Future Grid

Smart Grid Index

This section provides an overview and supporting resources for the seven dimensions of the Smart Grid Index.

Ausgrid is Australia’s largest distributor of electricity on Australia’s east coast, providing power to 4 million people.

Our network provides power for 1.8 million customers - delivering energy to household customers is a crucial part of what we do.

Ausgrid's network map showing corresponding Indigenous lands

 Information on Ausgrid and its impact

Ausgrid has a critical role to play in leading and delivering the transition to a low-cost, reliable and decarbonised economy. Part of this means listening to our customers and delivering a future grid that meets their needs.

Our customers are telling us they want us to:

  • be resilient as we continue to be challenged by weather events;
  • prepare for the future by offering renewable energy solutions;
  • give them choice in their energy supply by supporting technology such as solar and wind, and making battery storage more affordable; and
  • ensure we keep our focus on being affordable and reliable.

The energy industry is changing. Households are increasingly generating and storing their own energy through solar panel and batteries. In some cases, they are selling their excess electricity back to the grid. Electricity distribution networks, including Ausgrid, are also trialling community batteries and building electric vehicle charging networks for use by local communities.

This means the role of distributors is also changing. Distributors now manage a two-way flow of electricity between the grid and customers.
As the largest distribution network in NSW, Ausgrid is already planning for this transformation in a way that is inclusive, leaving no-one behind and improving outcomes for the most vulnerable in our communities. 

Smart Grid Highlights

We are enabling solar

Over 200k solar PV connections on our network

Launch of a community battery trial and EV charging network

This innovation is an exciting milestone for Ausgrid's future.

Testing new technologies

investment over five years through our Network Innovation Program testing new technologies and new ways of doing things in our network.

Goals for a Smart Grid Future

  1. $42M investment over 5 years through our Network Innovation Program which will test new technologies and ways of doing things in our network.

  2. Implementation of an Advanced Distribution Management System (ADMS) that will replace our current system to optimise the way we manage our network, simplify our control systems and enable us to operate in the future ‘energy sharing’ economy.

  3. Supporting our customers in the transition to a low-carbon economy by making it easy for customers to connect DER (Distributed Energy Resources) to the network and providing options for them to supply energy into the grid.

  4. Increasing network resilience and our ability to recover and learn from disruptive events, particularly climate change impacts and the changing use of technologies.

  5. Partnering with Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) Distribution, the Enel Group and Oxford University in a Global Smart Grid initiative to share key learnings from innovation projects, facilitate discussions around challenges and support a collaborative transition to a decarbonised future.

  6. Partnering with research institutions and our industry colleagues to deliver the Reliable Affordable Clean Energy (RACE) program. This initiative seeks to boost energy productivity, reduce energy costs, increase penetration of distributed energy resources, manage electricity networks, reduce carbon emissions and disseminate science-based knowledge and academic publications. Ausgrid has committed $2.5 million plus in-kind staff support over the 10-year program (currently in its third year). 

In this section

Monitoring and Control
DER Integration
Supply Reliability
Green Energy
Data and Analytics

Monitoring and Control

We made ongoing progress on replacing our current Distribution Network Management System with an Advanced Distribution Network Management System. The new system is due to be implemented in FY23. It will enhance the way we manage our network and enable us to operate in the future ‘energy sharing’ economy.

Ausgrid’s current DNMS is a bespoke hybrid system dating from the 1990s integration with FLISR and OMS. It incorporates network Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) and visualisation components.

As part of our innovation program we are testing several additional monitoring and control technologies which include:

  • Advanced Voltage Regulators
  • Network Monitoring Devices and Systems (Network Insights)
  • Fringe of Grid Optimisation
  • High-Voltage Microgrids
  • Portable All-in-One Off-Grid Supply Units
  • Self-Healing Networks
  • Dynamic Load Control
  • Asset Condition Monitoring
  • Line Fault Indicators

Distributed Energy Resources (DER) Integration

The grid of the future needs to deliver reliability and efficiency in the operation of systems that have distributed energy resources, also known as DERs – small-scale power generation sources located close to where electricity is used, typically owned by customers. We have increased our focus on building our capabilities to support our customers as they invest in new energy technologies and we transition to a distributed and renewable system. It is important that we continue to maintain efficient, safe and reliable services throughout the transition while finding new ways of optimising value for our customers.

