Media release

Cheapest, cleanest, fastest way to sure up energy security

Managing how we use energy will be critical for energy security this summer according to Australian Energy Market Operator’s (AEMO).

The Energy Efficiency Council’s Head of Policy, Rob Murray-Leach, welcomed AEMO’s ‘Electricity Statement of Opportunities’ report.

“There is a genuine risk of power shortages this summer. We don’t have time to build enough extra generation before then, which makes energy efficiency essential,” said Rob Murray-Leach.

“The Energy Market Operator made it crystal clear – we need to catch up with the rest of the world and use energy efficiency to keep electricity secure and affordable.”

AEMO’s new report makes a number of vital points:

  • There are genuine risks of power shortages in Victoria and South Australia in 2017-18
  • The risks of power shortages will be much worse in Victoria and South Australia if we don’t improve our energy efficiency and demand rises faster than expected.
  • Demand-response will be a critical to keep the lights on.

Under AEMO’s new ‘demand response’ program (part of the ‘Reliability and Reserve Trader’ (RERT) scheme), energy users will be paid to voluntarily reduce their energy use during emergencies (when demand for electricity exceeds supply). This will allow the system operator to keep power flowing to all homes and businesses.

AEMO makes it clear that we are a long way behind the rest of the world in adopting demand response. Every energy market faces emergencies, such as storms or generators malfunctioning. The cost of having extra generation sitting idle for more than 99 per cent of the year is incredibly expensive.

It’s much cheaper to ask energy users to voluntarily reduce their load in emergencies, which normally last just a few hours a year.

“We’re delighted that AEMO has followed the rest of the world and introduced a demand response program. This reform is long overdue – the dinosaurs in the energy market who got us into this mess resisted it for years,” Rob Murray-Leach said.

“We’re looking forward to working closely with AEMO to turn Australia into a global leader in affordable, reliable electricity”



Media inquiries: Greg Muller on 0414 654 288,