Victoria is the place to be


Ezra Beeman,
Managing Director
Sydney, Australia — (METERING.COM) — February 25, 2013 – Australia’s residential energy management (REM) market is poised for significant near to medium term growth in the key markets of Victoria and Queensland when key policy, regulatory and institutional barriers are overcome, according to a new study from local energy research specialist Energeia.

By 2022, these two markets are expected to lead Australia with a combined 1,100 MW of managed residential load covering nearly 1.9 million electricity consuming devices.

The study, “Australia’s Residential Energy Management Market to 2022,” sets out to examine the key state differences and their implications for the residential energy management market.

Recently the U.S. market has seen two major developments that show a possible way forward for Australia, which is endlessly piloting technology even as it loses ground with the banning of storage based hot water services (the most popular residential energy management service in the country with 2.9 million services), states the study.

These two developments are the establishment of the Green Button initiative – a standards-based, third party smart meter access regime – and the deployment of a significant base of smart metering. Together, these two pieces of the puzzle have spawned an entirely new cloud-based energy services industry to serve the 27 million Green Button customers, and provide a model for unlocking the economic potential of smart metering in Victoria.

In Australia, state policymaking remains the prime REM market driver. Queensland’s new government shut down the state’s ClimateSmart Homes scheme in April 2012, Australia’s largest REM market to date with 350,000 in-house displays installed. Victoria opened the door to REM under its Victorian energy efficiency target (VEET), though no products have been accredited to date. The federal government’s proposed mandatory demand response enabling device (DRED) standard for air conditioners, a key enabler of the REM market, has slipped and is now unlikely before 2014.

However, a lack of investment in REM incentives and services in New South Wales and South Australia is expected to delay REM market investment in these states until 2019 at the earliest, the time it would take to establish a smart metering platform.

“It may soon pay handsomely for smart consumers in Victoria and Queensland to buy appliances compatible with Australian Standard AS 4755,” said managing director Ezra Beeman. “On the other hand, consumers in New South Wales and South Australia could be missing out on hundreds of dollars annually no matter how smart they are.”

Energeia’s review of Australian market activity has found a new generation of technology trials and service pilots has been launched over the last 18 months, focused on the latest generation of REM hardware platforms, DRED based appliances and smart grid infrastructure. Of these, Energex’s trial of its automated AC demand management service and Origin’s trial of Tendril’s Cloud based energy management service stand out for their innovative, cutting edge approaches to appliance focused and Cloud based energy management services.