We believe innovation is key to decarbonise the energy supply and improve reliability and affordability, while giving customers more choices.

DER Highlights

  • Network Innovation Program investment of $42 million over 5 years to test the suitability of new technologies
  • Creation of a Network Innovation Advisory Committee (NIAC) in 2019 to oversees the implementation of this program
  • Two electric vehicles were delivered in FY22, and a further 14 are on order for FY23, along with 77 hybrid vehicles
  • Completed Project Evolve in partnership with Australian Renewable Energy Agency 


Our Network Innovation Program

Our Network Innovation Program provides us with opportunities to incorporate growing numbers of DERs and electric vehicles in our network. This program (and the investment) will allow us to test the suitability of new technologies and new ways of doing things to evolve our network to meet changing customer expectations.

Our Power2U program

Ausgrid’s Power2U Program is an initiative that encourages customers to take up renewable energy and efficiency measures such as installing solar systems, lighting upgrades, and sharing their excess stored energy with the grid. 

Project Evolve

In collaboration with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency with support of NSW Government funding, Project Evolve saw the development of dynamic operating envelopes for customer distributed energy resources to improve the utilisation of the network and support greater penetration of renewable generation. The project was completed in 2022 and demonstrated the technical feasibility of dynamically signalling network constraints and for customer systems to respond accordingly. This will reduce the impacts of customer resources on the network, potentially avoiding costly network upgrades in future, while supporting the deployment of more solar systems and electric vehicles.

Project Edith

Building on Project Evolve, we initiated Project Edith to demonstrate how the distribution network could become a trading platform in a highly distributed and decarbonised future. Project Edith is adding dynamic network pricing alongside the dynamic operating envelopes in Project Evolve to incentivise efficient use of the network and share benefits with customers that support the network. Orchestrated customer resources (through solutions like Virtual Power Plants) can better coordinate when electricity is used with when it is produced by low-cost renewable energy, supporting the transition  to net zero at a lower cost. Read more about Project Edith.

Electric vehicles (EVs)

The electric vehicle market in Australia is currently in its infancy. In FY22, EVs represented approximately 8000 vehicles of the 7 million registered vehicles in our network area. To inform our planning for EVs, we conducted research with 430 New South Wales EV owners to investigate opinions and perceived behaviours around charging and EV driving patterns.

EV Strategy

To support the uptake of EVs, we partnered with JOLT to use our kiosk substations as EV charging points. With our infrastructure ever-present in our communities, this is an excellent partnership to use our assets as vehicle charge points across our network.

EV charging infrastructure

To manage potential future EV charging connections to our network, we are working with various bodies representing the electric vehicle sector and the government to identify the lowest impact connection locations, understand future demand and publish maps that show locations suitable for charging points.

We connected 14 JOLT electric vehicle charging stations to Ausgrid assets in FY22; the community used the charging stations over 5,696 times, with the average charge time being 26 minutes. The total energy delivered was 45.4 MWh, equivalent to about 324,156 km driven on green energy and approximately 109 tonnes of CO2 saved.

Home batteries and virtual power plants

Our virtual power plant trial project, part of our Power2U program, is an innovation that encourages our customers to see value in remaining connected to our network while also providing a mechanism that allows us to defer infrastructure costs to meet peak demand. During peak demand on our network, Ausgrid can use the energy in our customers’ home batteries via the virtual power plant to ensure the network continues to deliver for all customers. Customers who have agreed to be a part of this trial are paid for the exported energy and therefore receive a greater benefit from their solar and battery investment.

Community batteries

Ausgrid continues to deliver community battery trials to provide customers with an option to store and share their solar, and supplement the network during peak times. This year we successfully commissioned units at Cameron Park, Bankstown and Beacon Hill - around 60 customers with their own solar power systems are participating in the trial. Together, participants received approximately $3,800 in credits and have virtually stored around 39,000kWh of solar energy.

These community batteries will allow our customers to export and virtually store their own solar for later and will provide an affordable option to further support sustainable energy. They will also be used for demand management to supplement the network in peak times and we expect these will be a common element of our network in the future. Find out more about the community batteries.

