POWER TO THE PROSUMER!
Consumer expectation is one of the biggest driving forces of innovation in our energy market. Though consumers were once directly reliant on the grid for uninterrupted power, this is no longer the case.
A recent article by the Clean Energy Council reported that, on average, six solar panels per minute were being installed on Australian rooves (CEC). This means that ordinary Australians are rejecting the idea that they need to pay ridiculously high electricity fees (ABC). They can, instead, become producers of their own energy — prosumers, if you will!
Some consumers are producing so much energy that they’re selling it back to the grid for a tidy profit. Consumers are not simply receiving power from the grid: they’re also giving power back to it.
GRID 2.0 WHO? — HOW PROSUMERS ARE REVOLUTIONISING THE ENERGY MARKET
While previously we only expected our grid to funnel power from its production site into the homes. This unprecedented shift towards prosumer culture means that an upgrade is an order for our infrastructure. In order to increase the efficiency of power distribution within our country, we need a Grid 2.0.
For distribution companies, the shift towards Grid 2.0 will mean a physical overhaul of the system. An upgrade to the grid’s capacity and resilience is a must if we are to guarantee any semblance of productivity for consumers. If you’re a distribution company, you can read more about Grid 2.0 means for you in one of our previous blog posts ( T4E).
Clearly, this Grid 2.0 whatsit affects industry players. But what does it mean for consumers? Believe it or not, they play a huge part in both the transition to and the reality of Grid 2.0.
SMART METERS: USEFUL DATA FOR CONSUMERS — AT A COST
Although it is the responsibility of distribution companies to upgrade the capacity and resilience of our grids, consumers can also contribute to heightened productivity in the grid by reducing their energy consumption (and, consequently, their electricity bill!).
Electricity retailers will soon be required to provide consumers with smart meters when their old ones become obsolete. These smart meters can provide consumers with data about their consumption habits. They enable consumers to reduce their electricity bill without letting these reductions in power consumption inhibit their day-to-day life.
Smart meters, however, are cause for a number of concerns. Although smart meters exist, in theory, to provide consumers with data about their consumption habits. There are no easy means for consumers to access or understand this data. Consumers can, of course, work with third parties to counteract this inconvenience but such action can prompt further questions about consumer privacy and data security.
ENERGY MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS FOR THE CONSUMER
An energy management solution is a fantastic upgrade to the smart meter. It is a way of monitoring, analysing, and managing your power production and consumption habits, consequently allowing you to reduce your electricity bill.
An energy management solution consists of two parts: smart monitoring devices, and an app. The smart monitoring devices are first installed onto your switchboard, and — using IoT technology — they gather and send your energy usage, production, and battery data to the app on your phone.
The app then allows you to quantify, analyse and manage your energy consumption and production, all from a single device! You can even switch off your appliances and other equipment remotely, to ensure that you have complete control over your energy consumption.
Using an energy management solution is a vastly different experience to using a smart meter. By managing their energy production and consumption using an energy management solution, consumers gain complete control over your electricity bill.
ENERGY REBATES FOR EFFICIENCY AND PRODUCTIVITY
While we are focusing on the increase in capacity of the grid, we should also focus on the efficiency and productivity of the systems. These two factors will bring us the achievement. In addition, The International Energy Agency reports that energy efficiency programs in many other countries have cut households’ bills by 10 to 30 per cent in recent years.
There are some government incentives Save energy consumers to think about the increase in efficiency in their system by providing energy efficiency rebates or appliance rebates.
Energy management solutions can help us to increase the efficiency of our energy systems by increasing awareness of consumers about their production, consumption and their appliances` consumption.
Energy management solution is also a good tool to understand which appliance should be changed, so a consumer can make informed decisions about their energy efficiency and their rebates.
CONSUMERS — KEEP PUSHING FOR INNOVATION!
Energy management solutions exist largely to attend to a need in the energy market that was, in the first place, created by the rise of prosumers.
Where we once lived in a world of Grid 1.0, which provided power flow in a single direction from power sources directly to homes, consumers now have the ability to produce their own energy, and even sell it back to the grid. Their expectations also motivate businesses to remain competitive in the energy field. They encourage distribution companies to make quality energy more accessible, more efficient to the rest of the population. Consumer expectations shape our energy market on all levels, from the residential all the way up to the grid level. Consumers are the very cornerstone that drives innovation.
So, consumers, create change! Drive innovation! Never accept what simply is. For the betterment of our energy industry, never stop challenging the possibilities of what it can be.
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