Wattwatchers is engaged in innovative projects to bring about a more sustainable energy future.
We seek out projects and collaboration opportunities that contribute to advancing renewable and clean energy, empowering consumers and communities to participate in fairer, more resilient and affordable electricity systems. Wattwatchers technology has become a go-to option for many in the industry wanting to test new approaches for managing the energy transition and electrification. Real-time and highly-granular energy data, and secure over-the-air control functionality, are essential ingredients for these far-reaching energy system makeovers.
Wattwatchers’ landmark My Energy Marketplace (MEM) project has built a major new dataset for energy transition research and commercial solution development.
Now open for business, offering energy data as a service, the MEM dataset spans over 5100 sites across Australia – mainly homes with and without rooftop solar, but also including small businesses, community facilities, strata buildings and schools – focusing on ethically-sourced, highly-granular real-time and historical data from behind the utility meter.
The MEM has developed key ‘soft infrastructure’ for securely accumulating, anonymising and sharing customer energy data – including plain-English customer terms and conditions (T&Cs), information security policies and data governance principles – all guided by external experts on the MEM’s Consumer Energy Data Advisory Panel.
At the same time, the project has given energy users—householders and businesses—a greater voice and more options in how they participate in the ‘New Energy’ economy, including rewarding them for data sharing with third parties and ensuring consumer data rights are protected.
The MEM was designed to provide consumers with user-friendly tools for managing and sharing their data, empowering them to participate in the energy marketplace. It helps them to better manage their own usage and reduce bills, while also leveraging their data as an asset for them and a resource for others.
Augmented by $2.7M in grant funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), the approx $9.6M MEM project began in October 2019 and formally ended on June 30, 2023. The MEM now continues into a post-ARENA, Wattwatchers business-as-usual stage, with early data customers including major universities and other research institutions, energy industry partners, community initiatives and app solution developers.
Wattwatchers thanks ARENA and our core MEM project partners Accurassi, Solar Schools and the Australian National University (ANU) Battery Storage and Grid Integration Program (BSGIP).
How to get access to data
If you have research and solution development projects that need energy data from the MEM, talk to our Sales team or your regular Wattwatchers contacts. Relevant use cases and potential dataset customers include:
Research institutions working on both energy and non-energy solutions (e.g. FinTech, PropTech)
Government departments and agencies working on policies and programs for the energy transition and electrification
Commercial app and other solution developers – including early-stage startups
Community projects focused on consumer energy resources (CERs) for the energy transition and electrification
For more information on the MEM project, visit the ARENA project page and read the Interim Knowledge Sharing and other project reports. (Final public knowledge sharing reports are expected to be published in the second half of 2023.)
To see Wattwatchers industry event presentations about data sharing and security, informed by the MEM and delivered by our Chief Innovation Officer Grace Young, go to Energy NEXT 2022 and Energy NEXT 2023.
Spurred on by new clean technology options, the energy transition and the electrification surge, Australian communities are at the forefront of a global movement changing the way electricity is generated, transmitted, stored and used. Localised solutions, including microgrids and community batteries, empower communities to become resilient and adapt to crisis situations.
MyTown Microgrid Heyfield (July 2020-June 2023) is an innovative, multi-year, multi-stakeholder project that undertook a detailed data-led microgrid and local energy solution feasibility study for the historic timber town of Heyfield, in eastern Victoria’s Wellington Shire.
Heyfield, population circa 2000 people, has become an Australian ‘energy data town’, with Wattwatchers monitoring installed at 10% of the town’s 700+ homes and two primary schools, with up to 15 local businesses also being monitored, and community dashboard displays operating at three busy local locations (community centre, primary schools and post office).
The project was co-led by Wattwatchers in tandem with the Heyfield Community Resource Centre (HCRC) and the University of Technology Sydney Institute for Sustainable Futures (UTS ISF), with other partners including the LVA, network business AusNet Services, RMIT, Federation University, the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) and the Community Power Agency (CPA).
The project received $1.75 million of federal government funding, through the Australian Government Department of Industry’s Regional and Remote Communities Reliability Fund—Microgrid Program. A further $100,000 from the Victorian Government’s Latrobe Valley Authority (LVA) was granted to the project partners to undertake the study.
This project took a novel approach to a community-based microgrid feasibility process by:
- Using multi-data source platforms to calculate demand, flexibility, and supply.
- Undertaking deep community and stakeholder engagement.
