A new smartphone app being trialled by EnergyAustralia gives household customers the ability to monitor their energy use remotely with household consumption updates every 20 seconds.
EnergyAustralia is the first Australian energy retailer to develop a smartphone app that provides customers a range of features to take control of their bills.
The new app, available on Apple and Android, is part of the Australian Government’s Smart Grid, Smart City (SGSC) program. It will be trialled by 400 customers signed up to the NSW-based program.
EnergyAustralia Group Executive Manager, Retail, Adrian Merrick said the app provided customers an easier way to understand and take control of their electricity costs.
“We understand that with pressure on household budgets, customers want more control to make informed choices about their energy,” Mr Merrick said.
“This app gives customers the most current information we can provide, so they can have more control and greater power over their electricity use.”
It also provides a bill estimation, which is updated daily, allowing customers to set quarterly dollar targets and track how much they spend against this target.
“For example, a customer could set a target spend of $300 per quarter for their electricity. They can see whether they are getting closer to that target and make choices about their energy use,” Mr Merrick said.
“This new smartphone app has the potential to build on our innovative eWise reports, which give household customers detailed insights into their energy use every quarter.
“At EnergyAustralia, we want to put in the hands of customers the information and help they need to take greater control of their energy use.
“The Smart Grid, Smart City trial is focused on finding innovative ways to communicate with customers and give them the power to have more control over their energy use.”
Householders can also compare their greenhouse gas emissions and electricity use with other customers participating in the SGSC trial.
The app is available to selected trial participants who have access to the EnergyAustralia’s PowerSmartOnline portal, a web tool giving customers information on their household electricity use. The app is an extension of the portal.
The Smart Grid, Smart City retail trial has already attracted more than 3300 participants.
As part of the retail trial, two peak price events have been held, with initial indicative results showing consumers reduced their energy use by an average 34 per cent.
Almost 440 customers have taken part in events involving increasing pricing significantly for a period of between one and four hours to determine how pricing influences electricity use.
Customers are notified 24 hours before each event, and are rewarded with lowered rates at other times.
“From these two peak pricing events, we’ve seen that many people change their energy use depending on the cost of power,” Mr Merrick said.
“These are initial results and there are more events to be held, however so far it’s been highly beneficial to see how people have reacted to shifting pricing.”
The Smart Grid, Smart City trial areas include Sydney, Newington and the Ku-ring-gai and Auburn Council areas, as well as Newcastle, the Upper Hunter, Lake Macquarie, Cessnock and Muswellbrook.