Will Thomas and Corey Beams are two friends that will be living in PowerNet’s Smart Energy Home this year.
The house is equipped with solar panels, battery storage, energy smart appliances and hot water powered by a heat pump. They will also have the use of an Electric Vehicle (EV) and an app-controllable EV charger installed at the address.
PowerNet GM of New Energy Development & Strategy, Kavi Singh says the PowerNet team is keen to understand user experiences with smart energy technologies, and understand their usage patterns given incentives and tools to do so.
“Apart from the solar panels and battery storage system, the Smart Energy Home also has energy monitoring systems all around the house to help us understand and identify where we can encourage and promote energy efficiencies”, Mr Singh says.
The Smart Energy Home is also equipped with heat pumps for space and water heating.
“A heat pump system extracts heat from air and can be up to three times more efficient in providing heat energy than oil-filled or element heaters”, says Mr. Singh.
The tenants would also see savings from the solar panels and battery storage system, utilising cheap energy generated from the sun, and energy arbitrage by filling up the battery at night during off-peak price and using the stored energy during the peak price times.
They would also see savings from using the EV. At a running cost of $3.60 per 100km, it is about a third of what an equivalent petrol hatchback would cost in terms of fuel.
PowerNet has been operating a fleet of zero and low emission electric vehicles for over two years and will continue to develop insights into their capabilities, uptake and economic value to businesses and residential customers.
In the third year of the Smart Energy Home project PowerNet will learn about how a different customer
mix affects the profile and level of household and EV electricity usage, and the interaction between customer, technologies and weather.
“I was so happy and was really hopeful after the interview with PowerNet. We had some great discussion about the Smart Energy Home and since I am an electrician, I definitely had a great interest of how the Smart Energy Home works.” Will says.
For Will and Corey, it will be an opportunity to experience the technologies first-hand and to contribute their own insights about using smart technologies.
They’ll help PowerNet to learn from the Smart Energy Home and promote energy efficiency over the coming year.