SOLUTION PROFILE: MY ENERGY FLOW
When Wattwatchers launched MyEnergy, our mobile app for home energy management, we had a vision for doing a lot more than the traditional bar and pie charts commonly used to visualise data for customers.
Now we’re upgrading to MyEnergy Flow, our forthcoming 2.0 release, which is designed to host an expanding suite of customer-facing insights, offers, alerts and actions.
The ‘Flow’ enhancements will start with a focus on electric-powered hot water systems, with fault alerts and maintenance reports addressing failures in top and bottom heating elements, and also major and minor water leaks.
Faults like these can be hard to detect for householders and facilities managers, often being out of sight and out of mind, but drive up power consumption, bills and greenhouse gas emissions.
These ‘hot water insights’ currently are scheduled for December 2022, which will be followed by further releases early in 2023 to help customers optimise their hot water in terms of efficiency, power costs and emissions.
Over time, additional features will include remote control of the hot water system (on/off), data-driven coordination with on-site solar generation, and a ‘vacation mode’ based on the savings potential revealed by the energy data.
Hot water is strategic
Hot water is commonly identified as accounting for more than a quarter of household energy use, so it’s a big player driving bills and emissions.
It’s also a thermal ‘battery’ that effectively stores electrically-generated heat for use at other times.
For example, heat your home’s hot water tank during the middle of the day – when abundant low-cost solar is available, whether from your own PV system, or from the grid itself – then use it at night, or the next morning, when family members take their showers.
Electric-powered hot water systems – including the more traditional electric resistance models, as well as high-efficiency heat pumps and electric-boosted solar hot water – are vital appliances for household electrification and, specifically, the move from expensive and polluting gas hot water systems.
Partnering for excellence
When Wattwatchers embarked on our ‘Flow’ development path, hot water insights became an early priority.
We sought expert guidance from international experts in the field, Hawaii-based innovation company Shifted Energy, who specialise in making water heaters smart by using advanced machine learning and Internet of Things (IoT) communications.
Shifted Energy doesn’t just help individual households with optimising their hot water. It makes fleets of controlled water heaters smart, helping utilities and distributed energy aggregators to create and rapidly scale demand response and thermal energy storage programs.
By integrating with the Wattwatchers API, and accessing shared data from thousands of Australian households installed with our Energy IoT devices under the My Energy Marketplace (MEM)* project, Shifted Energy has informed and enabled the development of our new ‘Flow’ capabilities for hot water insights.
Wattwatchers and Shifted Energy share values when it comes to core principles for managing energy and emissions, especially putting the customer first, with the Shifted Energy team saying: ‘In making your hot water heater smart, our first priority is ensuring you always have hot water when you need it. Period.’
Who is this for?
My Energy Flow supports individual energy customers to manage their electricity better, and it also provides the user-friendly interface for managing and optimising fleets of sites for the property sector, green lending programs, social housing and management of distributed facilities.
The MEM dataset supports Wattwatchers’ energy data as a service offerings, which are available by negotiation to researchers, technology developers, government programs, and third-party commercial partners.
The My Energy Marketplace project is receiving 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.