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.
For a few hours a year, the electricity network’s infrastructure (poles and wires) are not able to handle the demand for electricity without intervention – think really hot days when many people are blasting their air con. Some generators are only turned on for as little as 20 hours a year just to meet peak demand.
The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) can either shut down certain areas of the grid (planned blackouts) to avoid larger-scale blackouts or recommend spending large amounts of money to upgrade the grid so it can withstand those few hours a year when demand for electricity reaches its highest. These two solutions aren’t ideal, as one results in black outs and the other results in expensive upgrades.
Rather than relying on these solutions, we work together to collectively reduce how much electricity is being used. It’s cheaper and more efficient, with various retailers getting on board to make this initiative impactful.
When there is a peak demand Event or if we’ve activated our demand response program, Powershop will send Curb Your Power registrants an SMS asking them to voluntarily reduce their power usage for a set period of time, but for no more than four hours, to help reduce demand on the grid.
Register - Opt-in to the program by registering here. Even if you register, there’s absolutely no obligation to participate when there is an Event.
We will notify you between 1-4 hours before an Event – we will send you an SMS letting you know that AEMO have called on us to help! Sometimes we won’t be able to give you much of a heads up because AEMO can call an Event really quickly but it will always be between 1-4 hours’ notice.
Start the Event – we’ll send you an SMS to prompt you to start curbing your power.
Conclude the Event - we’ll send you an SMS to let you know you can stop curbing your power.
Within a week after the Event - we will update you with the results of the Curb Your Power Event and confirm whether you successfully hit your Curb Target.
If you achieve your Curb Target, you will receive a $10 credit to be applied to your Powershop electricity account.
AEMO will determine when power needs to be curbed and will reach out to us to call on registrants in Curb Your Power. An Event is most likely to happen when the grid is under strain or when demand is higher than supply – think consecutive hot days in summer when more people are blasting their air-con.
That’s why we have set your Curb Target as 10% of your Baseline for non-solar customers (with a minimum 0.05kWh reduction per hour over the duration of the Event). So all you need to do is reduce a little and you can participate! Or if a 10% reduction is a lot, all you need is a Baseline reduction of 1 kWh for each hour of the Event to hit your Curb Target. For customers with solar, you just need to reduce your Baseline by 0.05 kWh for each hour of the Event to hit your Curb Target.
Great question! You can find tons of tips and tricks to best curb during an Event here.
Within the week following an Event, we will update you with the results of the Curb Your Power Event and confirm whether you successfully hit your Curb Target.
Powershop business customers can join the Curb Your Power program. The Curb Target and reward for business customers is different to residential customers. See the table below for business reduction details.
BASELINE REDUCTION AMOUNT (KWH EACH HOUR OF EVENT)
10% or 1-2kW
Curb Your Power has only been launched in Victoria. When we have more info about other states, we’ll let you know and see if you’re keen to get on board!
If you don’t hit your Curb Target, you will not be able to claim a power credit. We have set the Curb Target as an achievable figure, so if you don’t hit it first time, head to our How to Curb page for tips to help you reduce your usage next time. And remember, if you attempted to hit your Curb Target then you’ve likely reduced your usage, which means you’ve saved money!
If you are away for consecutive days before an Event, then our calculation will assume your Baseline is low and you may not be considered a successful participant.
That is totally fine, your participation is always voluntary. Additionally, if you would like to opt out of registering for the program, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Due to the intermittent nature of renewables there may be times when renewable energy will not be able to cover high demand periods. Currently, fast acting generators like gas and diesel plants are used as backups during these times. If demand response is used effectively, there will be less need to use fossil fuels as backup.