Thousands of Australians to get smart-energy invitation

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Thousands of Australians to get smart-energy invitation

About 5,000 businesses and households will be invited to trial smart energy monitoring devices.

If you're looking to reduce your business's energy bill, you might be considering buying solar panels and possibly attaching a battery to them.

To get the most from solar or an energy retailer, you can also use smart energy systems. These generally give you greater visibility and control of your energy usage. For example, a smart energy system might automatically schedule when certain machines operate, to take advantage of changes in energy prices.

Just before Christmas, the Federal Government announced it would subsidise a three-year smart energy trial that businesses can take part in.

In case you missed the news, about 5,000 Australian households and business and 250 schools will be invited to take part in a three-year trial of smart energy monitoring devices.

The Federal Government is providing $2.7 million via the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) for the $8 million My Energy Marketplace trial. Sydney company Wattwatchers will lead the trial.

Participants will be offered discounts on Wattwatchers devices that enable monitoring of electricity usage in near real-time via an app. A "qualified professional electrican" will install the system, according to Wattwatchers. 

Wattwatchers states the system will suit small businesses that consume less than 100MWh of electricity per year. It will also suit homes that have solar and spend less than $450 a quarter on electricity, and homes without solar that spend less than $750 a quarter on electricity.

The app will also allow users to take part in demand response programs that the government claims will lower energy costs and “support the gird” by reducing energy consumption during peak demand periods.

The aim of the project is to provide "sufficient scale to test business interest in customer electricity data", according to ARENA. Participants will be able to share data about their energy usage with the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) and distribution networks, whch will pay to access the data. This will improve visibility of rooftop solar panels and batteries growth.

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