Digital Energy Futures

How will you use energy in the future? What technologies will you be using?  

With these questions in mind, we've been working with Monash University, Energy Consumers Australia, the Australian Research Council and Ausgrid on a project called Digital Energy Futures.  

This project has included 200 residential energy consumers in-depth research activities. It is the most extensive study of energy demand and consumers’ energy futures in Australia. 

Project stages

The research project is made up of six strages:  

Stage 1: Digital and energy futures review 

This stage (completed in June 2020) involved a review of industry reports about digital and energy futures. It developed insights into how household practices are likely to change in the future.

Stage 2: Digital ethnography* with households  

Started in early 2020 and was to test and challenge industry scenarios for digital energy futures.  

Stage 3: Survey supplement for ECA’s annual Energy Consumer Sentiments Survey (ECSS)  

Energy Consumers Australia (ECA) will run ongoing research of the attitudes and activity of residential energy consumers in Australia.  

Stage 4: Scenario innovation workshops with residential electricity consumers  

There will be 12 scenario-based innovation workshops with residential energy consumers from AusNet and AusGrid’s customer base.  

Stage 5: Modelling and scenario testing  

Our research team will work with AusGrid to embed the research insights into their forecasting methods.  

Stage 6: Demand management innovation  

In the final stage of the research, the project team reviews the findings across all stages. This is to identify potential demand management opportunities for forecasting produced through the research.  

Expected outcomes 

This research will help us predict how you will use energy in the future. This will enable us to understand how much or how little energy we need at any given time. That’s key to managing network supply and improving forecasting and planning. 

Benefits could also include lowering the cost of infrastructure spending, securing affordable energy, and sustainable futures for Australian households. 

More information

You can access the relevant reports and publications on this trial on the Monash Emerging technologies research lab site.

*Ethnography is the scientific description of peoples and cultures with their customs, habits, and mutual differences.