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The Hon Peter Garrett AM MP
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts

$100 million smart grid trial gets industry talking

Media release
17 July 2009

Industry and community groups this week discussed the options and opportunities under the Australian Government's $100 million National Energy Efficiency Initiative: Smart Grid, Smart City, which will accelerate the transition to a low carbon economy by encouraging innovative smart grid technology.

Minister for Environment Peter Garrett said the initiative was an exciting and important step in transforming the way Australian homes and businesses use, save and store energy.

"The Rudd Government is providing $100 million to trial a large-scale smart grid and smart meters project to demonstrate best practice, shape government policy and help industry and consumers realise the benefits of smart grids," Mr Garrett said.

"Smart grids employ a mix of innovative technologies, such as smart meters and sensors, which all work together to make the most of every bit of power we generate and use.

"Smart grids allow power companies to manage peak loads better, 'even out' electricity supply, and identify and fix faults faster.

"The benefit for consumers is that smart grids help them to make informed choices about their energy use, ultimately helping them to reduce their energy bills and make their households and businesses more energy efficient."

Mr Garrett said consulting with stakeholders was an important first step for the project, with representatives across energy, business, community and government sectors feeding strong ideas into the trial's pre-deployment study.

"Stakeholders recognise that smart grids are new territory, and are discussing what it will mean for customers, how it will shape the future of the national energy grid, and how the trial will potentially enable a whole raft of innovations and initiatives."

"The Government is moving quickly and we will be making further announcements about the Smart Grid, Smart City trial over the coming months."

"Improving energy efficiency in buildings, appliances, transport and industry is the fastest and cheapest way to reduce energy and emissions, and we are already making some huge investments, including the Government's $4 billion Energy Efficient Homes Package, which provides up to $1,600 for householders to install either solar hot water or ceiling insulation.

"Smart Grid, Smart City is just one of a range of initiatives that will help to cement Australia's position at the forefront of global efforts to use energy more efficiently and combat climate change."

For more information about the smart grid trial go to www.environment.gov.au/smartgrid

Commonwealth of Australia