New energy technology gives customers control
Published: 2 Jun 2015 1:39pm
Ergon Energy Retail's customers could soon control their energy usage and better manage their bills through new technology that could be offered next year.
The company is piloting innovative home energy management technology that will give customers more control to manage their energy use either at home or remotely from a tablet, laptop or computer.
The pilot in conjunction with Australian company HabiDapt, is being rolled out to 100 residential Townsville based customers until September 2015.
Ergon Energy Retail Manager Products and Demand Management Lisa McDonald said the HomeSmart technology provides customers with online access to their energy consumption.
"Not only that, but it also provides them with the ability to remotely control major appliances, such as hot water systems, pool pumps and air conditioners.
"They can switch these on or off at certain times of the day to take advantage of time-of-use tariffs, or use their own solar power and ultimately save on their energy bills," she said.
"The technology also allows customers to view how much energy is being generated by their solar PV system and when it is being consumed and or exported to the grid. We can help customers to program their HomeSmart system to operate specific appliances while the sun is shining to obtain the best value from their PV systems depending on the size of the system and any Feed In Tariff arrangement they have.
"We want to make it easy for customers so they have the option of either setting their program to do the work for them and obtain the best value or those into the detail can log-in and make adjustments as they see fit.
"By being able to view their total daily usage via an online dashboard, customers can compare their energy usage over a daily/weekly/monthly period as data is gathered.
"They will also receive a monthly report detailing their energy consumption and advice about how to set up their HomeSmart system to help manage energy bills.
The report provides those customers with solar PV systems, an assessment of how well their systems are operating – giving them valuable insight into whether they need to take action to maintain or fix issues with their system."
Budget tracking for energy consumption is also a feature built into the technology.
"It allows customers to set a monthly budget and receive notification via SMS or email alerts when they reach their set budgeted energy consumption."
At the end of the pilot period, Ergon Energy will assess customer feedback and results to determine if the product provides value to customers and can be rolled out widely.
Ergon Energy is investigating a similar energy management product for business customers that features online accessibility to energy consumption information, allows them to compare their energy consumption with similar type businesses and receive energy saving recommendations and tariff comparisons to see what would deliver the best value.
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