Supply Reliability








SAIDI - System Average Interruption Duration Index 

Average time that a customer is without electricity in minutes

 74.8 70.7 92.2 74.7 69.0


SAIFI - System Average Interruption Frequency Index

Average number of service interruptions to each customer







Green Energy

As a distributor, Ausgrid does not generate electricity. However, climate change is an important issue for Ausgrid. We have developed guiding principles for our business to make sure that it is factored into our decision making.

Our strategy has been to provide value to our customers to remain connected to our network, and to encourage choice for our customers in accessing cleaner energy solutions. We believe this is a key strategic shift from being a traditional distribution network service provider to being a dynamic mover of electricity and the ‘internet of electricity’ by allowing our customers to share energy back into the network and for all to benefit from these two-way energy flows. Ausgrid has committed as part of a power purchase agreement to 100% green electricity for its operations from Jan 2024.

Green Energy Highlights

  • Net Zero | Achieved 19.6% emissions reductions in FY22, from our FY17 baseline. This exceeds our FY24 emissions reduction target of 8% (including line losses) and we are on track to reach our FY24 total emissions reduction target of 44% (excluding line losses). We also committed to new targets: 50% reduction in scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030 and net zero by 2050 on all emissions (both from our FY20 baseline).
  • Community batteries | Commenced 3 new Community Battery trials to provide a more affordable energy storage solution and cost-effectively increase the use of renewable energy.
  • Virtual Power Plant | Delivered the Virtual Power Plant program, allowing customers to share their excess stored energy with the grid for the benefit of all customers.
  • Electric Vehicle Charging | Launched 4 free fast electric vehicle charging across Sydney by transforming existing streetside kiosks in partnership with JOLT. Watch an overview of the initiative here.
  • LEDs| Installed 26,300 LEDs in FY22 and 19,000 LEDs in the first 6 months of FY23 across the network, bringing the total to over 170,000 completed since the start of the program. This represents more than 65% of streetlights replaced on the network and has contributed to a carbon emissions reduction of 9,625 tonnes in FY22 for streetlights alone.
  • Energy efficiency | Delivered the Power2U program which encourages customers to take up renewable energy.

Solar Panel and Battery Storage

Households are increasingly generating and storing their own energy through solar panels and batteries. In some cases, they are selling their excess electricity back to the grid.
Over 200k solar PV connections on our network. Electricity distribution networks, including Ausgrid, are also trialling community batteries for use by local communities.

This means the role of distributors is also changing. Distributors now manage a two-way flow of electricity between the grid and customers. See also DER integration below.

Virtual Power Plant

In the final year of the trial, the Virtual Power Plant dispatched more than 60MWh of energy across 55 event days. Across the three-year trial, over 130MWh of energy has been supplied from customer battery systems across 180 event days.

Renewables Mix

The renewable energy generation for our use is shown in the table below:

Ausgrid generated 2,029,191 kWh of solar energy for our use in FY2021.

For further information refer to Ausgrid FY22 Carbon Emissions Performance Report.

Climate Change

Ausgrid is the first electricity distribution network service provider in Australia to set CO2-e targets. We are doing our part to address climate change by reducing our own emissions and we have produced our Ausgrid FY22 Carbon Emissions Performance Report that provides information on our targets, our emissions and activities that have influenced change.

We accept unequivocally that human induced climate change presents a growing threat to the planet, and to society, the economy and our business. Ausgrid has two key physical climate change risk areas:

  • Bush fires affecting our network and the risk of our network starting bush fires especially in periods of drought
  • Extreme weather events such as East Coast Lows, severe thunderstorms, and heatwaves

During the year we conduct ongoing activities to prepare for and mitigate these physical climate change risks and to make our network more resilient.

Climate Change Guiding Principles

1. Promote decarbonisation of the economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in our operations.
2. Integrate climate change variables in internal decision-making processes as well as in the analysis and management of the long-term risks and opportunities for the organisation.
3. Include in our decision-making ways to harden and increase the resilience of our network and operations to the physical impacts of climate change.
4. Consider climate change risks and impacts on our operations and assets and seek opportunities for the organisation to provide innovative clean energy, infrastructure or operational solutions on our network or to our customers.

Carbon Emissions

We are committed to reducing our carbon emissions and continue to pursue more ambitious targets. 

