Origin Energy has launched a new online tool to give prospective solar customers a preview of how PV modules might actually perform on their particular rooftop and of how much money they might save on electricity.
Origin, as well as being one of Australia’s big three energy gen-tailers, is also the largest solar installer in Australia, putting it in the box seat as rooftop PV capacity is projected to triple by 2030.
The gen-tailer is now hoping the new online tool can “hyper-personalise,” and also demystify, the process of investing in rooftop solar for what could be millions more future customers.
The Origin Solar Assessment Tool was developed in collaboration with Accenture, whose data scientists designed and deployed it, working closely with Google Cloud.
Like other such platforms, it uses 3D data, machine learning and advanced analytics to determine the optimal solar set-up for a household based on inputs like roof pitch, available space, and shading from obstructions, alongside insights on household energy consumption.
In this way, the tool can provide customers with solar generation forecasts, system and installation costs, potential energy and bill savings, and details on the investment break-even point, and it can do all of this within 10 minutes.
“Previously, prospective solar customers would need to speak with a sales agent and schedule a site inspection to gain this level of personalisation and detail in their quote, a process which can sometimes take weeks,” said Origin’s general manager of retail sales and marketing, Duncan Permezel.
“For customers who would prefer to chat to a solar expert or have someone visit their home to inspect their roof, that level of service is still something we provide.
“This DIY online solar platform is another way that we are trying to make it easier for more customers to access cleaner, smarter and more affordable energy solutions.”
The introduction of the tool by Origin follows the introduction, in April this year, of a suite of new rules and regulations governing the sale and installation of rooftop solar systems in Australia.
Among those new rules, rooftop solar retailers are required to confirm in writing that a solar system they have installed will perform in accordance with the contract – so, do what they said it would do.
This includes confirmation that all the relevant details about solar feed-in tariffs and grid export limits have been provided in writing to the owner and that information on the expected payback period, energy or cost savings for the unit has been provided in writing to the system.
Presumably, Origin’s Solar Assessment Tool will also help the company to fulfil these obligations more easily, and accurately, too.
“This innovative solution was built by Accenture data scientists with expertise in solar and industrial engineering, and showcases the potential of cloud as a launchpad for powering advanced analytics and visual AI,” said Ben Tulloch, a managing director and lead for the Accenture Google Cloud Business Group in Australia and NZ.
“Our goal is to help Origin grow through hyper-personalised solar offerings for more than two million households.”
Origin customers in serviceable areas in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane Adelaide and Caberra can access the Origin Solar Assessment Tool here, www.originenergy.com.au/solar/quote and then see how solar could work for them by adding entering their address and following the prompts.