Smart Energy Solutions: How Australia Can Learn from UK’s Success

As winter approaches Europe, bringing sub-zero temperatures to the UK, an energy-saving initiative has been implemented. This program allows those with smart meters in their properties to support the National Grid during critical times.

The process is simple: sign up, and when a power-saving event is declared, usually during peak hours between 5:00 PM and 6:30 PM, you will be notified to reduce the use of heavy energy-consuming appliances.

Last winter, the scheme successfully reduced power usage and CO2 emissions significantly. It wasn’t just about saving money on bills; it was a collective effort.

Could Australia adopt a comparable energy conservation program? Although the installation of smart meters has been slower in certain regions, the impetus for change may come from the consumers. The increasing use of smart appliances, solar panels, and batteries is setting the stage for these initiatives.

For small business owners and households to benefit from such schemes, there must be a change in how energy tariffs work to reflect this new flexibility. However, this transition also presents challenges, especially for energy retailers. They must adapt to more dynamic energy consumption patterns, moving beyond the traditional view of peak, off-peak, and shoulder times. Time Of Use tariffs will also need significant refinement to accommodate the flexibility offered by these technologies.

While there are some concerns about regulations and ensuring fair metering during these saving periods, with stats like 3.3GWh saved and AUD 21 million in incentives, it’s an opportunity that’s too good to pass up.

This is a summary article from Edge2020 – read the original article.

Looking to reduce your business’s energy expenses without any extra cost? Edge Utilities makes it possible through collective purchasing, which enables you to unlock substantial savings. Our focus is on empowering SMEs like yours by fetching the most competitive rates available. You can get in touch with us by emailing us at or calling us at 1800 334 336. Start saving today with Edge Utilities!

Councils working towards net zero

Local council area business

Enabling green power purchasing for your business community

Enabling the purchase of green power through a portfolio arrangement can be a powerful tool to support councils in their commitments towards emission reduction.  Working with your business community to encourage  them to purchase their power responsibly through a collective effort is the answer to reaching your council’s net zero goals. But where do you start with the administration and negotiations for such an arrangement?

Connecting businesses to a portfolio to buy green energy is easier than you would think.

Energy procurement specialists like Edge Utilities are adept at using the power of bulk purchasing to help businesses achieve goals, such as ensuring they are buying green electricity, and it can also lead to savings in many cases. In addition to sourcing energy through sustainable suppliers, they will negotiate and contract on behalf of the businesses, and by having support from a consultant who can take an aggregated portfolio approach widens the opportunity for those businesses to define and meet their desired outcomes.

So how can this be rolled out across a council or community with thousands of businesses?

Using the council’s connection to all the businesses in an area and great communication you can work with a businesses like Edge Utilities to encourage business owners to purchase their power through the portfolio aggregation arrangement. This will enable the majority of the jurisdiction to be buying green power, with the joy of someone else managing the administration through a custom built portal, or in some cases with a little marketing budget a microsite, branded as a council initiative.

Each business will still have their own contracts and power bills, but by joining the portfolios to a large proposition, they can tap into the benefits of buying renewable energy and potential savings through bulk purchasing.

Why do it?

One word, emissions. Collectively the businesses in a council area would be responsible for a large percentage of the emissions in the area,  and due to government legislation, most councils will have committed to reducing those emissions.

Setting up the opportunity for businesses to make an easy transition to purchasing renewable power in your council area will certainly support emission reduction goals.

The benefits are:
  1. Emission Reduction: Encouraging renewable energy procurement for the businesses in that area, can enable councils to actively reduce their carbon emissions.
  2. Simplicity: Having expert energy providers manage it on your behalf allows businesses within your constituent access to an easy option to know they are buying green energy, as well as have the contractual admin managed by someone else.
  3. Education: Offering a service like this to the businesses in your council area through a specially designed portal, will give you the opportunity to educate your community on energy consumption.
  4. Potential cost savings: The more businesses that join the portfolio the more opportunity portfolio managers have to make potential savings on energy through bulk purchasing.
  5. Demonstrating Leadership: By providing an easy to use, admin free opportunity for local businesses to move to green power, councils can demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and set an example for other organisations to follow.

