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Wattwatchers [SMART 100, 2018]

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This SMART 100 profile and the information it contains is a duplication of content submitted by the applicant during the entry process. As a function of entry, applicants were required to declare that all details are factually correct, do not infringe on another’s intellectual property and are not unlawful, threatening, defamatory, invasive of privacy, obscene, or otherwise objectionable. Some profiles have been edited for reasons of space and clarity.

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1. THE BEGINNING

This innovation initially came to life when…

Founders Chris Bean (in-house angel investor) and Jon Keeble (technologist) saw the need for real-time energy data from behind the utility billing meter to empower consumers in the electricity market. They started in 2007, just as smartphones were proliferating and shortly before Australia’s rooftop solar boom kicked off, and quickly realised that energy data through the cloud would become a defining pillar of a future for energy that is digital and distributed. After a lengthy R&D and proof of concept stage, the first commercial products were released in 2014 and there are now Wattwatchers in 12+ countries on 6 continents.

2. WHAT & HOW

The purpose of this innovation is to…

…monitor and control electricity at circuit-level in real-time through the cloud, empowering consumers to effectively self-manage their power generation, storage and consumption and supporting the integration of distributed energy resources into electricity grids (transition from Grid 1.0 to Grid 2.0).

It does this by…

…making independent energy management easy to install and operate. Cost-effective, ultra-compact devices installed into household and business meter boxes by electricians can monitor up to six individual circuits (e.g. grid connection import/export, solar generation, major loads) and control up to three individual loads (e.g. air-conditioning, pool pumps, hot water systems). Data is transmitted via the cloud using 3G/4G or WiFi.

3. PURPOSE & BENEFITS

This innovation improves on what came before because…

To a large extent energy data doesn’t really exist on the internet, and even within utility data systems there is a lack of timely and more granular data (i.e. from behind the meter) and restrictions on accessing regulated metering data. Other sources of data such as solar/battery inverters lack reliability or completeness, and may be caught in ‘walled gardens’.

Its various benefits to the customer/end-user include…

Supporting consumers to save money and cut pollution through efficiency, best time of use, buying better and optimising investments such as solar PV. It also adds value to the electricity system through real-time visibility and remote control in real-time.

4. COMPETITIVE LANDSCAPE

In the past, this problem was solved by…

Estimating and deeming performance in the absence of actual measurement and verification. Taking utility power bills as an example, most people are still receiving quarterly or monthly bills in arrears and often these are only estimated rather than meter read. With solar systems, most don’t have active and intelligent monitoring in place to ensure they are optimising their investments.

 

5. TARGET MARKET

It is made for…

Utility smart meters which only measure the main grid connection and don’t provide circuit-level data or control, and often only measure in 15 or 30 minute blocks daily (compared with 5 second reporting). ‘No granular data’ is the traditional scenario.

The new energy marketplace where consumers are becoming prosumers, generating (rooftop solar) and storing (home batteries) their own electricity and managing their consumption (efficiency) and helping to manage peak demand on the grid (demand response). Australia is a key testbed market globally because of our world’s highest take-up of residential solar PV – 1.8 million homes, or 20%+ of total compared to only circa 1% in the US. Australia has over 13 million metered sites, and millions more unmetered, across residential and commercial/industrial markets – and many will benefit from more granular real-time data. Globally there are billions of sites.

It is available for sale through…

B2B channels now including energy utilities (in Australia and NZ), energy services companies and software as a service partners (20+ integrated with our hardware and data/APIs). In FY2019 we will add direct to electrician and direct to consumer.

Our marketing strategy is to…

Build an ‘app store for energy’ model that is strongly differentiated from most competitor products. Most energy technology plays are building ‘verticals’, seeking to control the hardware, cloud and user interface layers. Wattwatchers has a ‘horizontal’ energy data hub model that ‘works with’ multiple software and in some cases hardware partners. Our positioning is based on data-led empowerment of consumers.

 

FINE PRINT: This SMART 100 profile and the information it contains is a duplication of content submitted by the applicant during the entry process. As a function of entry, applicants were required to declare that all details are factually correct, do not infringe on another’s intellectual property and are not unlawful, threatening, defamatory, invasive of privacy, obscene, or otherwise objectionable. Some profiles have been edited for reasons of space and clarity.

Maven Judge Vote: Wattwatchers – Smart 100 2018
(Please note – The form below is for judging purposes only and is restricted to the public)

 

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