Enabling simple, practical and affordable ways for homes and businesses to monitor and control electricity in real-time through the cloud is core territory for Wattwatchers.
In recent months we’ve taken another step forward by partnering with the B1 Hub Australia team, who are bringing the international B.One smart hub offerings to the Australasian marketplace – including a clever integration with Wattwatchers to deliver a novel Energy Management System (EMS).
Now the B.One product suite is being expanded, with the addition of the B.One Mini – an ultra-compact, lower-priced option to its big brother the B.One Hub – that also ‘works with’ Wattwatchers.
There’s plenty of context for this intersection of ‘smart hub X factor’ with ‘IoT for energy’, which aims to add lifestyle verve while taking on power bills.
A bit of good news related to Australia’s record-breaking high electricity prices is this: price sensitivity is driving innovation to take budget pressure off household and small business consumers by combining smart technologies with ‘new energy’ solutions.
This in turn is driving the budding partnership between Wattwatchers and B1 Hub Australia, going well beyond the stereotypical ‘control a few lights’ and ‘add a few security alerts’ approach to home automation.
Through its innovation focus, B1 Hub Australia has integrated with Wattwatchers to enable its EMS, thus offering increasing levels of ‘smart energy meets smart home and office’ functionality, with additional features to be added progressively into 2019 and beyond.
Use cases for smart energy include:
- Buying better and shaving bills to match individual use cases
- Integrating energy management with home automation
- Light-touch remote monitoring (e.g. ‘Did my living-on-her-own Nanna boil her electric kettle this morning?)
- Participating in demand management and local trading programs (thus establishing the building blocks for Virtual Power Plants)
B1 Hub Australia CEO Anup Raghavan sees adding the EMS as a logical move for the Australian marketplace, given the national focus on high energy prices and the real potential to save money by managing energy better.
Raghavan sums it up thus: ‘By adding serious energy management system capabilities to the B.One Hub, we’re helping homes and businesses to take on one of their biggest everyday budget challenges. Control means going beyond merely intelligent to be genuinely smart.
‘B1 Hub Australia recognises that the penetration of Wireless Home Automation and Smart Home Automation products amongst consumers are heavily influenced by price and offers two solutions: the B.One Hub, and its latest addition the B.One Mini.
‘The B.One Mini is a WiFi and IR gateway-based Home Automation Hub that is priced under AUD$100, making it an affordable solution to an Intelligent Smart Home.
‘B.One Mini has incorporated all the advanced capabilities of an intelligent Energy Manager using the Wattwatchers devices. With a simple user interface, consumers can now program advanced rule-based decisions to maximise the investment in renewable energy generation and storage.’
Wattwatchers CEO Gavin Dietz, meanwhile, sees the B1 Hub Australia partnership as a strong step towards the Wattwatchers vision for data-enabled empowerment of energy consumers.
Dietz says: ‘Most energy consumers in Australia are still getting quarterly power bills in arrears and have no real insight into how they use the electricity that is hitting them in the wallet, much less the ability to control it remotely.
‘When energy gets really smart, through partnerships like Wattwatchers and B1, real-time control of electricity becomes accessible, and machine learning will allow the smart hub to do it for you.’
About B.One Hub: The B.One Hub and B.One Mini have been launched in Australia by Adelaide-based Accumulus Energy Group (AEG), as B1 Hub Australia, in partnership with the international manufacturer, US-based Blaze Automation. The B.One Hub is designed for home and small business consumers who are unsure if home automation — or the Internet of Things (IoT) in general — is all it’s hyped up to be. The B.One Hub allows for the wireless control and energy consumption monitoring of devices in the home, such as light bulbs, air conditioners, and speakers via a smartphone app. It’s been customised to the local market, and targeted towards those who are not so tech savvy and living in older housing. The Hub’s open architecture makes it compatible with over 200 devices across different brands and ecosystems. Being a wireless system, the platform can be retro-fitted in homes and rental properties. Beyond just controlling smart devices via a mobile app, B.One Hub can also provide detailed insights into energy usage and wastage patterns. More information at: www.b1hub.com.au