How to do it – The portfolio model

Energy partners like Edge Utilities  work with councils to help communicate with the businesses in the area and enable the switch to green through a customised portal, to sign up to join the portfolio. The actual contracts are held individually by each business, they will all receive their own bills.

There is no cost for the re-contracting service, much like mortgage brokers there is no out-of-pocket cost to the council or individual businesses for the use of our services. We are remunerated by the retailers we set up the contracts through, making it a win win situation for emission reduction goals, potential savings for the businesses and the opportunity for the Edge Utilities Power Portfolio (EUPP) to grow.

The council’s job therefore becomes purely engagement and education, notifying businesses that they have created the opportunity for a simple switch to contribute towards your net zero goals by joining the portfolio.

Overall, communities purchasing renewable energy through a power portfolio can provide a cost-effective and reliable way for councils and business communities to transition to net-zero emissions and contribute to a more sustainable future.


The team Edge Utilities are passionate about renewables and sustainability, we are energy brokers with an eye on the planet. We are committed to helping councils and business communities reach their net zero goals through renewable power purchasing agreements (PPAs) and smart portfolio management.
To discuss options and plans for your community contact us at  or call us on 1800 334 336 to discuss. 





Energy savings for boutique hotels and smaller chains

Boutique hotels

From our side of the fence as energy partners, we are accustomed to working with hotels, especially through our sister business Edge 2020 who look after power purchasing, progressive purchasing and renewables for some of Australia’s largest energy users. Large hotel brands fit right into this category with their 24 hours service, multiple locations, high rise format and climate-controlled comfort. So what if you are a boutique hotel, or a small chain, is there benefit in using a broker? And if so, what does it cost?

For smaller hotels energy brokers not only save you money, but we can also add value through:

boutique hotel

  • Negotiating energy supply contracts: We have extensive knowledge of the energy market and can negotiate better energy supply contracts on behalf of your hotel, ultimately saving you money on energy costs.
  • Sourcing renewable energy: We can help your purchase power from renewable energy sources. A responsible choice and a positive point of difference for your occupants.
  • Managing energy consumption: We can help and advise you on how to monitor and manage your energy consumption by analysing your energy usage data and making recommendations for reducing energy waste.
  • Compliance with regulations: We watch the market and are knowledgeable about current energy regulations. We can ensure that your hotel is in compliance with all relevant laws and regulations.
  • Improving energy efficiency: we can work with you to identify and implement energy-efficient strategies, diversifying your energy portfolio, to deliver you real savings.
What does an energy broker cost?

Edge Utilities operates much like a mortgage broker, or insurance broker – we work for you. Our team will find the best energy deal for your hotel’s requirements and then process the administration for you to transition to the new service. So contrary to popular belief, the service actually costs you nothing.

We are remunerated directly by the energy retailer upon settlement of your contract, so there is no out-of-pocket cost to the business for the use of our services.

How does it work?

At Edge we have recently set up a service for business energy users to leverage our collective buying power through what we have called the Edge Utilities Power Portfolio. We take your energy requirements to market in our portfolio, that attracts lower fees, and then overlay the power of bulk purchasing to achieve greater savings for individual businesses.

We still contract each business separately with the chosen retailer, but use a collective customer portfolio to negotiate on your behalf.

So, if you are not part of a global brand or one of Australia’s biggest energy users but still feel the rising price of energy hitting your bottom line, it might be worth reaching out for a discussion. Not only can we provide valuable expertise and support in your efforts to reduce energy costs, we can also lower your carbon footprint, and improve your energy efficiency.

