The Electricity Authority says about 1.8 million customers could get payments of $10.50 a week during any future electricity crisis.
The money will come from electricity companies such as the big state-owned enterprises.
The authority says customers have been asked to save power during public conservation campaigns three times in the past decade.
However, they have not been compensated for their savings and public dissatisfaction has grown.
The authority says the payments will encourage electricity retailers to more actively use commercial arrangements to manage dry-year risks, rather than rely on free savings from consumers as has been the case in the past.
The scheme will apply from April.