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Wanted: 150,000 home energy devices for Australia’s largest behind the meter platform

Dec 17 2023

Household hot water units, rooftop solar and battery energy storage systems, EV chargers and pool pumps will be enlisted to create Australia’s largest platform of VPP ready home energy devices, under the Intellihub Flex program.

About 150,000 of these home energy devices are being targeted to join the platform, helping to create more than 500 megawatts of flexible consumer energy storage.

The platform is being supported by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency with a $9.75 million grant under the Advancing Renewables Program.

Electricity retailers will be able to sign up households to the Flex Platform and use it to manage their home energy devices as part of a Virtual Power Plant (VPP).

The devices can be turned on to soak up excess daytime solar energy and help stabilise the electricity grid or programmed to reduce demand during peak periods to better manage supply and demand across electricity networks and wholesale markets.

Intellihub CEO Wes Ballantine said better managing home energy devices was essential in helping the country to transition to a Net Zero energy system.

“There will be more than 10 million of these devices sitting behind the meter in Australian homes by 2030,” Mr Ballantine said.

“This means more solar and battery energy systems, more electric hot water units, and more EV chargers and pool pumps.

“We now have the smarts to manage the energy these devices consume, so they become a flexible energy resource.

“They will work like a large battery energy system, soaking up excess daytime solar energy and avoiding consumption during peak demand periods to reduce stress on the system.

“There is enormous benefit from being smarter about how we manage these resources, not just for the energy system but for consumers and local communities.”

Analysis from Intellihub shows that better managing controllable home energy devices as part of a VPP could help to reduce wholesale energy costs by over a hundred dollars per year for every enrolled device.

“Taking pressure off wholesale energy costs is good for household energy prices,” Mr Ballantine said.

“We’re already in close discussions with several large and small electricity retailers to partner with us on the Flex platform.

“It will enable them to build innovative new energy products to offer to customers. We are targeting 150,000 home energy devices under management through the Flex program over two years, helping to create 500 megawatts of flexible energy demand.

“Ultimately, it’s just a small fraction of what is possible by better managing our behind the meter resources.”

Download Intellihub Flex Media Release

Download Intellihub Flex Fact Sheet