If you feel you need more control of your hotel’s energy spend, please reach out to discuss joining our Edge Utilities Power Portfolio (EUPP) where we use the power of bulk purchasing to help Australian businesses of all sizes save on their energy bills. We’ll conduct a free no obligation comparison to show you how you can save. Read more: or call us on 1800 334 336 to discuss. 

When will businesses see the recent reduction in wholesale electricity prices?

Although wholesale electricity prices have reduced in recent months, it is unlikely that households and businesses will see these benefits in their electricity bills until 2024.

In late December the Federal government stepped into the energy market and intervened, placing a price cap on wholesale gas and the price of coal, essentially disconnecting the domestic energy market from the international energy market. Moreover, the Federal treasury analysed the wholesale electricity market in November 2022, comparing it with the prices we saw in December. After Federal intervention the price caps on coal and gas have dropped prices in QLD by 44% and 38% for NSW.

Following these caps being put in place, the domestic electricity market corrected and both spot and futures contracts dropped to match an underlying cost of production for electricity based on these new capped fuel prices.

However, does this mean electricity bills are going to drop a similar amount? Well, the bad news is no. Retail bills are normally locked in well in advance so many large users have locked in pricing for 2023. The underlying energy costs are only part of the retail bill as other costs include transmission, distribution and AEMO charges which unfortunately have not decreased and have the potential to increase as the market evolves.

While the underlying cost of electricity will drop with more renewable energy entering the market, the other costs on the electricity bills will now represent a higher proportion and are likely to increase.

Renewable energy requires more transmission lines to connect the generators to the grid, they require specialised services to maintain the security of the grid and will also require a higher cost generation or storage to provide firming for around the clock supply.

Edge Utilities offer market leading services for business and strata energy users. We help you navigate the ever-changing energy landscape, focus on renewables and save on your power bills through our Edge Utilities Power Portfolio ( Reach out, we would love to assist you: or call on:1800 334 336


We all agree having a safe, reliable, and secure National Electricity Market (NEM) is the key deliverable for AEMO. AEMO have flagged that there is a shortfall in the participants able to provide key services to keep the grid stable as the generation mix changes and they are running out of tools to keep the grid stable.

The biggest issue for AEMO and market participants is as synchronous generators such as thermal power stations reduce availability and eventually retire the much-needed system security services such as inertia and voltage control that they provide, drops.

As a result of AEMOs concerns, the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) has developed ways of valuing the much-needed services.

The AEMC has just released a directions paper outlining mechanisms that could provide the system security services to the NEM. The AEMC has also highlighted support for innovative technologies to provide these services.

At this moment in time, AEMO has limited tools to improve system security at times of scarcity apart from using its intervention powers to direct generators online to provide the services. The problem with using its direction powers is that additional costs associated with the directions are passed onto end users and as a result this does not meet the requirement of the National Electricity Objective (NEO) of providing the lowest cost solution and it also distorts the market.

AEMC’s directions paper covers two rule changes proposed by Delta Electricity and Hydro Tasmania. The Delta proposal is to introduce a capacity commitment mechanism to provide system security and reliability services. In Hydro Tasmania’s request they propose to create a market for inertia, voltage control and system strength products.

Both these rule changes will form part of the Energy Security Boards (ESB) ‘post 2025’ market design. AEMO is also working with participants to develop the engineering to meet these challenges. These challenges include a changing market due to an increased reliance on weather dependent generation such as solar and wind and new technologies such as batteries.

The options in the directions paper are about providing a transitional approach as we move to a different generation mix while keeping the cost of the solutions to a minimum over the long-term. Solutions may include a similar process to direction but increasing the transparency of what assets should be online to maintain system security while keeping the costs down. Some of the options available to AEMO could be scheduling assets to provide specific services like voltage control while other would be scheduled for inertia. These arrangements would likely transform into stand-alone services similar to the current FCAS services.

The market is changing at a rapid pace and these extra tools in AEMO’s toolbox should allow the NEM to operate safely and securely for many years into the future.


