- What is a demand response program?
Demand response is when electricity consumers temporarily shift or reduce their energy consumption in response to high demand on the grid. It’s used successfully in lots of countries around the world to manage peak demand and the risks it causes – such as power outages.
- Why do we need a demand response program and why is Powershop supporting it?
For a few hours a year, the electricity network’s infrastructure (poles and wires) is not able to handle the demand for electricity without intervention – think really hot days when everyone is blasting their air con. Some generators are only turned on for as little as 20 hours a year just to meet peak demand.
When this happens, AEMO can either shut down certain areas of the grid (planned blackouts) to ensure that nothing catastrophic happens or spend exorbitant amounts of money upgrading the grid so it can withstand those few hours a year when electricity demand reaches its highest - which in the long run will have an impact on your bill.
So rather than pay to increase how much capacity is available, we work together collectively to reduce how much electricity is being used. It’s cheaper and more efficient, with various retailers getting on board to make this initiative impactful.
- How does Curb Your Power work?
When there is a peak demand event, Powershop will send Curb Your Power participants an SMS asking them to voluntarily reduce their usage for a set period of time – no more than four hours - to collectively help reduce the strain on the grid.
- But why should I be a part of Curb Your Power?
Being part of Curb Your Power is entirely voluntary and we exclude vulnerable customers and those who are unable to participate in peak demand events from the recruitment process. If you choose to Curb Your Power, when the network’s infrastructure (poles and wires) are not able to handle the demand for electricity (about 10-15 hours a year), then:
1. The risk that AEMO (the Australian Energy Market Operator) will enforce planned blackouts to protect the grid could be lowered;
2. The amount of money that AEMO spends upgrading the grid so it can withstand those few hours a year when electricity demand reaches its highest could be reduced - in the long run that could have an impact on your electricity bill; and
3. In addition to helping ease the strain on the electricity grid, Powershop offer incentives if you decide to join up, including a $10 discount for your Powershop bill every time you successfully hit your curb target.
- Does this mean that Powershop and its customers cause blackouts?
During peak demand events, the risk of blackouts is higher because the grid is under pressure. This is not the fault of Powershop or its customers. We can however, play a role in reducing the risk of blackouts by helping our customers to participate in Curb Your Power.
- I don’t think I can reduce my usage by enough to meet my Curb Target.
That’s why we have set your Curb Target as 10% of your Baseline for non-solar customers. So all you need to do is reduce a little and you can participate! For you big users, if 10% is a lot, all you need is a reduction of 1 kW for each hour of the Event. For customers with solar, you just need to reduce your usage by 0.05 kW for each hour of the Event.
- What’s the process?
1. Register - Opt-in to the program by registering above, you may have also received an email from us asking you to join. Even if you register, there’s absolutely no obligation to participate when there is an Event.
2. 1-4 hours from the Event – we will send you an SMS shortly before the Event letting you know that AEMO have called on us to help! Although sometimes we won’t be able to give you much of a heads up, because AEMO can call an Event really quickly.
3. Start of the Event – we’ll send you an SMS to prompt you to start curbing.
4. End of the Event - we’ll send you an SMS to let you know you can stop curbing your power.
5. Up to a week later - We will update you with the results of the Curb Your Power Event and if you successfully hit your Curb Target.
- When will I be asked to curb my power?
AEMO (the Australian Energy Market Operator) will determine when power needs to be curbed and reach out to us to call on participants in Curb Your Power. An Event is most likely to happen when the grid is under strain or when demand is higher than supply.
- How do I know if I’ve curbed my power?
Powershop calculate your average energy use and determine a baseline for you individually. To effectively curb your power you need to reduce your usage by 10% from your baseline during the Event.
- What are some tips and tricks to effectively curb?
Great question! You can find tons of tips and tricks to best curb during an Event here.
- I heard my neighbour is getting a different incentive than me for curbing – what’s the go there?
We recognise the value and importance of the demand response program and so we’re trying to find the best combination of what customers want for participating in Curb Your Power. Once we know what incentive makes our customers the happiest to participate, we will bring these incentives to the masses in 2019! Just another way to make sure our customers’ preferences are heard.
- Can I participate if I'm a business customer?
Powershop business customers can join the Curb Your Power program. The Curb Target and reward for businesses is different to residential customers. See the table below for business reduction details.
|Reduction amount (kW each hour of Event)
|10% or 1-2kW
- I’m in NSW/South East Queensland – why can’t I take part in Curb Your Power?
Curb Your Power is launching in Victoria first. When we have more info about other states, we’ll let you know and see if you’re keen to get on board!