With PowerResponse EnergyAustralia customers can earn rewards for making simple changes to your energy use to help lessen demand on the electricity grid during peak times.
Most of the time there is enough electricity for everybody. But sometimes the grid is stretched to its limits when demand is really high. Like when we all turn on our appliances when we get home from work, or when there is a disruption in supply. This puts pressure on the grid to meet the increased need for power.
With PowerResponse, we’re mobilising the EnergyAustralia community to help learn whether a community effort to shift or reduce electricity use can help maintain grid reliability when demand is high.
If we all make a small change to how we use electricity during peak times, we could make a collective difference to reducing overall demand on the grid. This could mean avoiding or deferring costly upgrades to the electricity network for those few times a year when there’s increased pressure on the grid.
If you're an EnergyAustralia electricity customer you 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.*
*PowerResponse will run until 1st December 2020.
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.
^ 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. See full terms and conditions for how we calculate your normal usage and usage reduction.
We reserve the right to change this offer at any time.
EnergyAustralia residential electricity customers in Victoria, South Australia or New South Wales:
- with a smart meter;
- do not have anyone in the household on life support; and
- have a mobile phone to receive SMS notifications of an event.
Safety is our priority - if turning off certain appliances would be harmful to you or anyone at your home, please don’t take part.
We’ll give you as much notice as possible when an event is coming up.
You’ll get an SMS when the event starts.
Choose to reduce or shift your electricity use during the event.
The event finishes - we’ll confirm by SMS when it’s over.
Complete a survey for a $5 reward- we’ll SMS you the survey link.
We’ll let you know how much energy you saved, and any rewards you earned within a few days.
How can I reduce my power usage?
Reducing the amount of electricity you use could be as easy as adjusting your air-conditioning temperature, switching off your pool pump, and delaying a load of washing.^
Heaters and air conditioners can be big energy guzzlers. Adjust the thermostat to reduce the amount of electricity used.
Delay putting on a load of washing and you can save up to 1kWh.
Not running your dishwasher during an event could mean you reduce usage by around 1kWh.
Switching your pool pump off during an event could save you up to 2kWh.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is PowerResponse?
PowerResponse is EnergyAustralia’s Demand Response program, being run in conjunction with ARENA, in which we ask selected participants reduce their electricity consumption for a short period when demand is particularly high.
What is Demand Response?
In times of high demand (for example, extreme heat) or emergencies, power supply reserves in Australia’s National Electricity Market (NEM) sometimes reach critically low levels. Demand Response involves rewarding customers who choose to reduce their power consumption, switch to backup generation or dispatch their energy storage for short periods when electricity reserves are predicted to reach these critically low levels.
The simple idea behind demand response is that rather than pay to increase how much capacity is available in the electricity grid (such as upgrading transmission networks) for these rare instances when the grid is under pressure, we encourage customers to reduce the amount of electricity they use during times of need and reward them for the changes they make. Reducing demand at peak times, will also assist in the ability to transition more generation to renewable energy sources such as solar and wind.
Why has EnergyAustralia launched PowerResponse?
Through PowerResponse, we will be trying to find out if a collective effort program – or Demand Response – can help secure the Australian electricity grid by December 2020. If this program is rolled out more widely in the future, it could help all Australians to reduce pressure on our grid.
Why should I participate in PowerResponse?
As a participant you will not only help maintain a stable energy supply for everyone, you will also receive rewards in the form of electricity bill credits for changing your energy consumption behaviour for short periods of time.
Can I participate in more than one Demand Response program?
Eligible participants are only able to participate in one Demand Response program per property, unless EnergyAustralia has provided prior written consent. This applies to any Demand Response Program offered by EnergyAustralia or a third party for the duration of a contract (where applicable).
Can I participate with multiple properties?
Yes you can, you will just need the account number and postcode for each property. The registration form will tell you if the property is eligible to take part in PowerResponse.
What happens if I move?
If you move home and remain an EnergyAustralia electricity customer, you will need to register your new home to continue to participate in EnergyAustralia’s PowerResponse program. Call us on 1800 089 629 for assistance.
What happens if I change electricity retailer?
If you change retailers for your electricity supply, you will no longer be eligible to participate in EnergyAustralia’s PowerResponse program and you will be automatically removed.
Wattwatchers or Redback owners participating in PowerResponse should refer to the supplied terms and conditions. You may be required to reimburse EnergyAustralia for the upfront incentive that you received for registering to participate in EnergyAustralia’s PowerResponse program.
I live in Queensland can I participate in PowerResponse?
As this is a trial it is currently restricted to New South Wales, South Australian, and Victorian EnergyAustralia customers. However you can still reduce your electricity consumption to help out the grid during times of peak demand such as extreme weather conditions.
Are there any fees for exiting the program?
There are no fees for exiting PowerResponse. If you wish to exit, please provide us with notice in writing and we will no longer send event notifications to you. It could take up to 30 days for your request to be finalised.
Remember that participation in events is your choice, every time. You can choose how you respond to our event notifications and whether your household participates, so you remain fully in control. You do not need to exit the program to avoid an event.
Why do I need to become an EnergyAustralia customer to participate in PowerResponse?
