HomeSmart is being piloted in Townsville by 100 residential customers including me as Ergon's Manager Products and Demand Management.

And the signs are looking good.

It's a pilot to test innovative home energy management technology that will give customers more control over managing their energy use either at home or remotely from a tablet, laptop or computer.

I've done an estimate and believe HomeSmart can actually reduce my power bill approximately $400 a year.

Knowledge is power but at the moment customers don't have timely information to make informed decisions about their consumption which impacts their bills.

They really don't know their consumption until their electricity bill arrives and HomeSmart could really change that quite dramatically and in a positive way.

The technology provides customers with online access to their energy consumption and 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 advantages of time-of-use tariffs, or use their own solar power and ultimately save on their energy bills.

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. Customers can 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.

By being able to view their total daily usage via an online dashboard, customers can compare their energy usage over a daily, weekly, or monthly period as data is gathered.

A monthly report will detail their energy consumption and advice about how to set up their HomeSmart system to help manage energy bills.

The report also 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.

The pilot ends in September 2015 and we'll assess customer feedback and results to determine if the product provides value to customers and can be rolled out more widely.