Preliminary work has commenced for an energy demand management program for the town of Broome in the State's far North.
Fuel and Energy Minister Geoff Gallop said today that the Sydney-based firm, Energetics, had been appointed to devise the energy use strategy and report to SECWA by early October.
Energy savings of at least 10 per cent were expected from the $90,000 SECWA-funded plan which could be implemented before the end of the year.
"Energetics has devised similar programs for the communities of Mt Isa, Yulara and King Island," Dr Gallop said.
"Broome was selected for the Western Australian study because it is a growing community with a climate that places large demands on electricity use.
"This is SECWA's first attempt to plan an energy strategy for an entire town and the benefits could be extended to other remote communities throughout the State.
"Western Australia has more non-grid towns than any other State and, in most cases, SECWA runs the local diesel-fired power station at a loss.
"By encouraging more efficient uses of electricity SECWA can reduce these losses and defer the need for new generating equipment."
Dr Gallop said interviews with domestic and commercial energy users in Broome had begun and this would continue for about five weeks. Talks were also being held with special interest groups and the Shire Council.
Energetics specialists would use the data that was gathered to identify energy saving measures. SECWA would then consider the practicality and cost effectiveness of these suggestions and how to implement them.
"I want to stress that the demand management program will not be imposed upon Broome residents," Dr Gallop said.
"Community co-operation is essential to develop awareness of the benefits that can be gained from energy conservation."