What the challenge involves

The challenge includes a 10-week email and SMS program that will help you form new habits around when you use electricity. During the 10 weeks we’ll also help you understand why this is important, teach you a bit about electricity generation, explain renewable energy and keep you motivated with tips.

Why between 10am and 4pm?

Australian households tend to use the most electricity between 5pm and 8pm. There is usually far less clean energy from renewables available at this time.  

This is why we’re urging people to shift their electricity usage to between 10am and 4pm when renewables are usually at their highest.  

Making a difference

By taking part in this Electricity Shifting Challenge, you're acknowledging that you want to make a difference. By the end of this challenge, you could:

  • Improve your understanding of how the electricity grid works.
  • Change your habits and reduce your own carbon footprint.
If enough Australian households shifted when they use electricity to when there is more clean energy in the grid, it could lead to:
  • Greater investment in renewable energy projects.
  • A reduction in the amount of carbon emissions being produced.

Did you know?

Keeping it clean

Renewable energy from wind and solar power is called 'clean energy’ because when generating electricity, they don’t create any carbon emissions.

Carbon emissions in electricity

If enough electricity use changed to when clean energy is abundant, reliance on fossil fuels and carbon emissions could be reduced. 

Spikes in electricity demand

Choosing to use electricity when there is more clean energy may help reduce pressure on the electricity grid.

Fossil fuel usage

One third of Australia’s carbon emissions are from fossil fuels that produce the electricity we use every day.

Who can register?

To take part in the 10-week Electricity Shifting challenge you must live in Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia, ACT or Queensland and have a valid email address and an Australian mobile number. The challenge is limited to the first 1000 eligible participants. Refer to terms and conditions for more information.

Want to know more?

The price of your bill depends on your usage and supply charges, any fees you are charged and the electricity tariff you are on. 

If you are on a time-of-use tariff and have a different rate for different times of the day, you may change the overall price of your bill. Check when your peak, off-peak and shoulder times are with your energy provider. 

However, if you only pay one rate for your electricity (i.e. single rate), changing when you use electricity will have no impact on the price you pay. 

By encouraging as many households as possible to shift their electricity usage to 10am – 4pm when there are higher levels of clean energy generation, we could help: 

  • Reduce the amount of carbon going up into the atmosphere.
  • Send signals to investors that there is a demand for more renewable energy, which we hope will encourage even greater investment in renewable energy sources and reduce future electricity prices.
  • Improve your understanding of how the electricity grid works.
  • Reduce reliance on fossil fuels during the evening peaks 
  • Stabilise Australia’s electricity grid 
  • Accelerate the retirement of coal 
  • Encourage investment of clean energy projects

You don’t need solar at home to use renewable energy from the grid. Your state’s energy grid is shared by everyone in your state. Large solar farms and homes with solar panels export the energy they make into the grid. So, when your household uses energy between 10am to 4pm, it’s more likely to be using solar energy from someone else’s roof or from solar farms in your state’s region than at other times when there is less sunlight.  

Electricity is instantly used, so the demand for electricity (how much is being used) and the supply of electricity (how much generators can put into the grid) needs to be relatively balanced.  

Oversupply can cause black outs so when there is low demand, clean energy generators may be turned off. This means the clean energy gets wasted (curtailed). Batteries can store some of the generated solar and wind, but in 2021 battery discharging made up only 0.06% of Australia’s energy consumption. 

Clean energy comes predominately from wind farms and solar panels. So, when the sun is shining, and the wind is blowing, clean energy is at its highest. This is typically between 10 am and 4 pm - think of it like a good washing day.  

Unfortunately, the current peak time for Australian households using electricity is 5pm-8pm, which is outside the typical clean energy window.

No, we want to help as many people reduce their carbon footprint as possible. This registration is only for the Telstra Electricity Shifting challenge and will not register you for any other Telstra communications. If you decide to opt out, from this challenge, this will not affect your existing Telstra marketing preferences.  

Shifting some household chores (like a load of washing) away from the evening electricity peak (5pm-8pm) may not sound like much of a change, but it could have a big impact, if we all changed.  

We have estimated that if all of Australia shifted a load of washing to 10am – 4pm, we could replace the energy currently being supplied by Eraring (coal) Power Station at these times. This power station emitted 13.2 million tonnes of CO2-e last year and is projected to shut down by 2025. Shifting your energy can help phase out these fossil fuel producers. 

When we all use electricity at the same time (for example during the 5pm-8pm peak) we strain the physical components of electricity grid (like the poles and wires that distribute electricity). This can cause grid instability, which can lead to blackouts and push up the price of electricity.  

If we shift to using electricity during the daytime (when renewables are generally highest) we are spreading out the demand and potentially reducing prices and stabilising the grid.  

Changing habits is hard, and studies show that it takes 66 days on average to embed a new practice into your life fully. That’s about 10 weeks!

Of course, you can. But remember, if you're using more electricity between 10 am and 4 pm, you'll most likely be using electricity generated from your solar panels and not drawing electricity from the grid, which is even better for the environment and your back pocket. 

Please note that if your solar panels are connected to a meter in a gross metering configuration, or you are on a Premium Feed-in Tariff, you may not experience a financial benefit by utilising more solar between 10 am and 4 pm. 

Yes, you can opt-out at any time. When you opt-out we will remove your contact details from our mailing list, and you won't hear any more tips from us about this Electricity Shifting Challenge. This won't affect your Telstra Marketing preferences.  

Our clean energy tracker gives you more visibility by telling you when there are high, medium or low levels of clean energy in the grid. Check it out. It's a convenient way of making informed decisions about when to use your household's appliances. 

The National Electricity Market (NEM) is a network of poles and wires that connects to five regions - Queensland, New South Wales (including the ACT), Victoria, South Australia, and Tasmania.  

West Australia and the Northern Territory are not connected to the NEM. Tasmania is in the NEM but is not included in this challenge because it’s fuel mix is mostly from Hydro at all times of day