The Power2U project, initiated by electricity supplier Ausgrid and the City of Sydney, has received a financial boost earlier this week.
On behalf of the Australian government, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has granted $1 million to the project, which is offering incentives to permanently reduce demand through measures such as solar PV and LED lighting.
With ARENA’s support, the program will expand to a footprint of 15 suburbs across Sydney including Bankstown, Alexandria, Condell Park, Glebe and Pyrmont.
ARENA’s grant, together with Ausgrid’s funding and earlier support worth $750,000 from the City of Sydney, takes the total investment in the Power2U project to $4.1 million.
The program is targeting customer segments that have low renewables uptake and are traditionally difficult to reach. Its aim is to avoid or reduce the need to replace ageing electricity network infrastructure by lowering demand on the grid – particularly curbing energy use during the day.
“The project will provide Ausgrid and other distribution network service providers around Australia greater confidence in the ability of renewable and efficiency solutions to offset network expenditure which has traditionally been very difficult to address with demand management,” ARENA CEO Darren Miller said
Under the Power2U scheme, incentives will be available through Ausgrid’s preferred market providers, which will be announced in the near feature.
The market providers will then introduce offers inclusive of Ausgrid’s rebates for new solar power and energy efficient lighting systems.
The program will apply to systems installed before June 2020.
“Reducing use of grid-supplied electricity can lead to lower costs to maintain the grid and lower electricity costs for all customers,” Ausgrid CEO Richard Gross said, noting that Ausgrid has the second lowest rate of solar take-up by customers due to the high number of apartments and businesses in its footprint.
“This is an exciting opportunity for Ausgrid customers to be part of an innovative program that will help reduce electricity use, make the grid more sustainable, improve affordability and benefit the environment.”
According to the electricity providers, Power2U is projected to reduce participating customers’ bills by about $5 million per year and reduce greenhouse emissions by 29,000 tonnes per year.