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Consuming energy during the middle of the day could become free for Victorians, as CitiPower and Powercor trial time-based price incentives encouraging customers to shift their demand.

The ‘Daytime Saver’ trial, limited to 27,000 customers and available between 1 July 2022 and June 2026, could save customers an estimated $100 on energy bills per year.

The tariff encourages customers to set timers or use major appliances between 10am and 3pm, when the network charge offered is $0. These appliances include pool pumps, heating or air conditioning, dishwashers and washing machines.

Electric vehicle owners without rooftop solar could also benefit, with savings predicted of up to $132 a year when at least one third of the vehicle’s charging is shifted from between 3pm and 9pm to between 10am and 3pm. That’s on top of the savings available by shifting use of their household appliances to daytime hours.

CitiPower and Powercor General Manager Regulation, Renate Vogt, said one of the biggest challenges associated with the transition to greater renewable energy generation is to educate customers about the benefits of using more power in daylight hours when energy is abundant and lower cost, instead of during traditional evening peaks.

“This type of tariff is an important way of ensuring all customers have equal access to the benefits of renewables,” Ms Vogt said.

“Customers without rooftop solar are actually expected to be the ones this tariff trial could suit best.”

The Daytime Saver network tariff has been made available for energy retailers to offer to customers as part of their electricity price plans.

The Electric Vehicle Council’s Head of Energy and Infrastructure, Ross De Rango, said the trial presented a huge opportunity for EV owners, especially those without solar at home.

“Many EV owners have solar at home already and charge their cars during the day when they can, but not everyone can put solar on their roof as easily as they can buy an EV,” Mr De Rango said.

“This program will encourage EV drivers without solar to help the networks maintain stability, while reducing emissions and saving money – a triple win.

“One of the key long-term challenges in transitioning the vehicle fleet to electric is managing the impact on the energy networks.

“Incentivising EV drivers to charge their cars in the middle of the day when there’s generally plenty of solar, or the middle of the night when there’s generally plenty of spare network capacity, is a pathway to improved network performance and reduced energy costs for everyone.”

The potential for Daytime Saver to be extended post 2026 will be assessed as part of CitiPower and Powercor’s Electricity Distribution Price Review process for the 2026-2031 period.

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