emhTrade wins the Revolutionsing Energy NZI Sustainable Business Network award

n a packed venue of 700 sustainable business professionals, energy sector innovator emhTrade won the NZI Sustainable Business Network Revolutionising Energy Award 2018.

The NZI Sustainable Business Network Awards are New Zealand’s longest-standing sustainability awards. Now in their 16th year, they recognise and celebrate success in sustainability.

The Revolutionising Energy award is presented to an organisation that is transforming its own energy system or enabling a systemic shift to renewable energy.

"It's another great motivator for our team delivering on enabling people to use more affordable, greener and local power. A journey that also delivers exceptional consumer engagement and better bottom lines for retailers, networks and PV asset owners." said Stu Innes, emhTrade's CEO.

As the world invests trillions of dollars to decarbonise the energy system, the increase in intermittent renewables like wind and solar power, electric vehicles and battery storage mean that when people use power now dictates its cost and carbon content.  “We now have the crazy situation that 100% clean, low cost solar and wind power can be turned off in some parts of the world, only to burn hydrocarbons later in the day, because people and their assets are not helped to use that clean, low cost power”.

One of the great strengths of the emhTrade analytics platform is it provides the "last mile" of the smart grid, connecting consumers in a very simple way to the complex drivers of cost and carbon in the electricity supply.  This helps consumers, businesses investing in solar PV, storage and electric vehicles and the existing industry connect to cut costs and enhance returns from clean energy investments.

“Partnering with emhTrade to form the Blueskin Energy Network has enabled us to realise a decades worth of work to democratise our local electricity system.” said Scott Willis, Blueskin Energy Ltd’s Project Manager and one of emhTrade’s customers, “Residents are engaged and are enjoying being part of this journey to decarbonise while making savings”.

The judges said: “emhTrade has created an innovative way for people and communities to easily measure and manage their electricity use through an app. It also enables other functions such as facilitating peer-to-peer selling of electricity. This is an innovative concept that encourages behaviour change to reduce electricity demand, especially during peak periods. It is only a very small business, but building on previous experience in the electricity industry, it is making a big difference and gaining international recognition.”

"A special thanks goes to our earliest adopters, pilot partners and mentors including retailer P2Power's consumers, the pioneering community energy network of Blueskin, the thought leadership of Waipa Networks, Powerco, Transpower and Powernet and Creative HQ.” said Jamie Silk emhTrade’s Chief Commercial Officer.

EECA Business sponsor these awards as they are a wonderful way to showcase success and inspire other businesses to improve their energy management practices.  This was certainly the case this year with entries covering innovations by Red Stag Timber, Fonterra and Watercare to improve their operations, as well as Solar City New Zealand and emhTrade offering innovative new services for consumers and businesses.  NZ’s ecosystem enabling the energy sector transformation is clearly gathering pace.

For the list of winners and commendations for the 2018 NZI Sustainable Business Network Awards go to: sustainable.org.nz/awards.

Kiwi school leverages the Transactive Energy platform to lead the global clean energy transformation

A pioneering South Island school is at the forefront of a global $1.3 trillion energy system transformation. While others debate how to share local green power, Waitati School, with assistance from the Blueskin Energy Network (BEN), has made decentralised and decarbonised power a reality.  

The school has, with funding support from the Harper Collins Trust, installed a solar array which is connected to BEN.  When the school produces more energy that it needs the surplus is shared - peer to peer -with families at the school who have also joined the Blueskin Energy Network.

Green MP Gareth Hughes officially opened this exciting new community solar initiative, on October 18th.

“This pioneering project is yet another innovation from the community of Blueskin and the Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust in collaboration with the school and partners. The Blueskin model should inspire others to be bold as innovators and change makers and motivate government to do more”, says Gareth Hughes MP.

Principal Stacey Honey says she loves this sharing component “the school community can now benefit from the school ‘power station’ –  we’re educators and a power generator!”.

Scott Willis, Manager of the Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust and representing the Blueskin Energy Network understands the power of example.

He says “We began work to change our ‘energy culture’ a decade ago. Now Blueskin Bay has the highest penetration of PV installations and EV ownership in the whole country, and high levels of energy literacy. But with the school joining BEN we have a further paradigm shift – to the sharing energy community”.

Kiwi technology provider emhTrade – a World Energy Council ranked Top 100 Clean Energy Transition start up – is behind the platform that makes BEN function, in partnership with the Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust.

