Energy buffs in reflective mode are prone to ask themselves: How do we put some X factor into home and small business energy management? While comfort, convenience and techno-trendiness may drive consumers to invest in 'smart' and 'automation' solutions, it's likely that the main RoI will come from the energy side.
Now in its second year, the Free Electrons program is a global exercise in bringing together major established energy utility businesses with a dynamic mix of tech startups. Some of the utilities are behemoths and all of them are substantial businesses, while most of the startups are minnows. Everyone has a lot at stake. So what could possibly go right?
Is the Australian Government opening a door to consumers providing self-evidence of their current energy consumption and asking to be billed based on this rather than utility ‘guesstimates’? This could, for example, be real-time data from a Wattwatchers device which measures home and business electricity use - and also generation, such as rooftop solar - with the same accuracy as a utility billing meter.
Wattwatchers has been included in the ‘bootcamp’ stage of the hotly-contested Free Electrons 2018. Starting in Lisbon, Portugal, next week (3-6 April), the event features the 'Top 30' shortlisted startups vying for 12 finalist spots in the 2018 program, with the opportunity to win a $US200,000 cash prize and the title of ‘Free Electrons World’s Best Energy Startup’.
Wattwatchers energy monitoring devices have achieved UL certification - and also related certifications under the multi-national CB Scheme - adding substantially to the suite of national and international standards that our solutions comply with. Wattwatchers devices are now in rollouts, pilots or tests in 12+ countries on 6 continents.
How long before you need to ‘ask nicely’ to your energy utility if you can put an air-conditioner in your home or small business? The recent blackouts in Victoria happened due to unknown demand ‘loads’ all coming online at the same time, which sent parts of the grid into a mini meltdown. Really? Can it be true that in 2018 our grid operators are still flying that blind?
A prediction. In five years, at the end of 2022, we’ll be able to look back on the year nearly passed and say: ‘You know what, 2017 was a pivotal time for Australia’s energy transformation. That was the year it became inescapably clear that the future of energy is in the cloud not the coal mine.’ Consider some headline themes from 2017: Shock-treatment. Renewables. Technology. People. Industry. Startups. Policy. Data.
Don’t expect Australia’s price-battered electricity consumers to be popping any champagne corks when the longtime-coming ‘Power of Choice’ metering reforms finally come into force today (December 4, 2017). In fact, it’s a fair bet that the vast majority of power bill paying Australians will be totally oblivious to the formal kick-off date, even if energy insiders have been manoeuvring around it for years seeking advantage under a new regulatory regime for so-called ‘smart meters’.
Wattwatchers has teamed up with the Renew Economy Energy Insiders podcast series to record a 'special session' for the global Disruptive Innovation Festival (hashtag #thinkdif). The special podcast is called 'The Tech Nerd's User-Friendly Guide to Reinventing Electricity for Consumers' - and it went live on DIF 2017 on November 23, 2017.
The Wattwatchers-Future Grid energy data hub will enable the real-time management over the internet of fleets of intelligent devices that monitor and control electrical circuits covering everything from rooftop solar generation, to energy storage systems, to electric vehicle chargers and everyday major loads in the the household including hot water, air-conditioning units, pool pumps and more.
Two innovative Australian technology companies – one doing the hardware for monitoring and control, the other the management software, data-hosting and cloud platform for analytics – are teaming up to do 'IoT for energy'. Brisbane-based VRT Systems, owner of the WideSky IoT platform and the CETA metering distribution business, is working with Sydney-based Wattwatchers to address energy management opportunities enabled by rich electricity data.
Experienced new energy solutions advisor James Clements has joined Wattwatchers as a business development manager based in Sydney. His brief is to focus on Wattwatchers' expanding deployment in commercial and industrial sub-metering, business energy efficiency, and green and smart building use cases.
Wattwatchers is delighted to announce the appointment of Justine Jarvinen as non-executive Chair. Ms Jarvinen will lead the Wattwatchers Board during a critical growth stage following the company’s successful $4 million Series A investment round which closed in August 2017.
We’ve created a kind of mythology that ‘energy is special’. We’re all caught in a form of large-scale Stockholm syndrome where we’ve been ‘programmed’ to accept that energy policy and markets have to be handled differently to just about everything else. Now we need to be de-programmed, writes Wattwatchers CEO and 'Connected Home Guy' Gavin Dietz.
UK-based Envisij and Australia's Wattwatchers are working together to help business energy consumers navigate the exciting but challenging ‘new energy’ era. Key energy system touchpoints include the rise of EVs, proliferating solar PV for homes and businesses, on-site storage, energy efficiency and load control - coupled with costly transition debacles like vexed ‘Smart Meter’ rollouts.
Darius Salgo, one of the 'new energy' sector's brightest young innovators, is joining Wattwatchers in a part-time business development role with a focus on Australian and international market opportunities. Darius has broad experience in distributed energy systems and energy markets, and is a co-founder of local energy trading start-up Nexergy.
Technology startups Future Grid and Wattwatchers have launched a joint project to bring pinpoint data analytics and visibility to electricity grids where little currently exists.
Melbourne-based energy technology leadership company GreenSync has struck a blow for Australian innovation and entrepreneurism with the launch of deX, the Decentralised Energy Exchange. Wattwatchers is proud to be one of 37 founding partners and supporters of deX, and we'll be making our solutions 'deX ready'.
While the Australian Prime Minister badgers energy retailers to give electricity consumers a better deal, Wattwatchers CEO Gavin Dietz anticipates a near future where Siri will help coordinate his home energy management. Get ready for the inevitable digital energy revolution that empowers consumers.
