MEM monitoring devices
Smart energy devices will be installed in 5000 homes and small businesses as well as 250 schools. Photo credit: Wattwatchers

Project Overview

Duration: Three years, October 2019 – October 2022

Budget: $8m supported by $2.7m from ARENA

Partners: Wattwatchers, Accurassi (Knowledge-Global Pty Ltd), Cogniss (2and2 Pty Ltd) and Solar Schools (iWeb Solutions Pty Ltd)

Contact: Dr Marnie Shaw, Research Lead, Battery Storage and Grid Integration Program, ANU. E: marnie.shaw@anu.edu.au

Find out more: ARENA – My Energy Marketplace; ARENA blog –  Wattwatchers smart energy hub allows users to track usage in real time; Wattwatchers blog – MEM product https://wattwatchers.com.au/products/mem/; BSGIP news: Potential for new-era data services from consumer electricity devices

The My Energy Marketplace (MEM) project involves the Australia-wide deployment of smart energy devices in 5000 homes and small businesses, as well as 250 schools, to allow energy data to be monitored in real time. Information will be visualised in a range of apps that track energy generation, distribution and consumption. This data is then shared through a cloud-based platform. 

Data can be used to inform customer decisions on how to increase energy efficiency, buy electricity better, optimise solar self-consumption and time-of-use, as well as provide opportunities to share energy information with third parties such as virtual power plant aggregators (businesses that offer capacity and demand response schemes designed to reward customers for supporting the grid).

“The MEM platform will have a range of app choices, and portability and control of data, that will provide householders with more options to self-manage their electricity, or have it managed for them,” said Murray Hogarth, Director of Communications and Community Networks at Wattwatchers. “It is a gateway for energy data, if you will, that empowers customers. 

“With questions of data, come questions of security, and rightly so,” according to Murray. “Consumer data rights and issues of privacy, sharing of access, and cyber security have been vital in the design and configuration of the platform and associated products.”

While the consumer is front and centre in the design of the MEM platform, market operators and network supply operators will also benefit from the MEM. The increased access to household energy data provided by the MEM can be used to improve management of the Australian electricity grid and allow for higher penetration of renewables into the grid in a safer manner. 

The rich source of data from the MEM project will form the basis of research by the ANU Battery Storage and Grid Integration Program explains Dr Marnie Shaw, Project Leader for the MEM project.

“This data will allow more visibility to the low voltage network,” said Marnie. Our researchers can gain a better understanding of energy use patterns, devise ways to optimise the charging of batteries and improve the use of smart devices.

“Ultimately, it will ease the integration of more Distributed Energy Resources (DER), such as rooftop solar, into the electricity system,” said Marnie.

Project Outcomes

The MEM platform aims to reduce customer bills by 

  • cutting energy waste
  • improving consumer understanding of electricity retail packages to source a “better deal”
  • using power at the best times
  • optimising rooftop solar
  • enabling programs that reward energy behaviours that benefit the energy system

For schools, the MEM will drive energy engagement and literacy among students whilst reducing energy bills for the schools themselves.

ARENA ACKNOWLEDGMENT

This Project received funding from ARENA as part of ARENA’s Advancing Renewables Program. The views expressed herein are not necessarily the views of the Australian Government, and the Australian Government does not accept responsibility for any information or advice contained herein.