Brief

DR down under: Bidgely app delivers 30% peak load reductions in Australia

Dive Brief:

  • Bidgely announced yesterday it had helped Australian utility United Energy reduce load by a startling 30% during peak events during the 2016 summer season, a number that is likely to have many questioning the potential of demand response programs.
  • The company's ActionDR mobile app delivered "personalized targets and real-time feedback to each customer," the company said.
  • Bidgely, an analytics company, is known for their home management system which allows the user to view and control the energy use of individual appliances in the home without adding any additional hardware like smart plugs, CEO Abhay Gupta told Utility Dive last year. 

Dive Insight:

There are a lot of details not included in Bidgely's announcement, and Australian utilities operate well ... on the other side of the world. So the extent to which we're comparing apples to grapefruit isn't known. But a 30% load reduction on peak events is still a huge accomplishment.

“Our mobile app, with disaggregation technology at its core, uses gamification with personalized goals and rewards, appliance-specific recommendations and dynamic incentives that vary based on predetermined thresholds to keep consumers highly engaged,” Bidgely CEO Abhay Gupta said in a statement. “ActionDR gives utilities the ability to achieve high peak shift results without the capital cost of installing a load control switch."
 
The company has uploaded a video of how the mobile app works, and in one spot, offers $20 for completing energy conservation goals. Right now, the video has 45 views.
 
Bidgely said its app delivered "personalized targets and real-time feedback" to each customer during the peak events. Customers also received targeted energy saving tips based on disaggregation of each home's actual energy use as well as performance-based rewards for changes in behavior. 
 
The switch-less program "not only reduces the cost of residential demand response by over five times but also allows scalable deployment, thus enabling utilities to greatly extend their demand response program reach compared to traditional methods," Gupta said.

United Energy serves about 640,000 customers in the territory of Victoria. It is not clear how many customers were in the Bidgely pilot, how many peak events were called, or the extent of customer incentives.

Last year, the company secured $16.6 million in Series B funding last year to expand their HomeBeat energy management suite. 

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Filed Under: Efficiency & Demand Response
Top image credit: Bidgely