The PeakSmart air conditioning program is expanding to regional Queensland which means a household or small business will receive a cash reward of up to $400 if they purchase a peak smart air conditioner.

Treasurer Curtis Pitt and Energy Minister Mark Bailey announced today, that as part of Queensland’s Summer Preparedness Plan, the Palaszczuk Government was making the program available to regional Queenslanders for the first time.

Mr Pitt said when the temperature rises in Queensland, many homes and businesses switch on their air-conditioners at the same time.

“Regional Queenslanders will now have the option to help manage peak demand and receive up to $400 by installing a PeakSmart air-conditioner,” Mr Pitt said.

“Not only is this an innovative program that assists Energy Queensland with managing peak demand, it also provides households with additional cash that can make their electricity bill more affordable.

“Expanding the PeakSmart program to include regional Queensland households is part of the Summer Preparedness Plan that focusses on ensuring Queensland’s power system security and reliability.”

Mr Bailey said Queensland was already feeling the early signs of a hot summer with the potential of high demand for electricity.

“The Queensland Energy Security Taskforce has worked closely with Queensland’s electricity generators and our networks to develop the Summer Preparedness Plan to ensure that we can respond to these challenges,” Mr Bailey said.

“Equally, we need to support our businesses and households to keep cool during our hot summers.

“No doubt Queenslanders will want their air conditioners running to beat the summer heat and we want to help Queenslanders to reduce their cooling costs.

“That’s why we’re expanding the PeakSmart air conditioning incentive program which has been run by Energex in South East Queensland to now also be available in regional Queensland.”

Mr Bailey said customers choosing to be PeakSmart won’t have their air-conditioners switched off during load management events, but they will run at a lower level similar to economy mode.

“It does not shut off your air conditioner. Your PeakSmart air conditioner will keep running in economy mode,” he said.

“Currently, there are over 70,000 PeakSmart air conditioners installed in South East Queensland.

“There are also about 60,000 air conditioners that are PeakSmart compatible in regional Queensland – an addition of a signal receiver will allow these air conditioners to be PeakSmart.

“It is expected an average of 1500 additional customers (each month) could join the program which will help manage the increasing demand on the network through the summer months.

“It is important to remember these peak demand events may occur only a few times a year.

“It is simply a win-win – households and businesses get a highly efficient air conditioner that is, lower operating costs, and our networks can better manage high demand.

“The other key message is to set your home air conditioner between 24 and 25 degrees for it to run efficiently. Every degree lower could cost you up to 10 per cent of your running costs.”

Mr Bailey said the Palaszczuk Government understands electricity costs are a hit to the hip pocket due to a lack of energy policy certainty by the Abbott and Turnbull governments.

“This is just another way we’re doing everything we can do to help drive down those costs for Queenslanders,” he said.

(Government Media Release 10 October 2017)

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