With the State Government’s recent decision to opt out of introducing metering competition until at least 2021, there appears to be a one-off opportunity for Victoria (Australia) to demonstrate the value of the data being collected.
As the only state in Australia to have rolled out smart meters, this is a time for the Victorian Distributors to think big. They have access to valuable energy data not enjoyed by anyone else in the country. These next few years should not be wasted on incremental improvements but leveraging the data to take Victoria towards a Smart State. It’s a time for collaboration. It’s a time to partner with other industry verticals. It’s a time to innovate.
I would like to see support from the Victorian Government for the Victorian Distributors to:
- Partner with other verticals such as water, gas and waste. Leverage the tens of millions of dollars already spent delivering a secure network across the state and allow that network to be used to deliver services to other organizations.
- Partner with the ‘Green Button Alliance’ in the US. Use their experience to introduce an easy ‘one-click’ process for energy consumers to approve daily third-party access to their energy data. This helps the customer save energy and money whilst transforming services such as independent bill comparison and validation.
- Partner with data.gov.au to explore ways to make anonymised energy consumption datasets available. These datasets could be accessed by anyone to help with policy making, academic research and business investment decisions.
- Partner with providers of peer to peer energy trading to support people who want to buy and sell electricity from each other – not yet allowed but it will happen. Given the uptake of solar and storage combined with access to the energy data, Victoria is in a unique position to explore this opportunity.
- Partner with Demand Response providers to help consumers optimise their use of electricity whilst minimising stress on the network to defer infrastructure investments, reducing pressure on network tariffs.
Partnering and freely sharing energy data may seem counter intuitive to today’s distributors. I see it as a critical step in transforming the distributor from being an organisation who manages poles and wires, to one that that manages the two-way flow of power and data. It would also play a key role in Victoria’s journey to a Smart State.
Will Victoria seize this opportunity to lead the way and become Australia’s first Smart State?
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