Is AGL's peer-to-peer energy trading scheme the answer for struggling households?

By Ceyda Erem ·

Keeping up with Australia’s painful energy prices is nothing short of tough, and struggling households across South Australia may have just found some financial relief.

The state’s most popular provider, AGL, has announced the success of a ‘peer-to-peer’ trading scheme in Adelaide, which will now be available for all Aussies in South Australia.

Previously trialled in only 20 homes, the trading scheme involves using an app to share and sell extra solar power to family members, friends and even charities.

RELATED: EnergyAustralia’s 2018 price hike prompts Aussies to fix or switch their energy rate before summer

The online-based scheme works by having the solar power fed into the grid as usual, before AGL records the energy usage throughout the ‘receiving’ household and calculates bills based on the selling price. The provider then tracks the amount and price of the electricity sold to the recipient.

Due to its success, the app now has plans for expansion in other South Australian homes and states.

“In the coming months, we will expand the scope of the peer-to-peer pilot to more customers to test a new range of exciting features in the prototype app,” said AGL spokeswoman, Elisabeth Brinton.

While peer-to-peer electricity sale is nothing new in northern European countries, Australia has only seen one prior trial in Perth and a simulation in Melbourne.

“As more of our customers install solar and batteries, they are playing an increasingly important role in the electricity system, and we are finding new ways to enable them to actively participate in that system and engage with each other and their community,” says Brinton.

This not the first time we’ve seen technology come out on top as a tool to help Aussies manage their energy usage.

In August, Mozo reported on the introduction of Origin Energy’s new technology, called Bidgely,  that monitors and provides updates on household appliances using the most energy via a smartphone app - offering insight into where usage cuts can be made to lower bills.

“We want people to help understand where their energy is going...we are really trying help people get that greater insight,” said chief executive of Bidgely, Abhay Gupta.

And with the heated battle between Aussie wallets and rising energy prices, there has never been a better time to start practising energy saving habits before summer hits.

Mozo's budget-friendly energy saving tips

Go natural - Wherever possible, try using natural light instead of switching on globes. For instance, try taking your morning shower in the dark as the sun rises, gradually brightening the bathroom.

Break out the clotheslines - This summer, instead of wasting energy with a dryer, hang your clothes on the line. While you may be frowning at the extra time it takes for your clothes to dry, you’ll be smiling at the savings you’re making on your energy bill.

Make the switch - Did you know that Mozo’s data found that Aussies could be saving up to $929 on their annual bill simply by switching providers? Now if that’s not enough of a motivator to switch, we don’t know what is.

Ready to put an end to over the top energy bills? Compare South Australian energy providers and find out everything you need to know over at our SA energy hub. 

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Ceyda Erem
Ceyda Erem
Money writer

Ceyda Erem is Mozo’s authority on Energy, as well as having broader expertise as a personal finance writer. She loves to put her researching and writing talents into stories that help our readers to make more informed financial choices, whether that’s about finding the best energy deal or writing about the latest sneaky bank tricks. Ceyda has a Bachelor of Arts (major in writing) from Macquarie University.