From the category archives:

Energy Management Systems

Getting the upper hand on your electricity bills with energy monitoring & management

October 19, 2017
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Do you have a clear picture of what’s actually using electricity in your home and how much that costs? If you’re like most Australians, you almost certainly don’t. Historically, this hasn’t been an issue because electricity bills weren’t a major concern for most households – and in any case, the number of devices was probably […]

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Looking beyond solar feed-in tariffs: How to pick an electricity retailer

September 18, 2017
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When solar system owners shop around for an electricity retailer, the first thing they tend to look at is the solar feed-in tariff rate that the retailer offers. The fact is, however, that solar feed-in tariffs are no longer as important as they once were – so what else should solar system owners look for in […]

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The ‘energy awareness factor’ and how it helps households save money

August 17, 2017
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For most of us, for most of our lives, electricity bills and our consumption have both been something of a black box. We know that we get a bill every 1-3 months and get charged for the electricity that we use, but we don’t generally have access to data that would provide us with the […]

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I’m (finally) going to live in a solar-powered home

August 15, 2017
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After nearly a decade working in Australia’s solar industry, I’m finally getting in on the action on a personal level. From next week I’m moving to Newcastle and will be living in a home with solar panels on the roof. Moving into a house that’s already got solar is something that must happen a lot. […]

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A guide to community microgrids

July 11, 2017
Sharing tomatoes

carbonTRACK Community microgrids are a way for neighbourhoods, villages, towns and cities to meet their energy needs locally. Increasingly, community microgrids are being eyed as an option even in areas where a larger grid already exists, mainly as a way to increase local energy independence and resilience. This article covers community microgrid basics, from the reasons […]

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Water heating on a timer vs solar diverter: A case study

June 22, 2017
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The article below, written by Scott Young of CATCH Power, provides a look into the world of hot water diverters, which use excess solar energy to drive the element in electric storage-based water heaters. Hot water diverters are a great way to increase solar self-consumption and are significantly more affordable (albeit less versatile) than battery […]

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Empowered energy customers support the grid

May 24, 2017
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With the right technology, homeowners and businesses with solar and battery storage systems have the potential to play a vital role in stabilising a grid with high renewable generation, according to Luke Osborne, Chief Operations Officer for Reposit Power. By integrating innovative software with solar battery systems, Reposit Power helps customers who invest in these […]

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Could distributed battery systems ‘blackstart’ the grid?

May 17, 2017
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Solar Choice recently received a comment from a visitor to our site asking about whether distributed battery storage systems – using Reposit Power‘s battery management technology – could be used to restart the grid in the event of a blackout. We reached out to Reposit for a response, and they came back to us with […]

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New smart meter from carbonTRACK to benefit households, bolster grid resilience

March 16, 2017
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Australian home energy management system developer carbonTRACK has announced the launch of an ‘intelligent smart meter’ that promises to benefit households, electricity retailers and grid operators alike. For end users, the units will deliver all the benefits of the company’s EMS, and can take the place of the standard meters usually installed with residential solar PV systems. The company […]

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Electricity demand tariffs in Australia – How to handle them

March 3, 2017
Demand tariff charges

If you hear the words ‘Demand Tariffs’ and start scratching your head, don’t worry – you’re not alone. In this article, we’ll examine what demand tariffs are and how to deal with them. Supply charges, usage charges and – now – demand charges? Normally, there are two components to an energy bill: fixed ‘supply’ charges (usually […]

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CATCH Power – A solar diverter made for the Aussie market

February 6, 2017
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CATCH Power is an Australian company who say they have crafted a solar diverter perfectly tailored to Australian market conditions. By March this year, the company will offer four different versions of its device, all of whose settings can be adjusted to optimise savings – and two of which connect to the internet and allow the user […]

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A comparison of home energy management systems in Australia

January 26, 2017
EMS

Solar PV systems are already commonplace and affordable in Australia, and battery storage is getting there quickly as well. Increasingly, Australia’s solar homes are looking for ways to maximise the value that solar & storage are able to deliver. Home energy management systems (sometimes referred to as EMSs or HEMS) are fast becoming a popular […]

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Wattwatchers wins Australian Technology Competition

October 6, 2016

Wattwatchers, a Sydney-based “internet of things” energy management start-up has been selected by judges as one of two winners of this year’s Australian Technology Competition. The developer of the web-based real time energy management Auditor device, took out the New Energy Award for 2016, while Melbourne-based company Independent Products won the Smart Cities Award for […]

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SunMate: Save more money by using the sun when you’re not home

July 12, 2016
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The AWS SunMate is a device that takes your excess solar energy and pumps it into your hot water tank, potentially saving you more money than solar panels alone. The SunMate’s developers, Australian Wind and Solar, say that it is one of the most cost-effective ways to maximise a solar PV system’s value – and […]

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Who needs batteries? How SolarImmersion puts your excess solar energy to work

May 25, 2016
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Every day, thousands of Australia’s solar homes send excess solar power into the grid for little or no financial reward. SolarImmersion is a simple gadget that puts surplus solar energy to better use – by diverting it into your hot water tank. Is your solar system living up to its full potential? These days, getting […]

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Smart window blinds for the smart solar home?

April 5, 2016
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One thing that Australia’s rooftop solar revolution has managed to foster is a higher degree of awareness among home owners about how and when they use electricity throughout the day. The keenest solar homes are motivated by a combination of economics (saving money), environmental concerns (like reducing their carbon footprint) and interest in technology (gadgets are […]

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carbonTRACK: Aussie-based startup delivers smarter solar, storage & energy use

November 30, 2015
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carbonTRACK is an Australian company whose energy management platform promises to deliver up to 30% savings on electricity bills for solar-powered homes and 10% in businesses, not only by maximising their solar energy self-consumption, but also by ensuring that the home’s appliances (and batteries) are utilised in the most intelligent, efficient way possible. How do […]

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