The Clean Energy Finance Corporation is investing $2 million in Wattwatchers to help expand production of its award-winning measurement device that helps consumers to better control their energy use and costs. This brings the Wattwatchers Series A capital raising to $4 million, following the April announcement of a $2 million investment by the Renewable Energy Venture Capital fund (REVC).
As the Prime Minister eyeballs energy retailers in Canberra on Wednesday (09/08/17) over sky-rocketing power bills, technology company Wattwatchers will offer energy retailers a way to meet the Prime Minister’s demands for lower bills. Wattwatchers is offering to give an energy retailer 50 free cutting-edge devices to track home energy use in real time – to help their customers to save money.
Buried in this month's Finkel Review blueprint for the future of energy in Australia is a powerful opportunity to make electricity more secure, cleaner and affordable. At page 146 the report says: 'For residential consumers, the key challenge is how to coordinate millions of solar panels, storage systems, load management devices and other technologies in a way that best utilises the multiple services they can provide to improve reliability and security, and reduce costs.'
It's got a grand title. 'Blueprint for the future: Independent Review into the Future Security of the National Electricity Market'. Initial reaction to what's meant to be a groundbreaking report for Australia's crisis-ridden energy sector has been mixed, we think for good reason. Some of it is good, some so-so, some bad and some downright dirty (that's the political compromise bit that throws a major lifeline to coal-fired generation of electricity, even while verifying that renewables are the lower cost options for the future).
Wattwatchers is delighted to announce the appointment of David Pethick to the new role of Director of Business Development. David is Wattwatchers first Melbourne-based representative, expanding the energy technology company’s industry engagement and sales reach at an important point in its growth phase.
When Gavin Dietz's home oven stopped working - showing a 'Brownout error' - his Wattwatchers energy monitoring devices revealed a voltage problem with his electricity supply from the grid. Gavin reports: 'We have a 3-phase wired house, and while two of the phases were relatively normal one was wildly out, dropping to below 190 volts. I suspect that’s way off a safe level for the well-being of many appliances.'
Wattwatchers CEO Gavin Dietz shares his own experience with home energy management and the big question for 2017 and beyond: does investing in battery storage add up for my home now? The dilemma goes like this: 'My greener heart is saying "just do it Gavin". But my more financially pragmatic head is saying hang off, and my public conscience is urging me to reinforce for others why they also should take a pause before jumping on board the storage rollercoaster.'
COMPANY ANNOUNCEMENT: Australian 'IoT for energy' company Wattwatchers has raised an initial $2 million to accelerate uptake of its ultra-compact, super-smart devices that empower electricity consumers and managers with fast, two-way, easy-to-access data. Wattwatchers specialises in real-time observation, prediction and control of electricity over the internet for households and businesses.
Clean energy technology was hidden behind carbon policy when the world embarked on a serious response to climate change in Kyoto two decades ago, but now its time to shine has come.
When EnergyAustralia CEO Catherine Tanna raised concerns about customer bill shock after the weekend heat wave, Wattwatchers MD Gavin Dietz hit the keyboard.
Digital energy monitoring and control technologies that are independent of utility billing meters can help to solve the world's electricity challenges. We already know how. Let's just do it!
Wattwatchers thanks the organisers, sponsors, judges and mentors of the Australian Technologies Competition for their support in making us the winner of the 2016 'New Energy Award'.
Energy technology company Wattwatchers has been named as one of the top 3 finalists for the 'New Energy Award' section of the Australian Technologies Competition 2016.
South Australia's problems with energy supply aren't cause to cut back on renewables, but they do highlight the opportunity to transform the electricity sector with real-time data.
Battery storage is the obvious next investment in home energy infrastructure for Wattwatchers' new Managing Director Gavin Dietz, but he wants to have the right data before committing to this major expenditure.
Fast bi-directional communications utilising multiple Internet of Things (IoT) wireless technologies is critical for a new era in which a range of energy-related 'things' will link to one another.
Wattwatchers Digital Energy has been named as a 2016 semi-finalist in the Australian Technologies Competition, the nation's leading technology accelerator program, in the 'New Energy' award section.
The latest international scorecard from the respected American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) shows that Australia is lagging the majority of advanced nations on energy efficiency. Here's a five-step plan to fix that.
Wattwatchers has announced the appointment of a former senior information technology executive from the world’s largest smart meter manufacturer as its Managing Director.
I'm sitting in hotel room in San Francisco, after walking from downtown to Haight-Ashbury for dinner then back, pondering why America's mega-state of California trumps (pun intended) Australia on clean energy.
An eclectic mix of our images from the 7th international Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM7) and its one-off 'Start-ups and Solutions Showcase' in San Francisco, June 1-2, 2016. Wattwatchers and our partners Solar Analytics were among 100 handpicked exhibitors from 17 countries.
One hundred clean energy-themed technologies and initiatives from across the US and 17 other countries, including Australia, all packed into a giant tent in the heart of San Francisco for a special showcase event. It doesn't get much better for Aussie innovators like Wattwatchers and our close partners, Solar Analytics, who are sharing booth #253 with our team for the two-day event (June 1 and 2).
Wattwatchers has begun production of its new utility-grade 'control' devices for early deployment in customer projects including the forthcoming summer's demand management push. Wattwatchers is now accepting pre-orders for the first production run of monitoring + switching devices.
We're very proud to be exhibiting at the Start-ups and Solutions Showcase being featured at the international 7th Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM7), hosted by the US Government in San Francisco June 1-2. Wattwatchers will be there sharing a booth with our partners Solar Analytics, fellow Australians who have developed the world's most intelligent solar performance monitoring solution. (It helps that Australia has the highest penetration of residential solar PV in the world - more power to our rooftops!)