Frequently asked questions

What is CoolSaver?

During summer, it makes sense to use your household air conditioner. However, with a lot of people also using their air conditioners at the same time, this puts extra demands on the electricity network.

CoolSaver is an initiative that will more efficiently manage the power consumption of your CoolSaver air conditioner on very hot days and earn you cool hard cash. What's more, it helps us maintain our network efficiency during peak demand periods, keeping electricity prices down in the future for you and the entire community.

When does CoolSaver start?

We started the CoolSaver program in the Central Coast and Lake Macquarie areas in the summer of 2013/2014. We have launched the CoolSaver program in Maitland starting 2 February 2015 and it is planned to continue through the 2015/16 and 2016/17 summer periods.

How does it work?

When you sign up to the CoolSaver program, a signal receiver will be installed with your air conditioner. This will allow Ausgrid to remotely activate your air conditioner’s in-built power saving modes. On the days Ausgrid remotely activates your power saving modes, we will let you know in the morning by SMS.

What air conditioner units are eligible to be part of the CoolSaver program?

CoolSaver compatible air-conditioners must be greater than 4kW in cooling capacity with functionality added by the manufacturer to enable all three Demand Response Modes. For split system air conditioners the energy star label displayed in-store should have three ticks across the bottom for all modes: DRM1, DRM2 and DRM3.

There are now many eligible air conditioner models sold from most major manufacturers of both split system and ducted air conditioners including Actron Air, Daikin, Fujitsu, Hitachi, Kelvinator, LG, Mitsubishi, Panasonic, Samsung, TCL, Teco and Toshiba. Some of these models may also need an additional part installed to enable the Demand Response Modes.

For a complete list of eligible air conditioners refer to Eligible air conditioners.

Where can I find out more about eligible CoolSaver air conditioners in Maitland?

For a list of participating retailer and installers refer to Participating retailers and installers.

What is a signal receiver?

A signal receiver is an Ausgrid approved Demand Response Enabling Device /Demand Control Signal Receiver that has been, or will be, provided and installed by an Industry Participant or their referred Qualified Installer. The signal receiver has to be connected to a CoolSaver compatible air-conditioner to enable the air-conditioning unit to receive a signal that will cap the rated input load during CoolSaver Periods. Signal Receivers are designed to be installed on or near the CoolSaver Compatible Air-conditioner depending upon manufacturer instructions.

What is an additional part?

Some models of eligible air conditioners may need an additional part fitted so that it is AS4755 demand response enabled, and has Demand Response Mode 1, 2 and 3 (DRM1, DRM2 and DRM3) capability. Additional parts are supplied by the air conditioner manufacturer, and the retailer or installer where you purchase your air conditioner will organise the supply of any required parts.

How much will it cost to join the CoolSaver program?

The signal receiver and any required air conditioner parts should be supplied at no additional cost through our participating retailers and installers. Electrical work associated with the installation of the signal receiver and any required part may come at an additional cost, which you will need to arrange with the installer.

What do I receive for the installation reward?

Once you are approved into the program by having a signal receiver successfully installed on your air conditioner, you will be sent an installation reward. The installation reward will be paid by VISA gift card for householders/ individuals, or in the case of a business, a cheque, with a value of:

(a) $150 for CoolSaver eligible air-conditioners with a cooling capacity of greater than 4kW but less than 10kW
(b) $300 for CoolSaver eligible air-conditioners with a cooling capacity of 10kW or more

What do I receive for the summer rewards?

As a participant in the CoolSaver program, you will also receive summer rewards. You will be entitled to a summer reward for each CoolSaver period in which you allow Ausgrid to activate the built-in Power-Saving Mode (Demand Response Mode) on your air conditioner using the Signal Receiver and do not override the activation of the Power Saving Mode.

Each summer reward has a value of:
(a) $10 for CoolSaver Compatible Air-conditioners with a cooling capacity of greater than 4kW but less than 10kW
(b) $20 for CoolSaver Compatible Air-conditioners with a cooling capacity of 10kW or more

For householders/ individuals, summer rewards will be added to the value of the gift card given to you for the Installation Reward. In the case of a business, summer rewards will be provided to you by cheque.

