Electricity trial to test peak-use periods
Electricity users will pay more to turn on their lights or run dishwashers in peak-demand periods as part of a trial by the State’s regional power provider.
Under a plan to test the viability of so-called time-of-use tariffs, Horizon Power will charge customers in Port Hedland more to use electrical appliances at times when strain on the grid is high. Participants will be charged far less to use power outside peak-demand times — between 1pm and 8pm — to encourage them to shift their use to quieter times.
Up to 500 households and businesses, including Coles and potentially BHP Billiton, will take part in the trial between December and March.
The pricing model will be similar to a mobile phone plan, with customers to pay monthly for a specified amount, or quota, of electricity.
Although usage over a quota can notionally incur penalty rates, Horizon does not plan to impose them during the trial.
Instead, the State-owned utility will offer financial rewards to customers who use less than their agreed limits to encourage participation.