Solar energy computers ready for Australia-first trial in Yackandandah

A new smart device which will tell residents how to best control their energy use has been introduced to solar installation crews in Yackandandah.

The “ubi” has been designed by AusNet’s Mondo energy service and will be installed at homes in conjunction with solar panels and battery storage in an Australia-first trial.

Mondo acting project manager Simon Priest said the company wanted to emphasise safety on Wednesday when talking to the installation crews, who were based in the North East. He said solar energy systems will go into homes from next week and be completed by the end of October.

“Ubi has been the main piece - solar and battery can only go so far,” he said. “We see the value in having as many of them installed as possible.”

The ubi will collect data on household energy use and even advise owners of the most affordable time to purchase a battery, based on lowering prices and their usage. It will allow users to remotely control their energy systems from a computer or mobile phone through uni, and the trial will experiment with power sharing with other households and offering payment for power.

The project was being run in conjunction with Totally Renewable Yackandandah as part of the goal for the town to become 100 per cent renewable by 2022.TRY co-chair Matthew Charles-Jones said it was important the solar energy systems were on a scale accessible to individuals.

“This device is part of the way of creating a smart grid … It really adds understanding and control to AusNet at a micro level,” he said. “It’s really quite an exciting step forward.”

Victorian Energy Minister Lily D'Ambrosio will be invited to the official Yackandandah launch on December 1.