Consumers may soon have the choice to change to a time varying retail electricity tariff and adapt their consumption patterns at peak times to reduce their energy bills.
Giving consumers the choice to 'opt-in' into a time varying tariff is just one of many recommendations of the Australian Energy Market Commission's (AEMC) Power of Choice Review released today.
The review was requested by the Standing Council on Energy and Resources (SCER) to identify options for improving demand side participation in the national electricity market.
The Minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson AM MP, Chair of SCER, welcomed the release of the review which sets out a wide-ranging package of reforms to help consumers drive down their energy costs through better information, technology and pricing options.
"This report highlights how residential customers can save money through better choices regarding their electricity use," Minister Ferguson said.
"The challenge for governments is to ensure we get the market settings right so that electricity retailers can offer consumers these choices.
"Importantly, what the review finds is that switching to a time varying tariff could save consumers with a relatively flat consumption pattern $50 off their annual bill, even if they don't change the way they consume electricity.
"This saving could increase to an extra $100 a year if consumers are able to shift around 20 per cent of their use from the peak afternoon period (2pm to 8pm) to other times.
"This could easily be achieved through simple changes such as changing the time when the dishwasher, tumble dryer or washing machine are used.
"Consumers increasingly want better services and greater choice through innovative packages from their energy suppliers and this report provides a pathway to achieving that.
"Providing the opportunities for consumers to sign up to these types of initiatives is exactly what the Australian Government want to promote."
SCER will consider its response to the recommendations in the review over the coming months.
For further information see www.aemc.gov.au.