With the release of the latest Electricity Statement of Opportunities (ESOO) some of the assumptions used in it have raised concerns of the viability of Snowy 2.0 and the impact it will have on security of supply for the market. Snowy 2.0 had been given the green light under AEMO assumptions even though the project would not have hit the hurdle rate AEMO uses for all other projects.  The second concerning point is when you build one of the largest generation assets in the country it is crucial that it is linked to the market via appropriate transmission lines. Information from transmission line providers suggests the full capacity of the powerlines will not be in place when Snowy 2.0 comes online. Our third concern is the cost of the new transmission line projects are rapidly rising. These costs will go directly to the end user.

Transmission provider TransGrid outlines information on HumeLink, the transmission line earmarked to connect Snowy 2.0 to the NEM. TransGrid estimates HumeLink costs have increased from $1.3B in the draft assessment to $3.3B. The more worrying statement is TransGrid saying the final cost could be up 50% or more.

Apart from HumeLink, to be full unconstrained, Snowy 2.0 will need the Victoria to NSW interconnector West (VNI West) transmission to be built. HumeLink is labelled the largest transmission project in history, VNI will be a similar size and most likely a similar price however costing have not been released.

The cost of these two transmission lines will eventually be passed down to end users via increases in transmission tariffs. Modelling has indicated that the $3.3B for HumeLink will add 40% to NSW costs. While these costs are met by all end users, large users will be impacted the most as these fees are paid for on a proportional basis.

Latest costing suggests HumeLink, VNI West and Snowy 2.0 has the potential to cost $12 billion. This will make Snowy 2.0 the most expensive generation and transmission project in history.

The question is, with far cheaper renewable projects that do not require 2 huge transmission lines to make them effective for system security, are there better options the federal government and the consumers of NSW could be spending their money on.


Edge2020 & Edge Utilities are proud members of the National Customer Code.

If you are considering using an energy broker or consultant to support you in your energy needs, please read this first – National Customer Code-Procurement-Checklist

This guide has been created by the National Customer Code for Energy Brokers, Consultants and Retailers to assist you navigate key terms and conditions in your energy procurement contracts to ensure that you are making informed decisions about costs, commissions and fee structures, including any ongoing fees and terms.

It also includes practical questions to ask your broker or consultant if you need more information.

If you have any questions about your energy needs, please call us on 1800 334 336 or email



Large companies with coal fired generation are pushing for the market to pay them to remain operational rather than retiring their assets. As profit margins fall across the industry, owners of coal fired assets are hoping that households and businesses could pay them to stay available. End users would be hit with increases to their electricity bill if the proposed new subsidy is approved by state and federal energy ministers.

The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) and Green Energy Markets have released costings for capacity payments made to thermal generators, under the proposed plan. The report indicates it could cost end users as much as $6.9B. Previous estimates put a cost on end users of between $182 and $430 a year.

Federal and state energy ministers met on Friday to discuss the Energy Security Boards (ESB) proposal for a ‘Physical Retailer Reliability Obligation’. The capacity payment would see large coal and gas generators receive payments to remain operational. The Morrison government hopes the capacity payment will prevent the early retirement of Australia’s fleet of coal fired generators.

The ESB developed the new mechanism following consultation with industry. In previous weeks the owners of the coal fired generators have been very supportive of the concept as many are facing financial difficulties on the back of falling wholesale electricity prices.

Apart from the physical presence of the coal fired generators on the grid to provide system security services it is also hoped that any payments could be used to improve reliability of the assets. Recently the AER raised concerns over forced outages of thermal generators.

Following the energy Ministers meeting it is understood that each state has a different view of the market post 2025.

The biggest areas of concern are over the concept of the capacity market and the proposal for a physical retailer reliability obligation. The states are concerned that end users will pay for the capacity and obligations, but the companies will spend excessive amounts of money on aging assets and the reliability of these assets will not improve.

AEMOs latest plans include a scenario to decarbonise the grid by around 2040 and is now putting together a more ambitious plan to meet the targets by mid-2030. A key to the success of AEMOs plan is the utilisation of new and existing transmission assets.

