Important changes are coming on 1 July 2023 for certain air-conditioner types that get installed or connected from this date onwards.

From 1 July 2023, certain air conditioner types must not be installed or connected to the South Australian electricity distribution network unless they meet the demand response capability requirements in the new Technical Regulator Guideline:

It is critical to note that whilst these changes legally require certain air conditioners to have demand response capabilities, they do not require consumers to participate in demand response programs. Consumer participation in these programs is voluntary.

The changes will help deliver a smarter electricity grid, more flexibility for consumers, and more affordable energy for everyone. They will make it easier for South Australian households to use their air conditioner to voluntarily access demand response programs. Demand response programs provide financial incentives to households for shifting their energy usage away from times of high demand on the electricity grid and to periods of lower demand. The changes that households make through demand response helps deliver a smarter and more flexible electricity grid, and better use of our abundant renewable energy. This delivers more affordable energy for all South Australians.

Air conditioners covered by the requirements include any of the following with a cooling capacity of up to 19kW:

  • Single phase air conditioners
  • Three phase air conditioners
  • Close control air conditioners

The requirement does not apply to:

  • evaporative air conditioners
  • portable air conditioners
  • air conditioners that plug into a mains socket/wall socket. They don’t need to be installed via hard wiring.

The Department of Energy and Mining has prepared a retailer fact sheet (PDF, 104.5 KB) about the change for air conditioner retailers. The fact sheet details the change, what it means for retailers and their customers, and frequently asked questions.

Retailers should take the following steps to maximise customer experience, assist installers with their legal obligations, and proactively manage sales and stock.

  1. Review the Technical Regulator Compliance list (PDF, 187.3 KB). The compliance list outlines all air conditioners registered as complying with the demand response requirements in the guideline.
  2. Review the air conditioners you are offering, sales that have been made but not installed, and any stock against the compliance list.
  3. Take proactive measures to ensure that any air conditioners installed in South Australia on or after 1 July 2023 that are required to be compliant, comply with the demand response requirements in the guideline and are on the compliance list.

Proactive measures may include:

  • contacting air conditioner suppliers and manufacturers to confirm products comply with the demand response requirements in the guideline
  • if compliant products are not already on the compliance list - encouraging suppliers and manufacturers to submit them for registration under the guideline and addition to the compliance list. Once registered, the Technical Regulator will add the air conditioner to the compliance list
  • working with customers, suppliers and manufacturers to determine alternative products that can be installed if compliance of a sold or stocked product cannot be confirmed.

The compliance list is updated regularly as more air conditioners are registered. Retailers should therefore review the list on a regular basis.

The Department of Energy and Mining has prepared an installer fact sheet (PDF, 110.5 KB) about the change for air conditioner installers. The fact sheet details the change, what it means for installers and their customers, and frequently asked questions.

Air conditioner installers should take the following steps to ensure they meet their obligations and maximise customer experience:

  1. To assist with determining whether an air conditioner is compliant, familiarise yourself with the Technical Regulator Compliance list (PDF, 187.3 KB). This list outlines all air conditioners that the Technical Regulator has registered as complying with the demand response requirements in the guideline. It is being updated on a regular basis as more air conditioners are registered.
  2. Ensure that any air conditioners you install in South Australia on or after 1 July 2023 that are required to be compliant, comply with the demand response requirements in the guideline. If you are aware that an air conditioner is not on the compliance list, you can help ensure that it complies. You can do this by contacting your product supplier or the manufacturer and asking them to apply to register it under this guideline.

Any person who connects a non-complying air conditioner to the South Australian electricity distribution network on or after 1 July 2023 may be subject to financial penalty under the Electricity Act 1996.

The Department of Energy and Mining has prepared a suppliers and manufacturers fact sheet (PDF, 119.5 KB) about the change for air conditioner suppliers and manufacturers. The fact sheet details the change, what it means for suppliers, manufacturers and their customers, and frequently asked questions.

The Technical Regulator encourages suppliers and manufacturers to take the following steps to maximise customer experience, assist installers with their legal obligations, and proactively manage any sales and stock.

  1. View the Technical Regulator Compliance list (PDF, 187.3 KB). This list outlines all air conditioners that the Technical Regulator has registered as complying with the demand response requirements in the guideline.
  2. Review the air conditioners you are supplying, stock that has been shipped but not sold or installed, and any stock on hand against the compliance list.
  3. If your product is not already on the compliance list - submit your compliant product for registration by the Technical Regulator under the guideline, using the Technical Regulator Guideline product registration form. Note that registration of products under the guideline is optional.
  4. Take proactive measures to ensure that any designated air conditioners installed in South Australia on or after 1 July 2023 comply with the guideline and are on the compliance list.

Proactive measures may include:

  • contacting retailers to confirm which of your products comply with the demand response requirements in the guideline.
  • working with retailers and customers to determine alternative products that can be installed if compliance of a sold or stocked product cannot be confirmed.

The compliance list is updated regularly as more air conditioners are registered. Suppliers and manufacturers should review the list on a regular basis.

The Technical Regulator Compliance list (PDF, 187.3 KB) outlines air conditioners registered as complying with the demand response requirements in the Technical Regulator Guideline.

The compliance list consists of three categories:

Category 1 - Products the Technical Regulator has automatically registered as complying with the requirements of the guideline because they are part of the Energex PeakSmart program. Air conditioners that are eligible under this program are deemed to satisfy the guideline.

Category 2 and 3 - Products that the Technical Regulator has registered as complying with the requirements of the guideline, following an application by the supplier or manufacturer.

Category 2 consists of products that have a demand response capability built into the product that is ready to use as supplied. Category 3 consists of products that are demand response capable (as defined in AS4755.3.1.2012) or potentially demand response capable (as defined in AS3823.2.2011), only if a separate part or component is added to them at installation or in the future.

If you are a supplier or manufacturer and your air conditioner is not on the compliance list, you are encouraged to submit your air conditioner for registration by 1 July 2023, using the Technical Regulator Guideline product registration form.

Eligible air conditioners under the Peaksmart program are automatically registered as complying with the requirements of the guideline - you do not have to register them. These air conditioners are already on the compliance list.

All submissions are reviewed by the Office of the Technical Regulator (OTR) against the requirements of the Technical Regulator Guideline. Once a submission is approved, the product(s) will be added to the Technical Regulator Compliance list.

Products can only be submitted by a person that is an authorised representative of the supplier or manufacturer. Please ensure you are an authorised representative before starting.

Registration of products is optional, and there may be compliant air conditioners that are not on the list. If a supplier or manufacturer advises that a product complies with the Technical Regulator Guideline but it is not on the list, retailers and installers should seek confirmation of compliance from the supplier in writing, and encourage them to register the product on the Technical Regulator Compliance list.