A new initiative that rewards Synergy customers with rooftop solar — which helps stabilise Western Australia’s main electricity grid — has received an overwhelmingly positive response.
Solar Rewards allows Synergy to temporarily turn off participating households’ rooftop solar, when electricity demand is low, while providing no cost energy to the home from the grid.
The initiative went live 1 October 2023 and assists in maintaining the stability of the South West Interconnected System (SWIS) — when rooftop solar electricity generation is high but demand is low.
This is referred to as a ‘low load event’ and typically occurs in the middle of the day in Spring and Autumn.
WA Energy Minister Bill Johnston said: “Solar Rewards is a win-win initiative and I’m not surprised it’s so popular.
“Participating Synergy customers can save money on their energy bill while also helping maintain the stability of the grid.
“Solar Rewards is one of many ways the Cook Government is providing a more sustainable, affordable and reliable energy future for Western Australians,” said Johnston.
Households will receive a $100 credit towards their electricity bill, $50 at the beginning and $50 at the end of their contract — as well as credit to cover electricity consumed during a Solar Rewards event.
More than 2,600 Synergy customers signed up for Solar Rewards during a targeted campaign and many more have joined the waitlist.
To be eligible, Synergy customers must have a rooftop solar system with an inverter capacity of five kilowatt or less that is able to be remotely turned off.
Plico Energy is providing additional support through its community of 1,600-plus solar and battery customers via its virtual power plant.
The Solar Rewards initiative will help reduce the need for Emergency Solar Management, where rooftop solar systems are turned off remotely as a last resort to protect the grid during emergencies.