In the UK, smart meter specialist Onzo has announced
that it will join with IT consultancy LShift to develop
new software for its home energy monitoring products, designed
to provide consumers with more detailed information on the
energy they use.
The company, which specialises in real-time energy-use display
meters, said the new system will allow it to offer customers
energy bills with a level of detail similar to that featured
in credit card bills. It is hoped that providing customers
with more detailed information about the appliances and times
of day that use the most energy will encourage them to think
more about curbing energy use.
Under the partnership, LShift will develop a data warehouse
with Onzo that will enable raw data on customers' energy use
to be analysed and made available to customers through a website
and new energy use reports accompanying bills.
Onzo chief executive Joel Hagan said that the company's existing
software that allows consumers to see which appliances are
most power-hungry would also be integrated into the data warehouse.
"This project is an opportunity to use data in an interesting
way and will help energy companies to meet customers' needs"
- he said.
If a customer's bill is high one month, instead of sending
engineers to check the meter, the Onzo database will allow
energy firms to know if the household has just added a new
energy-intensive appliance. It would also allow utilities
to notify customers if thier energy use is higher than usual
- potentially heading off a particularly hefty bill.
Conversely, the system would also be able to notify the energy
company if the meter reading looked wrong, saving the customer
and energy company time and money, explained Hagan. "As
most readings and estimates are done quarterly, Onzo will
also improve the estimation of billing for customers"
- he added.
The new partnership follows hot on the heels of a £2m
investment round from energy giant Scottish and Southern
and group venture capital firm Sigma Capital Group.
As part of that deal SSE also placed initial orders worth
£7m with the company as it seeks to roll-out its smart
meter technology to its customers.
Hagan said that he expects the new software product to come
to market at the end of this year and will be available to
Scottish and Southern customers.
For more information on Onzo - Click