The solar industry is rapidly growing with Australia and around the world. An exciting platform for consumer engagement will help maximise the economic and environmental benefits associated with this technology. Inspiring competition through a simple economic performance index will enable consumers to better understand their energy behaviour, whilst providing a tool for effective demand-side management.

What it does

Take charge is an online community which ranks and educates everyday people based on their live and historical consumption and generation data. Through this, we have developed a tool for electricity-performance monitoring and a platform for competition. The service enables users to initiate "challenges" against other PV (solar) owners, with odds and stakes calculated for each match-up (available in real and virtual dollars). To maintain engagement and enable participation from individuals without PV, an algorithm has been developed which creates competitions between users over 24hr periods. This outside-in betting service liberates an underutilised asset - homeowners can make money simply by signing up. Both head-to-head and outside-in competitions reinforce positive energy behaviour, and everyone has access to customised information pages detailing the way in which they can use their electricity better, learning about solar and having fun while doing it.

In the future, an established platform has enormous potential to help manipulate and manage home-owners use of electric vehicles and solar batteries. The index is based on time-of-use (peak, shoulder and off-peak), and rewards high generation and low consumption during periods of high grid-wide electricity demand.

How I built it

Using python, cgi, bootstrap, adobe illustrator and excel we have developed a simple and easy-to-understand user interface designed to promote ongoing engagement, with complex scoring, matching and ranking algorithms hidden in the back-end.

Challenges I ran into

Aligning multiple ideas into a simple presentable product which captures the full potential of an engagement strategy with incentivised energy usage.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

Creating a cohesive product and convincing ourselves and mentors that this is an exciting and viable engagement strategy that has the potential to revolutionise the way people view and interact with their energy use.

What's next for take charge.

Further development and possible deployment, partnering with existing data providers and retailers and investigation ways in which to manage the widespread introduction of electric vehicles and solar batteries.

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