Summer Energy Program saves power on hot days

Living Well | RACV | Posted on 18 February 2019

Victorians are saving power and money when the heat is on.

Victorians are reducing energy use on hot summer days when the electricity grid is most under pressure and earning rewards in the process. 

More than 3000 Victorian homes have been recruited to  become ‘community circuit breakers’ on extreme heat days as  RACV partners with Victorian electricity distributors to help households reduce electricity costs and improve reliability with the Summer Energy Program. 

Sun setting on warm summer night

Under the program, householders in Powercor, AusNet Services and United Energy distribution areas are prompted to reduce energy use for a set period on very hot days.

On the Bellarine Peninsula and Surf Coast, participating households have an infrared wifi-enabled remote control installed, which allows users to operate their cooling systems when they are not at home. It also enables Powercor, with the householders’ permission, to remotely set the temperature up to a maximum of 26 degrees. 

AusNet Services’ program involves almost 1000 customers in three areas, and is focused on households managing their own behaviour to reduce energy consumption.

Participants in the programs save on power bills and also receive a financial reward for each peak usage ‘event’ in which they reduce their power use.

RACV Product Manager Energy Lawrence Law says there have been several ‘event’ days, each with good results. On 27 December, participants in three areas within the AusNet Services distribution area reduced around 1.6MWh of electricity, and those in the Powercor distribution area reduced around 1.2MWh of electricity. 

“Collectively, this is the equivalent of powering more than 240 homes for a full day, saving 3.3 tonnes of greenhouse gas generation,” says Lawrence.

One participant, Michelle Watson, also received  a $1000 RACV Resorts voucher for signing up to the AusNet Services program. Powercor and United Energy prize winners will be announced in April.

 The Summer Energy Program runs until the end of March.

Photo: Getty Images