CivVic Labs EnergyTech Challenge

How might we provide digital solutions to help Victorian consumers (households and\or businesses) improve their energy consumption or access reliable, clean and affordable energy?

For the latest round of CivVic Labs, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) is seeking digital energy solutions from innovators and start-ups to help solve some of Victoria’s most pressing energy problems.

Background

With the rapid uptake of distributed energy resources (e.g., rooftop solar and batteries) and an electricity grid transitioning to renewables, it has become increasingly more complex for consumers to take advantage of their affordable clean energy or know how to get the most out of their energy use. At the same time, many Victorian energy consumers, such as low incomes households and those who live in rental properties, are currently unable to access renewable technologies, such as rooftop solar, leaving them locked out of the sustainable energy transition.

There is also development at a national level to make energy data available and support a digital transformation of energy sector through the Consumer Data Right (CDR) in Energy reforms, which will enable consumers to share their energy use data more easily and safely to third parties. CDR in Energy is a significant future opportunity to easily access and utilise rich smart meter data to solve the challenges outlined above.

Why are we focused on this?

The energy sector is undergoing a digital transformation. The convergence of physical poles and wires, the energy market, and new digitally enabled products and services is creating a burgeoning ‘digital energy economy’. Victoria’s comprehensive smart meter rollout has given the industry some of the world’s richest energy data, which is becoming increasingly and safely available to enable innovation. The rapid uptake of Distributed Energy Resource (DER) technology and increasing digital tools/service offerings are also driving an increase in energy data.

The Victorian Government supports this digital transition as it is fundamental to reaching net zero emissions and improving consumers’ experience and choice. We want to support Victorian innovators to capture this opportunity and create new high impact technologies that support decarbonisation and strong consumer benefits.

Through digital energy products and services, DEWLP wants to ensure all Victorians are engaged to actively manage their energy use and have access to renewable energy which will support DELWP’s Energy outcome goal to provide reliable, clean and affordable energy services to Victorians. DELWP sees Victorian startups and innovators as critical to this goal.

What's on offer for startups?

DELWP will provide up to $220k in funding to start-ups as follows:

  • $15k (each) to 10 start-ups to develop and refine solutions
  • $35k (each) as further seed-funding to two of the most prospective start-ups to bring their ideas to life.

DELWP can also provide participants:

  • access to consumer energy data (de-identified), such as the data that will be provided through the Consumer Data Right (CDR) access
  • access to DELWP Energy subject matter experts with policy and regulation knowledge and energy data know-how
  • connections with contacts that work for large energy retailers, energy network service providers and energy consumer advocates
  • access to household and business stakeholders to test potential solutions

What could the solution look like?

  • Using smart meter data to better engage Victorian households to improve their energy use and reduce their energy costs, especially during peak energy demand periods (such as a very hot summer day)
  • Using digital solutions to create equitable ways of sharing renewable solar energy with those that cannot access affordable green energy
  • Providing a one-stop-shop for renewable energy and energy efficiency upgrade services for households and businesses
  • Providing a digital platform to analyse household solar energy generation, battery storage and energy use and give recommendations to ensure the clean energy generated is fully utilised and not wasted
  • Enable more locally generated renewables (e.g. from rooftop solar) to be utilised within the neighbourhood e.g. consumer-to-consumer or business-to-business platform
  • Any other digital or data-led innovation that enables the Victorian consumer to access clean affordable energy, more easily manage their home/business energy use or costs.

Expressions of interest closed 1pm October 31st 2022.