Thursday, June 30, 2011

NSW Electricity Price Hike: A missed turning on the path to lower prices and emissions

There was an interesting opinion piece from Chris Dunstan in the Sydney Morning Herald this week regarding, you guessed it, rising power bills!

Electricity prices in New South Wales are due to rise by another 17 per cent today. This will bring the cumulative increase to 76 per cent since June 2007, with further increases in the pipeline.

Dunstan outlines the ongoing argument over the cause of the price rises. It has been claimed that the current level of power network investment is unnecessary - driven by industry "goldplating". Yet the industry and the federal Energy Minister claims the $9 billion per year spent on network infrastructure is essential.

This finger pointing is getting us nowhere, writes Dunstan, and suggests that instead of spending all their money on infrastructure to meet customer demand, networks could help customers save energy by reducing demand.

Very little is currently being spent on demand management and it is reducing peak demand in Australia by less than one per cent, compared to 4.4 per cent in the US. Dunstan reports that up to $1 billion per year in infrastructure costs could be saved by 2020, while elimination growth in carbon emissions in the building sector, simply by making homes and other buildings more energy efficient.

SmartNow is firmly in support of increasing energy efficiency in order to reduce demand. It is a simple way of saving individuals money on their power bills as well as reducing demand and decreasing our carbon footprint.

To ensure your home is not using more energy than it should be, invest in a Current Cost EnviR home energy monitor from SmartNow. You will be able to see exactly how much energy you are using in real time which will enable you to reduce your bill and potentially detect any faulty appliances.

To read the full article click here:

To learn more about the EnviR home energy monitor visit

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Bridge: some exciting updates from Current Cost

As many SmartNow customers are aware, Google has recently announced that Google PowerMeter will be shut down as of 16 September.

In our previous blog we told you that Current Cost have been busy adding new features and functionality to which will result in the portal being even more powerful than Google PowerMeter.

Current Cost has released a short video to guide you through some of the updates that have already been made. These include the ability to:

- Register multiple Bridges to the same account and to individually name each Bridge

- Name your location

- Make your Bridge public or private in order to share you data. Clicking the "share" button brings up a page which is accessible to anyone on the internet. There are various options to embed graphs on your own blog/website etc.

To view the video please click here:

We will keep you posted on these exciting developments.

For further information on how the Bridge and the EnviR home energy monitor can enable you to reduce your energy consumption and slash your power bills visit

Google PowerMeter to Close: the Latest News

This weekend Google announced that they are to close Google PowerMeter as of 16 September. Although we were aware that Google wouldn't be developing the software any longer, we were surprised to learn that the application is to be closed completely.

Although this will come as disappointing news to users of the Bridge who currently upload their information to Google PowerMeter, we actually have some positive news to report.

The Current Cost portal at (the place the Bridge sends it's data to prior to Google PowerMeter) is undergoing extensive and exciting upgrades that will be rolled out over the coming weeks and months. We can't reveal too much right now but we will post more info as soon as we can.

We are confident that you will find that the new features will make considerably more useful and powerful than Google PowerMeter.

In the meantime the Bridge can still be used with Google PowerMeter and the USB cable is available on our website which can be used with various different software options. The EnviR home energy monitor is a fantastic tool for managing your energy consumption and slashing your power bill, however you choose to upload your data.

We will release further information as soon as we have it so keep checking for further updates or visit our Facebook page:

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

NSW Solar Scheme Stabalised

A few weeks ago we blogged about the Solar Rally taking place in New South Wales to demonstrate against the Government's decision to retrospectively change the feed in tariff rate for 120,000 NSW households from 60c per kW/h to 40c per kW/h.

It seems that the efforts of the Australian Solar Energy Society and its supporters have paid off - these plans have now been dropped by NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell after failing to get the backing he needed to pass the law, and after an audit showed the cost of the solar scheme to be lower than originally forecast.

This is fantastic news for supporters of the solar industry. In fact it means 40,000 planned solar installs that were previously hanging in the balance can now proceed and those who signed up to support green energy and have these panels installed will not lose out. Many participants in the solar scheme had borrowed money to buy their solar panels and risked losing thousands of dollars if the feed-in tariff was cut.

The campaign doesn't stop here, however. Solar supporters are now urging the NSW government to put in a fair price going forward for electricity produced by solar panels.

The industry remains in crisis with one of Australia's largest solar panel retailers, Clear Solar, going into receivership this week and more predicted to follow.

Today The Age warned of rising power prices as electricity retailers are required to increase their contribution to the solar scheme.

One thing is for certain, solar will remain a hot topic as the future of the scheme is debated in the weeks to come.

To maximise the return on your solar panels invest in a Solar Monitoring Kit from SmartNow. You will receive an EnviR Home Energy Monitor and everything you need to monitor the energy consumption of your home and the generation of your solar panels. To learn more visit