Wattwatchers moves into Mirvac’s ‘House with No Bills’ to work with Evergen solar, storage and smarts
The Wattwatchers energy-smart home solution – enabling real-time monitoring and control through the cloud – has been added to the technology suite for Mirvac’s affordable-and sustainable-living pilot site, known as the ‘House with No Bills’.
Located at Mirvac’s $130 million Jack Road development in the Melbourne-suburb of Cheltenham, the ‘House with No Bills’ opened to its first-ever family in May 2018.
The Zimmermans – police officer Rob, 39, nursing student, Lisa, 36 and their two teenage children, Cam, 16 and Alyssa, 15 – are living rent-free in Mirvac’s prototype energy-efficient home, without the typical 21st century stress of soaring power bills.
Now Wattwatchers will further assist them to understand what’s happening with their electricity – minute-by-minute at any time of the day or night – while also supporting Mirvac gather the data needed to plan for future homes.
Installed in the meter box, the Wattwatchers device tracks and logs very detailed energy data from individual electrical circuits in the home, then reports it using cellular communications (like a mobile phone) to the internet.
From there, the data flows to Evergen, an Infrastructure Tech company originally spun out of CSIRO by AMP Capital, which is Mirvac’s provider of solar PV panels, battery storage and energy intelligence for the ‘House with No Bills’.
Evergen’s algorithms sit like a brain in the homes or businesses where they are deployed, learning the electricity loads for a family or enterprise, and optimising between PV, storage, and the grid. Evergen has recorded its customers saving an average of nearly 80% on their energy bills and, via the Evergen App, people can see what’s going on with their power usage.
Ben Hutt, Evergen’s CEO and Managing Director: ‘Connection of Wattwatchers devices into the Evergen ecosystem gives the House with No Bills complete visibility of major loads consumption, and allows us to ultimately control and influence these appliances (e.g. hot water tanks, pool pumps, aircon, and EV charging) to operate at the most effective time. It also allows the Mirvac project researchers to get the deep-dive data they need to continue refining their designs for more affordable and environmentally-friendly homes. We are working closely with Mirvac and Wattwatchers to support a transition to 100% renewable energy and a world where energy for consumers is completely free.’
Wattwatchers CEO Gavin Dietz says that Mirvac’s ‘House with No Bills’ is an opportunity to show how real-time energy data and control through the cloud can transform how electricity is managed for the benefit of consumers, and also the grid.
‘We are pushing into an amazingly transformative era for home energy,’ says Dietz. ‘The cost of rooftop solar PV systems, which allow households to generate their own renewable energy from the free fuel sunlight, has been falling and now for many homes it’s less expensive to produce their own electricity than to buy it from the grid.
‘Some homes even sell their electricity back into the grid, and others can get paid to participate in programs where they reduce their electricity consumption at times of peak demand on the grid to help the system to keep operating without blackouts.
‘Whatever householders want to do in the new energy marketplace, having the power of data will help. This is what Wattwatchers means by an energy-smart home.’