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Households could see their power bills drop by helping to take the pressure down on hot days

5 December 2019

  • EnergyAustralia and Jemena’s new ‘Demand Response’ program will credit electricity customers in Melbourne’s north-west if they take action to reduce their energy use during certain periods over summer 
  • Customers access their smart meter data through an interactive digital platform that shows usage

This summer, EnergyAustralia and energy distribution company Jemena will reward customers living in North West Melbourne with bill credits if they reduce their energy usage to help reduce strain on the electricity grid.

Through the Energy Saving Rewards program launched today, EnergyAustralia customers living in Coolaroo, Essendon, Footscray, Somerton, Yarraville and surrounding suburbs~ could receive up to $100* of bill credits over the summer period if they use less energy during certain periods. 

Jemena Managing Director Frank Tudor said the program builds on the success of Jemena’s Demand Response trial, Power Changers, that took place in the summer of 2017 and 2018.

“Our trial showed that households reduced their peak electricity consumption by an average range of 26 to 35 per cent on hot days. This can help relieve the extra pressure that is put on the electricity grid during times of high use while saving customers money,” Mr Tudor said.

“We’re excited to be partnering with EnergyAustralia to deliver a program that will make a real difference to our customers.”

EnergyAustralia’s head of customer transformation Jack Kotlyar described the program as a ‘win-win’ for customers and the electricity grid.

“This program is an opportunity for customers to save on their power bills. Every kilowatt saved counts,” Mr Kotlyar said.

“This program is a win-win for customers and what’s more, by working together, customers can alleviate the strain on our grid when it’s needed most.”

Mr Kotlyar said the company saw high rates of participation and real impact from its Power Response trials, a similar initiative to the Energy Saving Rewards program run in selected areas of New South Wales and Victoria.

“We’ve held around 10 energy saving events this year as part of our trials, and we’ve seen a huge turnout: on average about 80 per cent of customers enrolled in our Power Response program participate regularly,” Mr Kotlyar said.

“All up this year, the contribution of our Power Response community working together has shifted a total of 7,215 kWh, which is the equivalent to streaming Netflix continuously for seven years in High Definition^.

“We’re hopeful our customers living in Melbourne’s North West will get behind the grid, and power down this summer and save on their power bills,” Mr Kotlyar said.

How Energy Saving Rewards program works

Customers who sign up to the program will receive a heads up from EnergyAustralia via SMS to let them know when an ‘event’ is taking place. An ‘event’ is when customers shift their energy usage during a certain window (usually two to four hours).

The SMS also includes an energy reduction ‘target’ which is personalised based on a customer’s energy use for the previous days leading up to the event. Signing up to an event is easy – customers can automatically take part in the event or simply opt out by replying to the SMS.

Customers will also have access to an interactive digital platform to view their smart meter data and energy savings tips to help them make changes to their energy use, like adjusting the temperature on their air conditioner.

Following each event, customers who reduced their energy usage and achieved their targets will receive a $5 participation credit and up to $25 credited to their EnergyAustralia electricity account.
The program will run from December 2019 to March 2020#.

For more information visit https://www.energyaustralia.com.au/energy-saving-rewards-program
 
Notes to editor
*The amount of $100 per customer over summer is indicative only. It is an estimate of the cumulative bill credits that a typical customer who actively reduces energy usage compared to the personalised target would receive if the customer participated in all six events planned by EnergyAustralia and Jemena over summer (average bill credit of $15 x 6 events plus an initial signup bonus of $10).  Note: as this is a trial, elements of the Energy Saving Reward program may change as a result of testing. All six events may not occur.
# This is a trial, EnergyAustralia and Jemena reserve their right to end the trial early.
~ Surrounding suburbs include: Aberfeldie, Airport West, Ascot Vale, Avondale Heights, Beveridge, Bulla, Coburg, Coolaroo, Craigieburn, Essendon, Footscray, Greenvale, Keilor East, Maribyrnong, Mickleham, Moonee Ponds, Niddrie, Oaklands Junction, Pascoe Vale South, Roxburgh Park, Seddon, Somerton, Yarraville, Yuroke
^ During the 2018/2019 summer, EnergyAustralia’s PowerResponse community shifted a total of 7,215 kWh, which is equivalent to streaming 60,000 hours, or 7 years, of Netflix on an average 5-star energy rated 65” TV.
This Activity received funding from ARENA as part of ARENA’s Advancing Renewables Programme – Demand Response.

Jemena media contact: 1300 331 239

EnergyAustralia media contact: Michelle Quint, EnergyAustralia, 0456 369 594, michelle.quint@energyaustralia.com.au