Energy Australia wants to pay you to stop using power up to 10 times a year

Known as PowerResponse, Energy Australia’s new program offers customers the ability to make savings on their power bill, if they change the way they use power.

While Australia’s energy grid is complex, there are times where energy generation doesn’t match the rapid changes in usage. Basically the market operates like a giant guessing game.

Using complex predictive models to project what’s going to be needed in the minutes and hours ahead, sometimes events happen that means the amount of power available is really tight.

Left unchecked, we may see blackouts in select areas, as we have in the past. Energy Australia’s solution is to offer incentives to customers who reduce usage during peak events.

Most of the time there is enough electricity for everybody. But sometimes the grid is stretched to its limits when demand is really high. One of the worst times of the day is when we all start turning on our appliances when we get home from work.

Increased demand could be solved by additional power plants or power sources (hopefully renewable), but if supply only just surpasses demand, firing up another coal-fired power plant is expensive if it only services a few. In reality, paying some customers (via discounts to their bill), is a cheaper option to get through the peak times or outages.

It is expected that this would occur a few times a year, but it may be as many as 10 over a 12 month timeframe.

EnergyAustralia electricity customers can join PowerResponse and we’ll ask you by SMS to voluntarily shift or reduce your household’s electricity use for 1-4 hours, up to 10 times per year.

Your rewards

You’ll get more credit the more energy you save during an energy saving event, up to $20, plus earn a $5 reward for simply completing a survey about your experience. 

  • Receive a $10 reward by reducing usage during the event by 20%-49% compared to your normal usage.
  • Increase your reward to $20 by reducing usage during the event by 50% or more compared to your normal usage.
  • Just for completing a survey after the event, you’ll get a $5 bill credit.

It’s completely up to you if you want to participate in an event. 

How PowerResponse Works

  1. We’ll SMS you when an event is coming up. We’ll try to give you as much notice as possible. Sometimes if an event is needed due to an emergency like a bushfire, we might not be able to give as much advance notice.
  2. We’ll send you a reminder within 24 hours of the planned event (a reminder may not be possible if we aren’t able to give much notice).
  3. You’ll get an SMS when the event starts. If an event has been cancelled, we’ll notify you by SMS.
  4. If you choose to participate, reduce or shift your electricity use during the event. 
  5. We’ll confirm by SMS when the event is over.
  6. 2-3 days after the event, we’ll let you know how much energy you saved as well as any rewards you earned*.
  7. You’ll also be able to view your results and rewards if you have MyAccount set up.

Rewards and credits are in the form of bill credits which are applied to your account within 15 business days of an event or survey close date and will appear on your next electricity bill after that date.

I wanted to give the system a try, so I’ve just signed up. If you’re interested, make sure you read the full terms and conditions here.

More information at EnergyAustralia.

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Jason Cartwright
Jason Cartwright
Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021

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