“Our mission is to enable a better power society and it is exciting to see our technology combined with local solar generation and community innovation to deliver cleaner and fairer power choice open to all” says Jamie Silk, emhTrade’s Chief Commercial Officer

What’s different?

First, the Blueskin Energy Network provides a way for solar to be installed where it is most cost effective or efficient to be located (such as large school roof spaces) and where it will often be efficiently used (as kids are at school during the day).

Second, it means that anyone can now buy local green power in this community – regardless of whether they can afford panels themselves or own their own homes. They can now subscribe to join the school’s peer to peer scheme and get cheaper local power when there is a surplus such as in the holidays, in the weekends or when the school day ends – ideal times for hard pressed families who need affordable power.

All with the benefit of also supporting the school by buying the school’s power.

Third, consumers joining BEN access an app that tells them the best time to use power to meet their personal goals – helping those who want to make a climate impact change to use more cleaner, cheaper, local power – and then rewarding them from the savings made. Whether it is simply using the timer for the laundry or charging the electric car when the school has surplus power, people are able to make effective choices – and get discounts on their bills too.

There has been much concern expressed by the existing electricity industry that solar power may be unfair, favouring only those who can afford it – including by the industry experts appointed by the government to complete the Electricity Pricing Review. Waitati School and BEN show a different, better future that with a little imagination we can all share in. A future where we all tap into the sharing economy and people’s desire for better outcomes to provide a cleaner and fairer power system benefitting all.

Watch The World Energy Forum's Bangkok Blockchain Vision Video - Then Read How You Can Make It A Commercial Reality Today

Watch this World Energy Forum video. In just a few moments of your time you will see a new energy world becoming a reality. One where local generation, the sharing economy, digitisation and connected devices converge to create fairer, sustainable and more affordable energy choices.  The really great news is, though the Bangkok project uses blockchain which many will fear carries costs and technology risk at this stage of maturity, blockchain is not needed to make this happen today.

The electricity system is awash with data already. The urgent challenges are accessing it, connecting it all up and, most critically, engaging consumers in a meaningful way.

Simply using widely available smart meter data, here in New Zealand, we at emhTrade are already engaging consumers with new transactive energy retail choices.  Through our solar share matching algorithms we can connect consumer solar generation with consumers with the capacity to change when they use energy to most efficiently use solar, enabling peer to peer and community energy networks..

Our transactive energy platform works with the current system to take market data, network signals and meter data, and combine these with consumer preferences to work out the best time to use power (cheapest, cleanest, community, etc). Our APIs can then interface to retailer and distributor apps or direct to devices to help people use cheaper, cleaner or more power, with smart meter data tracking their performance to engage and reward them. In our own app we offer specific customer journeys to help people meet values based preferences i.e. for cheaper or greener power.  And perhaps unsurprisingly since we can now engage with consumers about what they do care about, and reward them for their actions, consumers love it.

We are in an industry where consumers are renowned for spending minutes a year thinking about power  - probably when faced with a shocking bill. Yet we have weekly engagement rates of 60-80% (and that excludes what consumers do with their daily notifications). Engagement has great value itself (tackling churn, enabling cross sell or personalised experiences), but this multiplies when it helps consumers become transactive, creating flexible demand that deliver savings from across the supply chain.

Blockchain offers exciting new possibilities and should be part of innovators’ roadmaps. As we seek to optimise and monetise the value of instantaneous PV and flexible demand matching, for instance, incumbent systems just do not have the granularity. As we seek to contract the capacity of individual behind the meter devices or strip out the costs of retailer credit and prudential management, smart contracts and distributed ledger processing become very attractive. Blockchain can play a part in tracking lifecycle entitlements from new generation and distributed energy resources enabling new funding mechanisms and risk sharing options that will accelerate.

