How Origin customers can earn $250 for reducing energy usage

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Origin has launched an energy-saving program that rewards customers with cash for using less power during peak demand periods.

Up to $250 a year in PayPal cash and gift cards is on offer through ‘Spike’, an initiative whereby eligible households participate in regular energy saving challenges.

To claim the cash prizes, customers will need to reduce their electricity usage by 60 per cent during peak demand or ‘SpikeHours’, by adjusting air conditioner settings, delaying the use of washing machines and dryers, or turning off any other energy-draining appliances.

Origin Executive General Manager Retail, Jon Briskin, claimed the program is a new way for Australians to be rewarded for making “small adjustments” to their power consumption.

“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,” he said.

Mr Briskin added: “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.

“Demand management helps to reduce strain on the network when the balance between supply and demand can be tight, and also assist with the transition toward a cleaner, smarter energy system in Australia.”

Demand management incentives

Although demand management in peak times is not an entirely new concept – with retailers such as AGL, EnergyAustralia and Powershop trailing similar initiatives over recent years – it is positive to see customers potentially benefiting financially, said Canstar Blue Editor-in-Chief, Simon Downes.

“While demand management is nothing new per se, if the rewards are of genuine value, it could be worth signing up to. Historically speaking, the incentive for consumers to engage in these types of energy-savings programs has been lacking, so it’s good to see Origin actually providing some decent cash benefits to bill-payers,” Mr Downes said.

“On the one hand, you could say ‘why should consumers be left to help alleviate pressure on the energy grid, people shouldn’t have to turn off their air conditioning at peak times of day through fear that the energy grid will fall over, or to save their energy company money’. On the other hand, you could see it as an opportunity to earn some cash, provided you’re comfortable not running your home appliances. Households shouldn’t feel pressured into it.”

Origin states that customers will be alerted to SpikeHours via SMS or email on a weekly basis and will be notified of the results. There are four Spike status levels – Silver, Gold, Platinum and Diamond – each level relating to the amount of power conserved over a 12-month period.

Only Origin residential customers with a smart meter will be able take part in the program, while a rollout to regular meters is expected to take place later in the year.

Origin Energy Prices

Here are the Origin Energy plans on our database for NSW. These are products from referral partners†. These costs are based on the Ausgrid network in Sydney but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 3900kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Here are the Origin Energy plans on our database for Victoria. These are products from referral partners†. These costs are based on the Citipower network in Melbourne but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4000kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Here are the Origin Energy plans on our database for SE QLD. These are products from referral partners†. These costs are based on the Energex network in Brisbane but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4600kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Here are the Origin Energy plans on our database for South Australia. These are products from referral partners†. These costs are based on the SA Power network in Adelaide but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4000kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Image credit: Try_my_best/Shutterstock.com

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