This was posted 1 year 9 months 1 day ago, and might be an out-dated deal.

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[VIC] Free Energy Usage Meter / Monitoring (Suburbs within a 10km Radius of Bentleigh and Sunshine) @ Powerpal

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Free power monitoring / meter reader for Victorians subsidised by the Victorian Gov. $129 for other states.
Available to suburbs within a 10km radius of Bentleigh and Sunshine.

It is a small bluetooth based device that attaches to the LED of your power meter, Read data from an app on your phone. It collects data by reading the LED pulses of the power meter. Claimed 10 year battery life. They also claim it works well with solar, However it won't show you any export data it just shows 0 data for imports of power when the solar is running your house. I wouldn't say its a great integration with solar but it would help you understand you imports or usage habits based on importing from the grid.

Only works with smart meters not the spinning disc type. Free install in VIC. If you buy one for $129 it can be self installed and does not require an electrician.

It is claimed it can store up to 60 days of data if you are away form the home for extended periods. Alternatively it is possible to pair it with a smartphone or tablet that stays in the house and use the app on another device that will get its data via the "cloud".

I don't own one but while researching noticed Victorians can apply for a free one so though I would share.

Victorian Energy Upgrades
This Victorian Government program helps businesses and households cut power bills and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It does this by providing access to discounted energy-efficient products and services.

https://www.energy.vic.gov.au/energy-efficiency/victorian-en...

https://www.powerpal.net/

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closed Comments

  • Does this type of thing work for apartments?

  • Unfortunately, We're Unable To Service Apartments

    Powerpal installation requires direct access to the electricity meter of an individual property, which is not possible for apartment buildings at this time.

    • +1

      That is a pretty broad "NO".
      Some apartments have easily accessible, separate meters for each apartment. Some don't.

  • +1

    Am I the only one getting the below message?

    • Available to suburbs within a 10km radius of Bentleigh and Sunshine. However, we will be servicing new suburbs in early 2020.

    Because I’m not anywhere near those suburbs

    • Yes, very clearly limited to those areas only.

    • me too. i just clicked through and it worked. doubt i will get one.

    • I got this message "Thanks For Choosing Powerpal
      Our team will be in touch to organise your FREE 10-minute installation. We can't wait to save you money on your energy bills!
      Please check your email for a confirmation of your sign-up."

      I live in 3084 postcode
      Update: got the rejection email…

      • Update: got this installed today, thanks PowerPal!

  • +1

    who are they selling my electricity cloud data to

    • +3

      yeah be careful about storing data in the cloud - it's easy to tell if a house owner is away holiday with these data. Or figuring out your daily routines, what time you leave/come home, etc.

      • Do you reckon I should still get one tho?

      • As I just got this today and noticed the device will only store the data in itself and will be downloaded to the phone (through bluetooth) and cloud.

        I guess you could disconnect your wifi so that it will be a localised power reader.

        Alternatively, switch it off whenever you are about to for leave, thus they cannot see when you are away and reconnect once you are back to retrieve historical data from the device, unless they've invented time machine to go back in time :)

  • +2

    Wasn't that the one of the reasons they sold us smart meters in the first place ?

    • no, the smart meter was to prevent solar home to use the grid as an extended battery with up to 3 months of reserve capacity

      • +1

        No, an import/export meter is to charge solar homes correctly, not a smart meter. It is possible to have a non-smart import/export meter.

        A smart meter allows remote reading so they don’t need to send a person out which should theoretically save money and generally stores half-hour blocks of energy usage information that your retailer should be able to report to you so you know your usage and if that’s available to you then yes a smart meter is doing roughly the same job as this. However the granularity of the data is often limited to every half hour.

        Also, despite the description this device does not require a smart meter. What it requires is a digital meter (I.e one with a digital number display rather than a spinning disc). Again, not all of these are smart meters. These all have a flashing led that shows how much you are using by how quickly it is flashing and that’s what this device picks up on.

        What this device does seem to give you is instantaneous power usage information in that you appear to be able to look at the app and see how much you are using at any instant. It isn’t clear what the granularity of historical data is and whether it is any better than what a smart meter should give you.

        Another alternative to a device like this which will give you more information if you have solar installed is Solar Analytics - that will cost you significantly more, but you’ll also get quite a bit more out of it and is probably a better overall option if you have solar (although it is hard to argue with this device being free if you qualify for that).

  • Sorry, didn't know about the limited area "Available to suburbs within a 10km radius of Bentleigh and Sunshine." Mods have updated the title for me, Thanks! ( I'm in WA so didn't attempt the application. )

  • +3

    Interesting, although FWIW I would note that if you are in Bentleigh then most likely United Energy is your distributor (as opposed to the retailer you pay). If this is the case, you just need to register on https://energyeasy.ue.com.au/ and plug in your smart meter details to view actual energy usage over time including feedback if you have solar. Alternatively (although not free) if you are in Victoria and have a smart meter and are on one of these (https://rainforestautomation.com/state-of-victoria-residents...) you can get a device that links in to your smart meter via zigbee that you can then access directly via app, web or third party tools eg https://www.home-assistant.io/integrations/rainforest_eagle/

    See also: https://www.victorianenergysaver.vic.gov.au/save-energy-and-...

  • I'm in a suburb less than 10km from Bentleigh but I got a response saying "Unfortunately, You Are Out Of Our Coverage Zone". Of course, they only do that once you've given them your personal details.

  • What's the catch?

  • Thanks Op. do you know whether we can link it with google home nest hub!

  • This is one of the non-Distribution benefits that were pushed during the rollout, the concept that retailers would pay/charge consumers to install in-home energy monitoring devices so that people can monitor how badly flexible pricing offers would rip them off.

    For people who want to use it for energy comparison offers, the beta website has an API to pull in your energy data, which is kinda cool.

  • +1

    if you are in powercor / citipower region, you can read your meter usage the next day from here
    https://www.powercor.com.au/customers/myenergy/

    otheriwse since most victorian has smart meter, you can get to your retailer website/apps to view them the next day.

  • Who pays for this kind of thing? If it's free, it must be government sponsored, so we, the taxpayer pays for it. I can think of better ways the government should be spending my money….

    • Yes it's paid for by the government on the basis if people can see in real-time how much things cost to run, they're more likely to use it less (or use a more efficient appliance) and hence reduce the power drawn from the electricity grid. ie it's a very visible "price signal" as opposed to a quarterly bill (or a day later best case with a smart meter). In a similar way rooftop solar is subsidised, to reduce electricity drawn from the grid.

  • +2

    Definitely living within the area. Got 2 emails confirmation and rejection like the others guys above. And now you have all of my details FREE!!!

    Does anyone have a success??? If not, it’s totally a scam. This company should be BANNED!

    • +1

      I filled in details on the website and got contacted and it is now installed at no cost. Not a scam.

    • Definitely not a scam, just got it installed today

  • +1

    Was rejected initially when I first signed up and now just got a text offering free install. Installation in March.