Customers set to benefit from smarter and easier energy solutions

As Australia’s largest energy retailer, we’re committed to making energy smarter, easier, more sustainable and more affordable for customers.

Written by Claire Spencer

With disruption ripe in the industry, and new inventions entering the market each day challenging the way we use power in and around the home, we’ll continue to roll out new technologies and tools designed to make dealing with us easier.

Origin is focused on making energy smarter and easier because we want a cleaner, more affordable future for all Australians and the planet.

We’re continuing to explore a range of technologies to empower customers and help deliver better energy affordability, security and emissions reduction.

Here’s what we’re doing.

1. We’re trialling next gen energy solutions

In collaboration with California-based tech start-up Bidgely, we’re trialing a new solution with 5,000 customers in Victoria, providing them with a rare insight into where energy is being used in their household and helping them to manage their energy costs.

Bidgely’s world-leading solution uses disaggregation technology to look at data from your electricity smart meter and provide an estimated breakdown of your household’s energy use into different appliance  and usage categories. 

In non-tech terms, it means bringing all the information from a multitude of sources together into a place where you can see how you’re interacting and make informed choices about your usage. What’s new about this is the level of granularity, and the potential for interaction? In the past, your appliance usage and billing has been somewhat opaque. Here you can see your overall household usage, with itemisation for each smart appliance such as your fridge, oven, heating, cooling and security, and make informed decisions about when you use them. Ultimately, the best technology out there is the one putting the power back in the hands of the consumer.

2. We’ve launched a smart home solution

One of the major changes in the way we’re able to tap into our power usage and control is the recent introduction of smart home tech products such as smart plugs (a plug that allows you to turn off appliances on a timer or via mobile), smart thermometers (to measure heat and coolness of your home and adjust accordingly) and smart security (to monitor household comings and goings).

Up until only 3 years ago, all of these devices worked independently of each other, but now with the introduction of voice activated home systems tech such as Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri, the game has changed. Recently Origin added their smarts to the mix with Home HQ. Home HQ allows you to monitor and control your appliances, keep track of the temperature and humidity of your home, and create alerts for when motion sensors are triggered all for under $200.

3. We’ve launched a mobile app

Clearly the next big step in home energy management is bringing all of the most useful data together into one place, where you the customer can review, edit and manage your usage. Origin’s mobile app lets you take control of your energy account, understand your household usage including predictions for your next bill and get alerts to help you stay on top of your bills.

4. We’ve launched a bill comparison website

We’ve launched Savernator, a new bill comparison website that provides personalised savings calculations to customers within seconds. Customers can upload a recent electricity bill to the site and within seconds receive personalised advice letting them know if they can save on their energy bill with Origin.

For customers who don’t have a recent bill handy, the quick compare tool will provide them with a savings estimate based on their location, current retailer and estimated household electricity usage.

In keeping with the clarity and transparency of the tool, if a customer is already on a great plan that Origin can’t beat, then the website will congratulate them.

We’re also rolling out a number of other initiatives, dedicated to energy innovation, including:

O Hub

Our Bidgely trial (mentioned above) is one of the first projects to be run out of O hub – a collaborative work-space where Origin is co-located with other Australian start-ups, which is dedicated to rapidly prototyping and trialing new energy solutions for customers.

Free Electrons

Origin is a proud co-founder of Free Electrons – a global accelerator bringing together eight forward-thinking utilities and 12 leading start-ups in renewables, smart grids, electric vehicles and home energy management.

Silicon Valley

Origin is establishing a presence in Palo Alto, California – helping facilitate our access to the vibrant Silicon Valley start-up community.

EnergyLab

We’re the principal sponsor of EnergyLab – the new home for clean energy innovation and Australian Energy technology start ups, which is located at the University of Technology, Sydney.

So what’s next?

More control, more data, more knowledge, more choices. It’s never been a better time to be a consumer of energy. The industry is changing, the technology that supports customers is also changing and the two are meeting to put the customer in charge.

We’re committed to helping secure a cleaner energy supply because we want a cleaner, better future for all Australians and the planet. Read more about how we’re focussing on energy innovation and leading the way to a clean energy future.


More about the author

Claire has been with Origin for 11 years and working in Digital for 20 years. A self-confessed lover of food, travel, tech and all things mindful, she also runs the Lojong Meditation school with her husband Tamkey, a former Tibetan Buddhist monk. Together they have a 5 year old son and are living in their eco-dream-home just outside of Daylesford.


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