Renewable energy start-up Evergen has launched what is claimed to be Australia’s first intelligent home energy management system, with the technical backing of CSIRO, and $2.9m in funding from AMP Capital and its former head.
The CSIRO says it developed Evergen’s core energy management intelligence and provided research expertise to help Evergen commercialise the product.
The system is designed to optimise home electricity use by tapping into two sources – solar and the grid –, using battery storage, analyis of data from energy use across multiple households, and factoring in weather expectations. The system is remotely managed by Evergen and regularly analysed and updated by CSIRO. The Evergen intelligent app enables the homeowner to monitor the system in real time.
Evergen claims that its customers are cutting their power bills by 60-80 percent (However it does not specify what contribution its technology is making to these savings, and how much is due solely to the use of solar power). According to its web site, prices for its systems start at $9,9000 for homes with solar power already installed.
The system is available to Australians in an early release programme, a second-stage release program is planned for January 2017.
CSIRO’s announcement made no mention of AMP Capital’s involvement. However the organisation claims to have collaborated with CSIRO on Evergen’s development. A number of press reports this week say that Evergen has just closed a $2.9 million funding round from AMP Capital and AMP’s former Stephen Dunne, and that an $800,000 investment from the CSIRO has taken total funding to $3.7m.
Evergen’s board is dominated by AMP. In addition to Dunne it is made up of AMP CFO, Margaret Payn; Craig Keary, director of AMP’s global leadership team in ANZ and Michael Cummings, AMP Capital’s head of Australian and NZ funds. The fifth member is Dr Alex Wonhas, executive director – environment, energy and resources, at CSIRO. Evergen’s CEO is Glen Platt, former head of the CSIRO’s energy programme.