Perth-based HabiDapt is commercialising Eddy: smart home power control technology from CSIRO that enables electricity usage to be monitored and controlled from a smartphone or tablet app simply by replacing the standard circuit breakers with smart metering devices or by plugging similar devices into standard power points.
HabiDapt is trialling the technology, known as Eddy, in Perth and in Queensland in conjunction with Ergon Energy, where it is known as HomeSmart.
The technology was developed at CSIRO’s energy centre in Newcastle. The core management software resides in the cloud and both the metering devices and the controlling app communicate with this over the Internet. The smart meters use short-range wireless technology to a dedicated gateway that connects them to the home’s standard Internet connection.
CSIRO research leader, Glenn Platt, said: “Using a simple online dashboard, people can see how their energy use is tracking and make adjustments to reduce costs. The tool really highlights how easy it is for people to make big savings on their energy bill without impacting on their lifestyle.”
The system also helps households with photovoltaic systems that feed power into the grid. They can see when they are exporting power and choose to run high power consumption devices only at those times.
Ergon Energy will also use Eddy to remotely turn off customer’s high power consumption devices at peak demand times.
According to HabiDapt’s web site the current trials are fully subscribed, but it hopes to make Eddy more widely available shortly and is inviting anyone interested in participating to register their interest on the site. However it has given no indication of where or when future trials might take place. Ergon Energy has its own site where its customers can register their interest.
There is a site-specific installation cost for the system and a $9.99 monthly subscription fee.
There is little information available about HabiDapt. It appears to have been created to commercialise Eddy (although CSIRO has not said anything about this in its press release). According to this presentation, its directors include: Dr Glenn Platt, who leads CSIRO’s research in energy efficiency, demand management and smart grids; Alan Taylor, managing director of 303 Lowe in Perth who brings marketing and communications experience to the team; and Todd Brown, CEO of Canadian company Touchstone Exploration who is the investor representative on the board.
HabiDapt’s CTO is Dr Martin de Groot, who founded CSIRO’s residential energy services program and who lead the CSIRO team that developed Eddy. James Forbe was the lead engineer on the Eddy project at CSIRO before joining HabiDapt where he is the principal systems architect.