More energy options for Victorians
Victoria is home to one of Australia's most bustling and lively cities - Melbourne - and also has a thriving regional population.
Of course, supporting this population and its activities leads to a hefty amount of energy use. However, residents and households are facing increasingly high electricity and gas prices. This makes the current levels of energy use hard to maintain.
To support its citizens, on July 15 the Victorian government launched a large public information campaign to help Victorians manage their power bills and make informed decisions about new, flexible pricing options.
These flexible pricing options were announced on June 26 and will be put in place from mid-September this year. These voluntary new, flexible pricing plans will give consumers greater options when it comes to power plans and may save them money. These kinds of plans have been made possible by the implementation of smart meters.
The plan means that instead of paying for electricity at a flat rate, different rates will be charged depending on the time of day you're using power - whether it's at peak, shoulder or off-peak times.
"Households that already use a lot of power outside peak times may be able to make immediate savings by switching to flexible pricing and there may be even bigger savings for those who have the ability to shift power outside of peak times,” said energy and resources minister Nicholas Kotsiras.
"For example, by running your dishwasher, washing machine and clothes dryer at off-peak instead of at the current flat rate, you could save up to $160 a year."
The public information campaign related to these flexible pricing plan options will feature a $1 million Energy Information Fund, which will ensure that disadvantaged, multicultural and hard-to-reach residents of Victoria will receive the facts about these flexible plans through not-for-profit organisations.
"It is especially important that groups like seniors, people with disability and people with English as a second language get the facts they need to help them sort through all the options being marketed so they can choose the best plan," said Mr Kotsiras.
Victorians will be able to access an interactive, web-based tool that will help them learn more about their own power use and whether flexible pricing can help them to save money.
Posted by Charlie Moore