But there is no need to wait to start helping consumers now and cut costs from retail operations, networks or markets, or to deliver new community energy and microgrids optimisation solutions. We can achieve a great deal with the regulations, data and markets we have today. We'd love to share our experiences and learn from yours, so please reach out and contact any of our team or post your comments here.

emhTrade recognised as Finalist in the NZI Sustainable Business Awards' Revolutionsing Energy Category

Accelerating 100% renewable energy homes (with no money down) solarcity New Zealand ; Electric Milk (displacing coal) Fonterra; Digitally helping everyone to use cleaner, cheaper power emhTrade ... We have been enjoying sharing great stories with fellow NZI Sustainable Business Awards finalists about how NZ is delivering on its energy climate goals.

emhTrade recognised as a finalist in Deloitte Energy Excellence Awards

We were thrilled to be recognised as a finalist in two Deloitte Energy Excellence Awards categories in 2018 - Energy Platform Of The Year and Innovation In Energy. The Deloitte Energy Excellence Awards is an annual event aimed at recognising excellence and achievement across the energy sector. "We are really excited to be recognised in these categories and appreciate how this helps underline the power of our vision. Alongside our partners, we are proud to be bringing together people, retailers and the supply chain to address the needs of climate change and energy poverty." - Jamie Silk, Chief Commercial Officer.

Our congratulations go particularly to the winners of the categories - BP with their NZ developed BPME app that was quickly picked up by other countries in the BP family and OMV for their subsea platform repair operations in the harsh offshore marine environment of west coast NZ..


EmhTrade enables transactive community energy platform

In this article, Blueskin Energy Network's Scott Willis explains how the recent partnership with emhTrade's electricity retailer P2 is designed to aid the transition to a fully renewable and resilient electricity system able to bounce back from adverse events.

This network is a participatory retail platform and smart grid marketplace provided by emhTrade and designed to enable a much greater use of renewable technologies such as wind and solar energy. It can also enable the incorporation of zero emission transport.


Tauranga power forecast – sunny with a touch of SolarShare

P2 Power, New Zealand’s first peer-to-peer energy provider, today announced that it has expanded its innovative solar power sharing service to Tauranga.

P2 Power’s SolarShare technology lets consumers buy and sell excess solar power within their local communities. The Tauranga launch follows a successful pilot programme in Auckland which passed its first 100,000kWh solar sharing milestone in January this year.

SolarShare makes cleaner, cheaper solar energy a viable option for consumers who do not currently have solar panels or can’t afford the expense of installation. Those with solar panels are able to feed excess power back into the grid, where P2 Power manages the energy exchange, offering one of the highest buyback rates in the market, while at the same time delivering solar power to others at an affordable price.

P2 Power CEO Stu Innes says, “Our SolarShare technology uses real half hour smart meter data to match up solar generation with people’s electricity use, so SolarSharers know they are genuinely using locally produced green power, while energy exporters can be confident that their power is helping people adapt to using solar energy.”

“Joining SolarShare is very simple – simply sign up to benefit, and P2 Power does the matching – there is no need to sign up friends and family, though P2 Power loves it when you invite them too,” says Innes.

Innes say the P2 Power team is delighted that it can now begin introducing this approach to energy sharing to the rest of the country.

“We hope that one day all Kiwis will have the choice to take advantage of community-generated solar power,” says Innes.

In the summer months, P2 Power had guaranteed pilot users that at least 7% of their power would come from local solar production in Auckland. Innes says that in the prime summer period customers averaged more than double that.

“With Tauranga’s solar potential, we want to help the Bay of Plenty do even better,’ says Innes.

Innes says the company’s core mission is to provide transparency in the energy market and enable communities to work together for mutually beneficial deals.

“Consumers should not just mindlessly pay their power bills without knowing where it’s coming from. P2 Power informs consumers about how much of their energy is being produced locally, empowering them (pun intended) to prioritise renewables and have a meaningful impact in addressing climate change,” says Innes.

According to the company, SolarShare is just one way to help. P2 Power is developing new options to help people use cleaner, cheaper, community-oriented electricity, and will be bringing these to market in the near future.

Innes says P2 Power will launch SolarShare in other regions over the coming months.

emhTrade Ranks In Top 100 At The International SET Awards

It is with great pleasure to announce that we have placed in the top 100 companies in the international 2018 Start Up Energy Transition (SET) Awards.

The prestigious SET Awards is organised by the German Energy Agency, in cooperation with the World Energy Council, to identify the most promising start-ups working on energy transition and climate protection projects and technologies around the world.

The awards will be presented during the Tech Festival held in Berlin, Germany 16-17 April 2018. The Tech Festival is the annual summit of the SET initiative, which brings together a global network of innovators fighting climate change.

“We are a young company working to develop technologies that will create a new kind of energy market, where consumers have greater choice and control over the power they consume. To make it into the SET Awards top 100 the first time we enter is a fantastic validation of our approach,” says Stu Innes, CEO of emhTrade.

