Essential Power is part of our Peak Partners demand response project. This project seeks to reduce peak electricity consumption by offering cash rewards to participants.
Essential Power asks for more involvement from participants, and in return, rewards them generously.
This program is best suited to those who have the ability to closely manage their power use during certain 3-4 hour high use periods that we call peak events.
How does Essential Power work?
During a peak event, the amount of power you can use will be monitored by your electricity meter.
If you exceed a certain level of power use, your electricity meter will disconnect you from the grid for 15 minutes.
At the end of that 15-minute period, you will be reconnected to the grid. But if your electricity consumption remains above the cut off level, you will be disconnected for a further 15 minutes.
How much can you earn?
The Essential Power rewards are simple and generous.
We’ll pay you a sign up bonus of $25. At the end of the program we’ll pay you $175, providing you don’t opt out during the program.
So you can earn $200 simply by planning ahead and carefully managing your power use for around five peak events, each of which will last for three to four hours.
There are other benefits to participating in Essential Power. You’ll learn to make smart choices about power use, and potentially reduce bills. You’ll also become one of Australia’s most advanced power users and you’ll help create more reliable energy supplies for all Australians.
How much power can you use before you are disconnected?
The Essential Power cut-off level is 2kW. It is an amount that we consider essential to the basic operation of your home, allowing for reasonable, but not excessive, power use.
So you can still run your fridge, TV, fans, mobile phone or laptop chargers, some lights and other appliances that don’t use too much power.
However, you shouldn’t run your air conditioner, washing machine, electric kettle, pool pumps, microwave oven, vacuum cleaner, power tools, dishwasher, or any other power-hungry appliances during a peak event, as these may cause you to exceed the 2kW limit.
About the 2kW cut-off level
The 2kW cut-off level is not a measure of instantaneous power use. It is your average power consumption. So if you have a short burst of power use that exceeds 2kW, (for example, you turn on an electric kettle) but your average use does not exceed 2kW, then you will remain connected to the grid.
As mentioned, Essential Power is best suited to those who understand how to manage their power use.
When and how often will Peak Events occur?
Peak events, will typically occur in the late afternoon to early evening on hot days. We expect five to ten of these events each summer.
How will you know how much power you are using?
We’ll set you up with an in home power display (IHD) so you’ll know exactly how much power you are using during peak events (limited numbers available, conditions apply). And we’ll give you plenty of information to help you mange your power use and stay below the 2kW threshold.
How to join
Firstly, you may wish to download and read the Essential Power information sheet. (See link at upper right of this page).
If you think Essential Power is right for you, click here or at the ‘Sign Up’ button, (upper right).
If you’re still unsure about Essential Power, email firstname.lastname@example.org and include the words essential power in the subject line. One of our team will contact you.