As this is a trial, all rewards are currently being credited onto the customer's EnergyAustralia electricity bill. Once the trial is over, we may consider making this program available to customers with other electricity providers.
How do I register for PowerResponse?
To register for the PowerResponse program, click here.
How and when will I be asked to participate in an event?
We will send an SMS to the mobile number you have listed on your account when we know of an event.
This will be up to 24 hours prior to the event and it will advise when the event will start and how long it will go for.
We try to give as much notice as possible but if there is an emergency (such as an extreme weather event) the notice may be short. On some occasions the notice could be as little as a few minutes prior to the event.
As always, you can choose whether you participate or not, so if it’s not convenient for you, that’s ok.
We’ll then confirm the event has started with an SMS.
The conclusion of the event will also be notified with an SMS, so you know you can return to normal usage.
How long is an event likely to be?
Events are likely to be between 1 and 4 hours in duration.
At what time of day is a PowerResponse Event likely to be?
PowerResponse events will only ever be held between 10am – 10pm on weekdays.
What if I am not home during an event?
You don’t need to be at home to participate. The objective of PowerResponse is to reduce electricity usage compared to what you would normally use at that time. So, if you are out and not consuming as much power as you would if you were home, you are still contributing to the program objective.
How many events will there be?
There isn’t a planned number of events. This is because events can be triggered by unplanned occurrences like extreme weather. However, we won’t ask you to participate in more than 20 events in a year.
How can I reduce my electricity use during an event?
There’s a number of things you can do to reduce your energy usage during an event. The trick is to delay what you can, if it is something you would usually do at that time, like a load of washing or running the dishwasher. Maybe play a game and turn the TV off? The best way to reduce your energy is to pre-heat or pre-cool your home before the event and adjust the temperature to a few degrees below (heating)/above (cooling) what you would normally have it at. If you have a pool pump, you could turn it off during the event.
Please remember that safety is never negotiable - if turning off certain appliances would be harmful to you or anyone in your household, you should not do so during an event.
Please consider this when participating in an event.
Do I need to turn my air conditioner off during an event?
No, you do not have to turn your air conditioner off during an event. Adjusting it by a few degrees compared to what you would normally have it at, will have an impact on your usage. Of course, the less you use it, the more your reward will be. Or, if you pre-cool your house before the event and can turn the air conditioner off, even for part of the event, you will be able to contribute even more, which may increase your reward.
Where can I view my electricity consumption data after an event?
Within a few days after the event, we’ll let you know how much energy you and the PowerResponse community saved, as well as any rewards you earned.
Will I be notified if an event is cancelled or rescheduled?
You will be notified by SMS if an event has been cancelled.
If an event is rescheduled, you will receive an SMS with the new time for the event.
Can I turn off my main switch during a PowerResponse event?
No, turning off the main switch de-energises the whole house.
This is an extreme response that EnergyAustralia does not encourage.
It means that fridges and, in some cases, medical devices attached to the mains will cease to operate. EnergyAustralia may remove participants who engage in this activity from the PowerResponse program.
Should I be concerned about the safety of people in my house during a demand response event?
Your personal safety is a paramount consideration for EnergyAustralia. When you registered for this program you acknowledged and agreed that you have considered your individual circumstances including your own personal safety and those in your care before entering into an EnergyAustralia PowerResponse contract, and before undertaking any demand response activities.
Always ask yourself; Will you or a member of your household be placed in danger by switching off essential appliances or devices that would affect the health or safety of any member of household?
Will I receive anything for participating in PowerResponse?
The reward you receive depends on how much you reduce your usage during the event. Your reward will be in the form of a credit on your electricity bill. Refer to your terms and conditions for full details.
Will credits be applied to my electricity account? If so, how will it be displayed on my bill/account?
All credits that you earn through the program will be applied to your electricity account that is registered for PowerResponse within 15 business days of being eligible for the credit. They will appear on your bill as PowerResponse, with the date and the credit amount.
Can I have my credits refunded to me, instead of having them sit on my electricity account?
If your account is in credit you can have the credit issued to you by cheque, which will take approximately 4-6 weeks. You will need to contact the Billing Customer Service team on 133 466, or email firstname.lastname@example.org to submit this request.
If your account has an outstanding balance the refund will not be issued.
Can I transfer these credits to my other EnergyAustralia accounts?
What should I do if I don’t receive the correct credit on my bill?
If you think you have been credited an incorrect amount, please contact us on 1800 089 629 to discuss.
Can I change my EnergyAustralia electricity plan whilst participating in PowerResponse?
Your participation in PowerResponse will not be impacted by changing your EnergyAustralia electricity plan.
However, if you change electricity suppliers then you will be removed from the PowerResponse program. Please refer to your PowerResponse terms and conditions.
Will the financial rewards I've received remain on my account at the end of the PowerResponse program?
Any financial rewards you have received against your account will remain. Alternatively, if your account is in credit and you would like the amount refunded then please contact our billing team on 133 466.
This Activity received funding from ARENA as part of ARENA’s Advancing Renewables Programme – Demand Response.
^ If you would normally run these appliances at the time when the event occurs.