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Project overview
  • Lead Organisation

    AGL Energy Services Pty Ltd


    New South Wales

    ARENA Program

    Advancing Renewables Program

  • Start date

    1 December 2017

    End date

    1 June 2021

  • Project Partners
    This demand response project was completed on 1 June 2021.


The AGL Demand Response project is one of 10 pilot projects awarded funding under ARENA and AEMO’s flagship $35.7 million Demand Response Initiative, along with support from the NSW Government.

The AGL Demand Response project began December 2017 and involves the deployment of 18 MW of demand response reserves, increasing to 19 MW and 20 MW in years two and three respectively. Seventeen megawatts will come from commercial and industrial participants, while the remaining 3 MW will come from AGL’s NSW residential customers. The reserves will be delivered when called upon by AEMO under the Short Notice Reliability and Emergency Reserve Trader (RERT).

Key results

More than 8,000 customers participated in AGL’s residential behavioural demand response program, a small-scale trial of residential controlled load demand response focussing on air conditioners and electric vehicle charging, and up to 20MW of commercial and industrial demand response for AEMO’s Reliability and Emergency Reserve Trader program.

The trial successfully demonstrated the use of demand response as an effective source of reserve capacity in the National Electricity Market.

Key findings from each of the trial streams included:

Residential Behavioural Demand Response

  • The behavioural program demonstrated a net reduction in demand of up to 3.9MW.

Residential Controlled Load Demand Response

  • Complexity, high costs and erratic outcomes from controlling already installed air conditioners using the mechanism specified in Australian Standard AS4755 make this approach unviable.
  • Electric vehicle charging has the potential to be a substantial controllable load that can be shaped and managed without adversely affecting vehicle amenity.

Commercial and Industrial Demand Response

  • 20MW of demand response was successfully dispatched into AEMO’s RERT program.

How the project works

AGL Demand Response project will deliver its demand response reserves through a combination of residential direct load control (DLC) and behavioural demand response, together with commercial and industrial demand response.

The DLC Peak Energy Rewards – Managed For You program allows residential customers to nominate their own devices, such as air conditioners and electric vehicle charging stations, to be remotely controlled by AGL during a demand response event. The Peak Energy Rewards – Managed By You program involves AGL asking residential customers to reduce their electricity usage during demand response events. In return for participating in the Peak Energy Rewards programs, customers are rewarded with a variety of financial incentives.

Large commercial and industrial energy users such as shopping centres, telecommunications companies, water utilities and manufacturing plants have also signed on to participate in AGL’s commercial and industrial demand response portfolio. As also high energy consumers, slight shifts can have a large impact on demand during peak times.

Area of innovation

AGL’s Peak Energy Rewards programs are exploring new ways to intelligently manage behind-the-meter distributed energy resources and to motivate customers to engage with their energy use. AGL is offering customers the flexibility to either have their loads directly controlled, or to choose which loads to curtail themselves. The approach requires new device control and customer engagement strategies that could make demand response in the residential sector more widely applicable.


The project will help to establish whether demand response can assist in maintaining a stable electricity grid. It will also help ARENA understand how and to what extent communication technology can play a role in the residential demand response market.

Last updated 24 June 2021


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