research project was joint winner of the Innovation Award and beat entries from around the world.
It involved a research pilot in Port Hedland from December 2016 to March this year and was designed to reduce the use of energy during peak periods, and ensure customers had options to reduce their bills if they lowered energy usage in these times.
More than 400 participants, 346 residents and 61 businesses, took part, testing customers’ willingness and ability to change their usage behaviour given the right tools and incentives.
Research findings for residential customers who made changes showed that:
- 84 per cent reduced the amount of electricity they used
- 78 per cent reacted when they received an alert in peak times
- 82 per cent kept one or more air-conditioning units ‘off’ as part of peak routine
- 85 per cent could sustain the changes for six months every summer
Business customers also indicated a willingness and ability to make changes.
Based on the findings of the pilot, Horizon Power is developing a new way to charge for electricity similar to mobile phone and internet plans, called Power Plans.
Horizon is discussing this new way of paying for power with the State Government to ensure the pricing is fair and equitable as more customers take up renewable energy.
Horizon Power Managing Director Frank Tudor said he was proud of the work that had been undertaken and it was exciting to be recognised by the Clean Energy Council.
Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton said innovation across the renewable energy sector was the norm rather than the exception, and had helped to rapidly reduce the costs of generating power and improve efficiency.
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