Retail data-sharing offers consumption monitoring without meters


From pv magazine Australia

Solar Analytics, an Australian solar energy analytics company, has launched a new service that allows solar owners to retrieve consumption data directly from retail meters, eliminating the need for additional consumption metering. Known as Integrated+, the release to all eligible homes in the National Electricity Market (NEM) follows a trial in Victoria.

Integrated+ is made possible by the Federal Government’s Consumer Data Right (CDR) program, which aims to standardize secure data sharing for the benefit of consumers. It “allows you to ask for your data to be securely transferred to an accredited provider so you can investigate, compare and access services more easily.”

Initially implemented in the banking sector, this program has now been expanded to encompass the energy sector, with the big three retailers with 65% market share taking part, and more retailers to come, following rules that any retailer with more than 10,000 customers will be required to comply with the CDR.

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There are limitations to the potential savings, though they are substantial. This is partially offset by the need to pay a monthly subscription of around $10 per month to Solar Analytics for Integrated+, though there are additional features beyond the service. Additionally, the standard method for data uploads on retail metering involves a once-daily data upload, which may not be ideal for solar owners seeking real-time data, meaning consumption data will always be historical and a day behind. Still, the company said the majority of solar owners who participated in the trail found it sufficient.

“Having been in the solar industry for 30 years, it has always bothered me that valuable data captured by retail meters was not easily accessible to solar owners,” Nigel Morris, head of business development at Solar Analytics, told pv magazine. “It has taken far too long, but retailers are now legally obligated to share this data. It is a game-changer for solar owners and, in my opinion, represents the future of data access.”

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