Our CO2-e emission reduction commitments baselined to FY20 are:

  • 50% reduction of our scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030

  • Net zero by 2050 for our scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions


In FY22, we committed to increase the ambition of our emissions reduction targets to align with net zero objectives and reflect the significant progress made by Ausgrid and our industry to reduce emissions and decarbonise the electricity grid.

To support our response, we have joined the United Nations (UN) backed global campaign, ‘Race to Zero’ and the ‘Business Ambition for 1.5oC’, as part of our commitment to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). We will lodge renewed targets with the SBTi in FY23 for validation and approval.

Our targets will include line losses (electricity lost in transmission and distribution), be based on a more recent base year and include all of our supply chain scope 3 emissions per the Greenhouse Gas Protocol.

Our previous targets

In FY19, Ausgrid created two categories of carbon emission reduction targets:

  • 8% of all emissions (scope 1, 2 and selected 3) by FY24 and 17% by FY30; and
  • 44% of all emissions (scope 1, 2, and selected 3), excluding line losses, by FY24.

Our targets were baselined to FY17 to reflect our change in ownership when the NSW Government entered into shared ownership with AustralianSuper and IFM Investors. In FY22, Ausgrid achieved reductions of 19.6% and 24.9% for targets A and B, respectively. These results mean we have successfully achieved our 8% and 17% emissions targets early, and we are on track to achieve our 44% reduction target in FY24.


Carbon Emissions Highlights

  • Commitment to more ambitious emissions reductions targets
  • In FY22, we reduced our total scope 1,2 and selected 3 emissions by 19.6% since 2017 (target was 8% reduction by EOFY24)

Read more in the Ausgrid FY22 Carbon Emissions Performance Report.

EV Facilitation

In a world first initiative, Ausgrid has partnered with JOLT to step change accessibility of electric vehicle charging. This project will provide customers access to free, fast charging across Sydney by transforming existing Ausgrid streetside kiosks into state-of-the-art charging stations for electric vehicles.

This shared asset partnership supports the electrification of transport by giving our customers and community access to renewable energy choices, making it easier for people to charge their vehicles and using 100 per cent green energy.

Read more about our partnership with JOLT.

Data Analytics

Mapping our network needs

In collaboration with other electricity networks in Australia and the Institute of Sustainable Futures at University of Technology Sydney, Ausgrid has helped to develop a free online tool that maps Australia’s electricity network.

The network opportunity maps help to inform the market about locations where investment in demand management and renewable energy may reduce the need to invest in poles and wires assets, supporting the uptake of local sustainable energy options and reduce costs for all consumers. Find out more.

Technology and Data Innovation

Our Network Digitisation Program delivered improvements in our digital imaging and mapping capability and cost efficiencies. We expanded our use of LiDAR (light detection and ranging) to create a digitised picture of the Ausgrid network. This is allowing us to change the way we execute routine tasks such as maintenance inspections and surveying, providing further opportunity for efficiencies.

Ausgrid is using its LiDAR data to build a 3D ‘digital twin’ of the entire Ausgrid network to improve grid reliability and resiliency, and optimise the operational efficiency of its network. The digital twin will combine 3D spatial visualisation with full engineering-grade analytics functionality, which will enable Ausgrid staff to design and operate critical network infrastructure on the poles and wires remotely, rather than on site, resulting in improved efficiency for customers. The extra data extracted from the modelling will allow analytics on assets in bulk across the entire network. Find out more about our partnership with Neara to optimise network management and performance.

Smart Meter Data

We are using smart meter data to assess the solar hosting capacity of our network, monitor and resolve power quality issues, and identify potential defects and hazards on the network.

Drone technology

We introduced the use of drones alongside helicopters to conduct bushfire safety checks on the network in remote or noise sensitive locations.

In a world first, Ausgrid used a drone to untangle 800 metres of twisted powerlines in a remote, inaccessible part of the electricity network in Sydney’s North in 2021. The twisted wires were caused by strong winds and discovered during a routine tower inspection in a large valley between Davidson and St Ives. Find out more about drones and powerlines.

Research data sets

In response to customer feedback we provide regular consumption and past outage data, as well sets of electricity research data. Find out more.

Customer Empowerment and Satisfaction

Under the Australian Energy Market Commission’s Power of Choice review of the National Energy Market, Ausgrid’s metering business is ring fenced under the Ausgrid Operating Partnership and exists as PlusES. As a result, smart meters and associated services are now managed by retailers and metering partners. Ausgrid maintains accumulation meters only.

