EnergyAustralia invests in renewables start-up Redback

EnergyAustralia has taken out a 20 to 25 per cent stake in renewables start up Redback Technologies for $9.3 milllion.

The investment has come with the announcement EnergyAustralia is ready to invest in other new energy technologies.

In speaking to The Australian this week, EnergyAustralia managing director Cath Tanna said the move was counter-intuitive.

“We’re not trying to encourage our customers to use more energy or spend more money – it’s quite the opposite, we want them to be energy efficient and stay with us longer,” she said.

The technology uses smart devices to let customers control energy use and potentially sell surplus energy. It can also schedule major appliances to run when there is an excess of solar energy and also collects data on user preferences and weather to anticipate the customer’s use.

EnergyAustralia’s stake in Redback takes the total value of the start up to about $40 million.

Ms Tanna said the technology allowed customers to use smaller batteries.

“It’s about putting the customers in charge, making sure, through this intelligent software, they have a much better understanding of their energy use and how they can adapt,” Ms Tanna said.

Redback managing director Philip Livingston said the partnership would help the company to develop new technologies faster.