O hub plugs Origin into the startup community

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O hub plugs Origin into the startup community
Bidgely’s energy-usage alerts in action.

The energy provider launches a startup hub in Melbourne.

Called O hub, Origin Energy's Melbourne-based startup hub co-locates Origin staff with startups developing, prototyping and trialling products and services with the potential to revolutionise the way people interact with and consume energy in the home.

Successful projects will be moved into Origin’s retail business for large-scale implementation. 

One of the first trials running within O hub involves US-based startup Bidgely, which has developed technology to disaggregate data from smart meters and combine it with weather data to reveal how electricity is being used.

Categories include always on, heating, cooling, lighting, refrigeration, laundry, cooking, entertainment and, where applicable, water heater and pool pump.

 “Until now, it’s been difficult to provide customers with information about what may be contributing to their energy bill, as the technology was costly,” said Origin's executive general manager for future energy Tony Lucas.

“Bidgely’s solution is simple, intuitive and just the start of the energy revolution that will change the way customers interact with energy in the home.”

AGL is understood to be running a similar trial.

‘Cognitive metering’ technology

Elsewhere, CSIRO is working with startup Ecocentric on technology called Numen that takes a building's total energy signal, identifies the appliances present, and then separates out appliance-specific consumption data on how much energy the appliance is using.

Rather than using the low-resolution total energy use data from smart meters, Numen's ‘cognitive metering’ technology identifies individual appliances using high-frequency electrical data and then applies machine learning algorithms to measure appliance power consumption without the need to meter them individually.

Regardless of the exact technique used, one of the objectives is to provide households and businesses with better insight into how they are using electricity and where savings could be made.

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