Denmark & Walpole communities lead the way in cutting power use
Release Date: 12 April 2012
Residents in Denmark and Walpole have shown that a constant focus on energy efficiency can successfully reduced peak electricity use in the towns over several years.
Since 2007 the two towns have reduced peak electricity demand by around 14 per cent below the forecast peak by being involved in The Green Town Project, a joint Western Power and community venture to improve power reliability and reduce peak demand.
Western Power Sustainability General Manager, Phil Southwell said that while the initial driver to work closely with the community was to improve power reliability, particularly during the peak use period of Easter, the community embraced the opportunity to help by being energy efficient.
"Denmark and Walpole residents jumped at the chance to reduce power use. They particularly wanted to delay the building of new lines through the forest and understood that this was possible if peak electricity use could be reduced.
"As a result of their dedication they have shown it is possible to effectively lower peak power use and to maintain the lower level of demand over several years," he said.
"Western Power helped at the outset by installing around 6000 energy efficient compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) for free in 600 homes, which should save households approximately $730 over the life of the CFLs.
"Residents were also offered a $400 rebate for the installation of gas-boosted solar hot water systems to encourage the replacement of electric hot water systems and Western Power provided 2300 smart meters in 2010/11 as part of a smart meter trial, providing a future opportunity for householders to receive information on real-time energy use via an In Home Display," Mr Southwell said
Since 2007 a Community Education Program has raised awareness of the cause and effect of peak demand and informed the community about the ways of reducing peak energy consumption in their homes.
Energy efficiency information and audits, education and advisory services are provided by Green Town Energy Services in the Denmark Environment Centre to reduce residential, business and tourist peak electricity consumption.
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