CoolSaver Program - Central Coast & Lake Macquarie

Frequently Asked Questions

What is <i>Cool</i>Saver?

CoolSaver is a trial for a new Ausgrid program for residential customers.  The trial will reduce the energy your air conditioner uses during peak periods by activating the air conditioner’s in-built power saving modes when the electricity network is experiencing high demand.  In return, we’ll pay you up to $400 for taking part in the program.

Why is Ausgrid conducting the trial?

Demand for electricity in many areas will peak on hot summer days when homes and businesses use high energy appliances like air conditioners at the same time. This is often only 20 to 40 hours per year and so the extra network infrastructure needed to meet this demand is unused for the rest of the time. That’s not very efficient. By partnering with our customers to reduce electricity use on peak demand days, we can make our network more efficient and help keep electricity prices down for all customers in future

How does Ausgrid <i>Cool</i>Saver work?

The trial involves the installation of a signal receiver on your air conditioner by a qualified technician. This will enable Ausgrid to remotely activate your air conditioner’s in-built power saving modes usually for a period of four hours but no more than six hours on a maximum of eight days in summer when the electricity network is experiencing high demand.

What is the duration of the trial?

The trial will run for 14 months to the end of March 2015.

Why was I invited to take part in the trial?

You were selected because your property is located within the trial area. If you have an eligible air conditioner but move out of the trial area during the trial, you will no longer be eligible to take part and we may ask the new owner of the house to participate.

I currently rent my home can I be part of the trial?

No, you must be the homeowner and occupier to participate.

Will my meter or electricity tariff be changed as part of the installation of the signal receiver?

No, your meter will not be altered in any way. Your existing tariff will not change and you do not need to contact your electricity retailer to participate.

How will I know if my air conditioner is eligible?

By registering your air conditioner type, manufacturer and model online at www.ausgrid.com.au/coolsaverregister or by calling 1300 361 062. Ausgrid will determine whether your air conditioner is eligible. You will then be contacted to notify you of the result.

I have more than one air conditioner. How many of my air conditioners can take part in the trial?

Only one air conditioner per household is eligible for the trial. However, if you have more than one air conditioner installed, we encourage you to register up to three. This will help Ausgrid determine which air conditioner will be most suited for the trial.

How often and when will the power saving modes be activated?

On up to eight days each summer period (November 1 to March 31) when the electricity network is experiencing high demand. The power saving mode will usually be activated for four hours but no more than six hours between the hours of 2pm and 8pm on weekdays (excluding public holidays).

Will I notice a difference when the power saving mode is activated?

The cooling output of the air conditioner will reduce however; many of the customers who have already trialled a similar service reported no difference in their summer comfort level. The trial is voluntary, so if you are concerned about health risks for any person(s) residing at your home resulting from an increase in temperature we recommend you do not participate.

Will I have to pay for the installation or removal of the signal receiver?

No, the signal receiver will be supplied, installed and removed by a qualified air conditioning technician at no cost to you.

Where will the signal receiver be installed

The signal receiver will be installed on the outdoor unit for your air conditioning system. Installation will take 45 to 90 minutes to complete.

Does anything else need to be installed on my air conditioner

For some models of air conditioners, the manufacturer supplies an adaptor kit so that the Australian Standard interface is available, allowing the signal receiver to activate standard power saving modes remotely. For these models of air conditioners, the technician will install the adaptor kit in addition to the signal receiver.

Do I need to be home for the installation or removal of the signal receiver?

You are required to be home during the installation and removal of the signal receiver. You can make an appointment time that best suits you directly with the installer.

Will installing the signal receiver affect my air conditioner's warranty?

No, the signal receiver only activates the manufacturer’s in-built power saving modes and so will not affect your air conditioner’s warranty.

What are power saving modes?

Designed and built to be compliant with Australian Standard AS4755, air conditioning manufacturers are including this feature increasingly on their models to allow customers to benefit from programs like CoolSaver. Only AS4755 compliant air conditioners are eligible to participate in the trial.

What happens if my air conditioner is not on when the event occurs?

The signal to switch to a power saving mode is enabled, but does not turn on your air conditioner.  If you turn on your air conditioner during the event period, it will operate in the power saving mode until the end of the event period.

What are the rewards for participating in the trial and when will I receive them?

Eligible participants will receive a $160 gift card once the signal receiver is installed on your outdoor unit. For each of the 2013/14 and 2014/15 summer periods, you will also receive an additional card of $120 when you allow Ausgrid to remotely activate your air conditioner’s power saving mode during the whole summer period.

Where can I use the gift cards?

Eligible participants have a choice between two gift cards. 

 

Will it save me money on my electricity bill?

The air conditioner will use less energy when operating in the power saving mode. However, the energy and money saved will be small as the power saving mode is usually activated for only four hours and no more than 6 hours on a maximum of eight days when electricity demand is high. The main benefit for the participant is the gift card rewards offered for allowing Ausgrid to operate the power saving mode on peak demand days.

What about my privacy?

Privacy is very important to us. We have a privacy policy that provides protection to participants. More information can be found at on our Privacy page.