When do I receive my installation and summer rewards?

Ausgrid will send you the Installation Reward within 4 weeks of the date of the Welcome Letter.

Ausgrid will send you the total Summer Rewards owed to you as of 31 March each year during the Term within 4 weeks of 31 March of that year.

How often will the activations occur and how will I be notified?

The air conditioner’s power saving mode will be activated during each CoolSaver period which will generally last between four to six hours. There will be at least five CoolSaver periods per full summer (2015/16 and 2016/17). The summer period runs from 1 November to 31 March of each year.

On the morning of each CoolSaver Period, Ausgrid will notify you by SMS on your nominated mobile phone number of the starting time and duration of the CoolSaver Period.

What happens when the power saving mode is activated?

If the air conditioner is on during the CoolSaver period when the power saving mode is activated, the electrical input power to the air conditioner will be capped. The air conditioner will still work, but at a reduced capacity for the duration of the CoolSaver period. When the CoolSaver period is over, the air conditioner should go back to full operation.

Can I opt out of CoolSaver activations?

You may override the activation of your air-conditioner's Power Saving Mode during a CoolSaver Period via SMS by responding from your nominated mobile phone number using the instructions in the notification SMS.

What happens if my air conditioner is not on when the event occurs or I am not home?

It is not a requirement that you are home or the air conditioner is switched on, on the days we hold a CoolSaver activation. You will still be eligible for your summer rewards. However, Ausgrid will not be able to activate the power saving mode on your air conditioner if it is switched off. If it is switched on and you are not home, Ausgrid will still be able to activate the power saving mode.

Do I have to live in the Maitland area to participate?

To participate in the CoolSaver Maitland program, you must install the CoolSaver air conditioner and signal receiver in one of the following 49 Maitland city council area suburbs.

Aberglasslyn, Allandale, Anambah, Ashtonfield, Berry Park, Bishops Bridge, Bolwarra, Bolwarra Heights, Chisholm, Duckenfield, East Maitland, Farley, Gillieston Heights, Gosforth, Greta, Harpers Hill, Hillsborough, Horseshoe Bend, Lambs Valley, Largs, Lochinvar, Lorn, Louth Park, Luskintyre, Maitland, Maitland Vale, Melville, Metford, Millers Forest, Mindaribba, Morpeth, Mount Dee, Oakhampton, Oakhampton Heights, Oswald, Phoenix Park, Pitnacree, Raworth, Rosebrook, Rutherford, South Maitland, Telarah, Tenambit, Thornton, Tocal, Windella, Windermere, Woodberry, Woodville.

What if I move out of the premises the CoolSaver air conditioner is installed?

If you intend to sell or cease to occupy the Premises, or return possession of the Premises to its owner, you must give written notice to:

(a) Ausgrid via post GPO Box 4009, Reply Paid 83106,Sydney, NSW, 2001, or via email address coolsaver@ausgrid.com.au; and
(b) the incoming owner or occupier of the premises that the CoolSaver compatible Air-conditioner has a Signal Receiver installed,

at least 30 days before you sell or cease to occupy the Premises or return possession of the Premises to its owner.

How many air conditioners at each premise are eligible?

Only one air conditioner per household is eligible for CoolSaver. We recommend that the air conditioner that is going to be used the most by the residents is fitted with the signal receiver and registered for CoolSaver.

What if I want to opt out of CoolSaver before the program ends?

You may terminate your Customer Agreement by providing written notice to Ausgrid at coolsaver@ausgrid.com.au, or the postal address to GPO Box 4009, Reply Paid 83106,Sydney, NSW, 2001

If you provide notice in accordance with the Customer Agreement, Ausgrid may, within 30 days, send you a prepaid envelope in which to return the Signal Receiver to Ausgrid. You must then arrange for a Qualified Installer to remove the Signal Receiver from the CoolSaver Compatible Air-conditioner at your cost, and return the Signal Receiver to Ausgrid. The Agreement will continue in force until you remove and return the Signal Receiver to Ausgrid, and will terminate on the date Ausgrid receives the Signal Receiver.