While AEMO pushes forward a plan for a grid capable of reaching 100% renewables, the federal government is lobbying the CEOs of the large coal fired generators to support the ESBs proposals and the inclusion of capacity payments.

Industry has labelled the capacity payments as “coal-keeper”, but a growing number of companies are pushing back on the concept. Even companies like Snowy Hydro, which is owned by the federal government fear an incentive like this will discourage investment in renewable energy and more new flexible technologies like battery storage.

The Clean Energy Council cautioned the market to look beyond the capacity markets and PRRO, and the “congestion management model”, and said it wanted to see more clarity about what is proposed for distributed energy resources.

On the flip side, the coal generation companies wrote to ministers urging that an “appropriate body” draft new rules on the PRRO or alternatives by June 30 next year.

The Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, Angus Taylor, released a statement late Friday saying that ministers agreed on the need for more design work on the mechanisms to support “dispatchability”, and a “final package” of reforms would be presented to ministers in late September.


On Wednesday last week the Energy Security Board (ESB) released a statement outlining that they had finalised advice on the redesign of the national electricity market (NEM) and handed the report to the Energy National Cabinet Reform Committee. This advice comes from a 2019 request to redesign the market to support the orderly transition to a modern energy system that allowed a rapid increase in the growth of large and small scale renewable energy.

Details of the advice is not publicly available but wording in the media release indicates that coal fired generation will play a key role in the transition. The statement outlines that there must be a coordination of the exit of aging coal fueled generation to maximise the opportunities and minimise risks associated with the transition to deliver affordable, smart, and clean energy.

The ESB consulted widely with industry stakeholders, conChanges to the generation mixsumer bodies, academics, government bodies and interested parties over the last two years. An options paper was released in April and the final advice is expected to closely reflect the options discussed.

Key areas we expect to be tackled in the final redesign advice is preparing for the older coal fired generation retirement, backing up power system security, unlocking benefits and opening the grid to cheaper large-scale renewables.

In preparing for the retirement of the older coal fired generation, the ESB want to give an incentive for the right mix of resources including renewables and non-renewable generation. This was to restore confidence in consumers that energy will be available when required and the mix will include intermittent generation like wind and solar as well as firm dispatchable generation like gas.

To tackle the need for a more secure power system, the ESB will require different ancillary services like inertia, voltage, and frequency control. A market for these services will be required to ensure the procurement and dispatch of these services save money while keeping the network electrically secure.

Further work will also include unlocking the benefits for all energy consumers to gain the advantages of rooftop solar PV, batteries, and smart appliances. Improvement in these areas may also include how consumers source their energy.

As generation is only part of the equation the need to reform the way electricity is transported is also a key redesign topic. Upgrading the network with the construction of transmission lines will reduce congestion and allow cheaper generation to be built in regional areas and improve the diversification of the grid by opening up more geographic locations.

The question most end users are asking is who is paying for all these improvements. As usual the end user will pay. The ESB is understood to be recommending capacity payments for electricity generators to remain online. These generators are likely to be the older coal fleet so consumers will be paying to keep higher carbon intensive technologies online rather than supporting renewables.

This situation will pay generators an available payment to generate when required. In reality, these units will not generate unless the market is at the point of load shedding.

Capacity payments are used in the Western Australian electricity market, under their current arrangements, generators receive capacity credits in line with their units generating capacity.

In the NEM if capacity payments are introduced, they will essentially offset the Reliability and Emergency Reserve Trader (RERT) costs currently used to provide a similar service.


In this issue we look at the following;

  • We recently contracted 3 of Brisbane’s Largest Towers. How do we do it?
  • What is causing the increase in the spot &futures market prices?
  • What is aggregated electricity procurement and should you do it?

National NAIDOC week was celebrated during July and Edge acknowledge the Turral and Yuggera peoples as the traditional owners of the land on which our offices sit. We pay respect to elders past, present and future.