Wholesale Channels Manager Brian Elmer said ongoing growth and development in the area was putting pressure on the network. That has prompted Ergon to look at innovative alternatives to the traditional, poles and wires and substation solutions that require tens of millions of dollars of investment.

Map showing location of Cannonvale to the Whitsundays

"We want to continue to offer high quality service delivery and security of supply. However we are very conscious that the cost of new infrastructure and network upgrades to accommodate short term peak usage on the really hot days of the year could ultimately impact on customers’ power bills through higher electricity charges,” he said.

Instead, the Cannonvale Ergon Incentives Program will provide financial incentives for residential and commercial customers to implement measures that reduce demand on the network over the summer peak demand period.

“The cashback incentives target load management of commercial and residential customers supplied by selected powerlines from the Cannonvale substation. We’ll also work with the community to reduce electricity usage at peak demand times.”

Customers on selected powerlines in the Cannonvale area are eligible and can check their eligibility by entering their National Metering Identification (NMI) number, found on their electricity bill, into the online application form.

Picture of poles and powerlines in Cannonvale

It is likely that customers, who make changes to reduce demand and are eligible for the cashback incentives, will also make savings on their electricity bills.

Financial incentives will be available for a range of approved measures, including but not limited to, energy efficient lighting, air conditioning, pool pumps, power factor correction, changing to off-peak and economy tariffs for pools and hot water systems and more.

Ergon currently has a number of similar programs operating throughout regional Queensland, in particular the Mackay Incentives project in the Paget Industrial area in Mackay, targeting industrial usage.

Ergon will continue to invest in the maintenance and operation of its network but it will also be making prudent investment decisions about how to manage network solutions. It’s vital that we deliver the most cost effective, safe and reliable service to address affordability issues for customers.