John Carnegie, executive director of the Business NZ Energy Council, says emhTrade is further proof that you don’t have to go overseas to find bright ideas.

“We are delighted that one of our members has demonstrated its technical ability on the international stage. New Zealand is a liberalised market with intense competition, and so our businesses are always looking to test models that can deliver better energy outcomes for consumers.”

“Too often people look to international markets for their inspiration, but our people are just as smart – or smarter in some cases – as the rest of the world. emhTrade’s placing in the SET Awards top 100 shows that wherever you are in the world, good ideas still count,” says Carnegie.

emhTrade has just completed its first pilot project in New Zealand, working with 200 electricity consumers to better understand their motivations and behaviour with regard to renewable energy use.

“The 200 participants in our solar energy exchange pilot achieved a significant milestone, with 100,000kWh solar energy shared since the test programme launched in April 2016. That’s enough clean, green, local energy to make around five million cups of tea or power over 100 houses for a month,” says Innes.

We are now extending our trials with some of New Zealand’s largest distribution companies.

emhTrade Chief Commercial Officer Jamie Silk says the pilot group will be able to use cleaner, cheaper and/or more local power, according to their preferences.

 “The experience and insights of our test users, together with behavioural science and machine learning, will help us quickly improve people’s ability to achieve their personal goals,” says Silk.

By exchanging information with distributors throughout the trials, Silk says emhTrade will gain a greater understanding of the value that can be created for consumers and the energy system as a whole.

The next emhTrade trial project starts in May and is part of a series of ongoing grid pilots we are launching across New Zealand.

Powerco and emhTrade Work Together on Innovative Energy Trials

We are excited to announce that we have recently agreed to collaborate with Powerco to explore new energy choices for customers.

Stu Innes, CEO of emhTrade, says it is clear that consumers are connecting socially and digitally for better environmental, community or financial outcomes.

“And electricity should be no different.”

“The agreement with Powerco enables us to work with consumers and the industry to make this a reality,” says Innes.

Powerco has invited all retailers to be involved in pilots and trials on its network, so both retailers and Powerco as a distributor, can understand what customers want in the future.

Powerco’s Asset Management and Network Transformation General Manager Ryno Verster says the company is excited to offer its network for trials that will ultimately help customers.

“As a distribution network we tend to not speak directly to all our customers so it’s important to also work with others to better understand what customers’ future energy needs might be.”

“New Zealand has a long history of managing network demand and associated investment through hot water load control. Our research programmes show us how new technologies, understanding consumer preferences and working with innovative partners can help us achieve even more,” says Verster.

emhTrade Chief Commercial Officer Jamie Silk says the pilot group, a small group of test users, will be able to use cleaner, cheaper or more local power, according to their preferences.

“The experience and insights of our test users, together with behavioural science and machine learning, will help us quickly improve people’s ability to achieve their personal goals,” says Silk.

By exchanging information with Powerco through the trial, emhTrade can better understand what value can be created for consumers and the energy system as a whole.

The pilot commences early in 2018 in Powerco’s Eastern region (covering Tauranga, the Coromandel and Eastern Waikato) and is part of a series of innovative grid pilots that we are launching launching across New Zealand.

The Journey To Energy Co-optimisation

We help people use cleaner, cheaper, community-generated energy, helping smooth supply peaks, cut costs and reduce carbon emissions.

Each year billions of dollars of unnecessary cost and billions of tonnes of Greenhouse Gas emissions are incurred in the global electricity supply chain.

We believe we can stop this waste using a co-optimisation platform that talks to consumers and their increasing number of smart appliances.

Consumers experience a mobile / web app that:
1. Understands their personal preference for cleaner, cheaper, community energy.
2. Advises them of the best time to use energy to meet their goals (and also automates connected devices).
3. Rewards them for their actions.

The energy supply chain gains a simple channel for price or other information to reach consumers in a meaningful way, triggering flexible demand to reduce emissions and costs.

emhTrade set up one of the world’s first peer to peer electricity retailers in 2016 and are now taking the platform – and the flexible grid – to the next generation.

emhTrade participated in the Lightning Lab Accelerator programme in 2017 for initial research and validation of our platform helping people align their energy consumption with their personal preferences, be they social, ecological or financial. By creating a sharing economy for energy assets, value is created along the entire supply chain, benefiting utilities and consumers alike.

You can watch the final Lightning Lab Electric Demo Day pitches here.