According to The Australian Financial Review, one of the most significant changes reshaping our Australian energy system is the increasing capacity for households to generate energy. Average consumers will increasingly need to actively and intelligently manage generation and consumption. In turn retailers must evolve to offer consumers innovative, technology-driven products and services that allow them to do just that.
The Future Grid Forum, convened by CSIRO, brought together more than 120 experts working across the national electricity value chain to analyse potential electricity pathways to 2050.
Its report describes the four most likely future states of the Australian energy sector. One is that by 2050 on-site generation will supply almost half of all energy consumption. Australian households and businesses will evolve to generate half of our total energy consumption through on-site use of solar, battery and other renewable technologies.
This is not just a CSIRO finding, Bloomberg New Energy Finance predicts a similar outcome – that by 2040 energy consumption would be 35 per cent on-site or "behind the meter" generated.
The implications of this shift are enormous for retailers and consumers and the relationship between the two.
Retailers will need to dramatically re-imagine their business models and their value proposition to customers.
The most successful retailers will be those that understand their new role as both enablers of consumer-led electricity generation and management, and partners to customers who are now key players in the generation and trade of stored energy between homes, businesses, retailers and the grid.
The Ergon-HabiDapt service, called HomeSmart, puts greater control and transparency in the hands of consumers though; real-time monitoring and alerts, budgets and bill management services, rooftop solar services including system health checks and the ability to program appliances to respond to changing levels of solar generation and export.
The result? Consumers are empowered by knowledge and technology to manage and control their energy consumption, and Ergon creates new revenue streams for itself.
Importantly, this type of service is an evolution in the customer relationship – from that of supplier-consumer to an energy partner that supplies both energy, and energy services and technology.
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