- Co-designing community-centric business models with enshrined benefits and consumer protections.
- Wrapping technical, market, economic and regulatory analysis into fit-for-purpose decision support tools.
How to get engaged
This project wrapped up on 30 June 2023 after achieving a full subscription for Heyfield area homes, community facilities and small businesses to participate. If you would like to learn more about what’s happening with the project after its government grant phase, including the formation of a new local initiative called MyTown Energy Heyfield, please contact the Heyfield Community Resource Centre.
A key legacy from the project is a ‘decision support tool’ resource for other communities looking to pursue their own local energy solutions and to learn from the Heyfield experience, which is called MyTown Energy, and which can be accessed here.
Other industry projects we're engaged in
Byron Industrial Estate Microgrid Study
Located in Byron Bay’s Arts and Light Industrial Estate, this microgrid research study serves to investigate, trial and accelerate learnings related to microgrids. Led by community-owned retailer Enova Energy, the project included installing Wattwatchers monitoring devices at 25 sites, of which 23 continue to participate.
Under a novel ‘microgrid tariff’ modelled for the project by UNSW researchers, customers could buy solar energy from their neighbours more cheaply than they could buy electricity from the wider grid. They also could receive more than the standard feed-in tariff for electricity they sell to their neighbours. The modelling undertaken by the UNSW team for the study is demonstrating the potential for a microgrid to deliver financial benefits to consumers.
PARTNERS: Enova Energy (lead), Essential Energy, UNSW, Wattwatchers
Residential Heat Pump Study (Fairwater Living Lab)
Led by Climate-KIC Australia, the Residential Heat Pump Study is a three-year study on the commercial-scale demonstration of renewable (thermal energy) ground source heat pumps (GSHPs). Based in the Fairwater master-planned residential community in Western Sydney, the project seeks to establish the business case for industry-wide adoption of GSHPs to provide residential heating and cooling in greenfield developments.
Wattwatchers monitoring has been installed at about 40 homes in the Fairwater estate, with two devices at some sites to allow highly-granular monitoring of loads, solar generation at a number of participating sites, and also a number of sites with granny flats. The $1.64M project is supported by $500,000 in grant funding from ARENA.
PARTNERS: Climate-KIC Australia (lead), Frasers Property, Presync, NSW OEH, UTS, Curtin University, Green Building Council of Australia, Wattwatchers
Grid Disturbances Project
The ARENA-funded project Enhanced Reliability through Short Term Resolution Data around Voltage Disturbances was initiated with the aim of helping the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) to manage the transition to an energy system with a high proportion of distributed energy resources (DER). The $1.68M project, with a $491,000 ARENA grant, was led by Solar Analytics using specially-enabled sub-second data measurements enabled via Wattwatchers devices.
Disturbance analysis data from distributed photovoltaic (DPV) systems connected to the National Electricity Market (NEM) around voltage and frequency disturbances was provided to AEMO for analysis so that a better understanding of fielded DPV response to various grid conditions could be achieved, enabling AEMO to update system models and make appropriate adjustments to system management to maintain system reliability through the rapid growth in DPV capacity.
PARTNERS: Solar Analytics (lead), AEMO, Wattwatchers
Low Carbon Retrofits in Social Housing
The Sustainable Buildings Research Centre at the University of Wollongong led a CRC for Low Carbon Living study called ‘Mainstreaming Low Carbon Retrofits in Social Housing’. This two-year project, which wrapped up in 2020, provided real world evaluation of a range of energy efficiency upgrades undertaken in Social Housing properties around NSW, considering changes in energy consumption, thermal conditions, and tenant perceptions of the upgrade. Wattwatchers monitoring was installed at 50-plus social housing sites in regional NSW.
PARTNERS: CRC for Low Carbon Living, University of Wollongong SBRC
Affordable Heating and Cooling
The Affordable Heating and Cooling Innovation Hub (iHub) project aims to demonstrate how renewable energy technology can be optimally integrated with heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC&R) equipment in commercial buildings. Supported by $6.48M in grant funding from ARENA, the $16.72M project is led by the Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heating (AIRAH). Wattwatchers monitoring has been installed at two school sites for the iHub project.
PARTNERS: AIRAH, University of Wollongong, Queensland University of Technology, University of Melbourne, CSIRO
How can Wattwatchers help your project?
Contact our team with your project proposal and we can work through the relevant products, services and options that can support your project.