Customer Experience Highlights

  • In response to the impacts of COVID-19 we implemented a $3.9 million bill relief package for residential customers, and $3.7 million for our worst affected large business customers, codesigned with our Energy Networks Australia (ENA) peers
  • We introduced near real-time measurement of customer ease across almost our entire suite of services to enable a direct link between business improvement and customer experience.
  • We improved communication with customers, reducing uncertainty around outages and informing the customer that we are aware of the outage while providing restoration time updates.
  • The power outage map and reporting form upgrade launched in tandem with our customer power outage SMS initiative, has helped to improve customer communication of power outages. Introduced the 'Closing the Loop' initiative allowing customers to request follow-up from the contact centre for unresolved issues and gave Partners the choice to receive a call-back from an Ausgrid executive, allowing the executive team to directly hear and solve the real challenges faced by our partners at the centre of service delivery for our customers.

Introduction of demand tariffs

To give customers more control over their bills, on 1 July 2019 we introduced demand tariffs for residential and small business customers with smart meters. These tariffs allow customers to lower their bills simply by spreading out when they use their appliances during peak hours.

As at 30 June 2021, there were about 108,000 residential and small business customers on demand tariffs. Further, about 413,000 residential small business customers remain on cost reflective time-of-use network tariffs.

Customer Advocates

We have four customer committees:

We continue to collaborate with our customer advocates on customer insights, service improvements and innovation programs, in line with the customer-focused Energy Charter principles.
Read more about our customer engagement here.

Further information on Customer Service Highlights and Engagement refer to the Ausgrid 2021 Energy Charter Report.

Customer Satisfaction

Our understanding of our customers continues to evolve by investing more time and resources into learning about customer preferences and actively improving the services we provide to them.

Based on customer feedback, we have developed new reporting and tracking frameworks called the Voice of the Community program. We have elevated the Net Performance Score (NPS) from being a transactional survey to a reputational survey (RepTrak) and we've supplemented it with several other transactional measures such as first touch resolution, case resolution percentage and customer satisfaction score.

These changes will allow us to capture direct, timely and relevant feedback from our customers to enhance data-driven decision making so we can focus our efforts where our customers tell us they are most needed.

  • Our Customer and Partner Research included over 20 group discussion sessions along with in-depth interviews, which provided us with 50 hours’ worth of feedback. This included research with 430 NSW Electric Vehicle (EV) owners to investigate opinions and perceived behaviours around charging and electric vehicle driving patterns.
  • In July 2020 we commenced a Community Battery research program among solar and battery and non-solar / battery customers.


Cyber and physical security requirements and considerations continue to be key focuses for Ausgrid. With our electricity grid recognised as critical infrastructure, we know that keeping it safe from intrusion is crucial for providing a safe and reliable electricity supply.

Find out more in the 2022 Ausgrid Sustainability Report. 

IT Cyber Security

In FY21, we implemented a range of initiatives to improve our preparedness and guard our network against the threat of cyber events. These initiatives included:

  • Developing a consolidated protective security strategy that covers cyber, physical, personnel and operational technology programs of work.
  • Defining a cyber defence framework that establishes staged business and control restrictions in the event of a cyber event.
  • Implementing third party supplier cyber security reviews across key vendors.
  • Undertaking cyber-attack simulations, clarifying roles and responsibilities, and identifying process gaps.
  • Upgrading Electronic Access Control Management systems at 208 substation sites to bolster physical and personnel safety.

Cyber Security Highlights

  • 7+ billion perimeter scans detected with no significant external breaches
  • 12 million malicious and spam emails were blocked
  • 208 substation sites with upgraded Electronic Access Control Management systems

OT Security

Ausgrid has a OT / Control System Security Strategy which has been further refined by the introduction of the Critical Infrastructure Licence Conditions and its subsequent revision. This strategy has informed the Operational Technology Security Strategy and the cyber security program. This strategy references current good and best practice in SCADA systems and, where applicable, IT Cyber Security practices.

OT Security Primary Reference Standard for control systems and backup coordination, storage and orchestration tools is IEC-62443 – Security for Industrial Automation and Control Systems.