Origin Energy to reward customers with cash for reducing energy consumption


What would it take for you to switch up your energy habits? How does $250 worth of rewards sound? 

That’s right, Origin Energy customers now have the chance to earn gift cards or Paypal cash, as part of a new online program called Spike, simply by reducing their energy consumption during peak demand periods. 

“Origin Spike is the first program of its kind in the Australian energy market - it’s a simple and fun way for customers to get some extra cash in their pocket as a reward for making small changes to their energy use,” said Origin executive general manager retail, Jon Briskin. 

Some of the ways Origin customers can participate in the program include adjusting their air conditioner temperature by a few degrees for an hour, or delaying the use of certain appliances, like the washing machine, dryer or dishwasher. 

Participants who regularly reduce their electricity consumption by 60% during ‘Spike hours’ have the potential to earn $250 worth of rewards annually. 

And according to Briskin, the Spike initiative does more than just treat customers for ditching old habits. 

“While customers will be rewarded for shifting their energy use, the broader network will also benefit as we can help reduce demand, and support grid stability during peak periods,” he said. 

Just keep in mind that Origin customers will need to have a remote-read smart meter in order to participate in the Sprike program.

Aussies more likely to adopt wholesale demand management

As Aussies welcome in the new season, it won’t be long until it’s time to switch on the air conditioning. But despite our bad summer energy habits, further Origin research has shown that households are willing to put up with the heat in exchange for a reward. 

The retailer found that 76% of Aussies are willing to adjust the temperature on their appliances to receive financial incentives and rewards. 

And more than a quarter (29%) are willing to allow their energy provider to remotely adjust their settings to prevent a strain on the grid to avoid blackouts.

Wholesale demand management picks up

Demand management is a concept that asks energy users to reduce their consumption during hours when electricity demand is high, in exchange for an incentive, such as a gift card or credit on your annual bill.  

But while the Spike program may be the first of its kind in the country, the concept of demand management is not. 

Other retailers who offer demand response programs include AGL with its Peak Energy Rewards program, which can see customers save as much as 30% on their annual bill. 

Energy Australia’s PowerResponse initiative promises a $10 credit for customers who reduce their usage by 20% - 49%. The credit then jumps to $20 for customers who slash their usage in half. 

However, Powershop customers in Victoria have the option to take part in the Curb Target program where customers who reduce their usage by 10%, and reduce their power by at least 1kWh for each hour of a nominated ‘event’, will receive a $10 saving on their bill. 

And in June, Mozo reported on the rollout of the Australian Energy Market Commission’s (AEMC) new ‘wholesale demand response’ program where larger energy users could earn credits toward their annual bill by reducing their usage during high demand periods. 

Want to learn more about the demand wholesale response concept? Check out our comprehensive guide!

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