A new product from the business will also look to power airconditioning units directly from a home’s solar.
It’s taken around $500,000 in a mix of bootstrapping and grants to develop the technology in the UK. The startup took part in a three-month intensive this year with Startup Bootcamp and Energy Australia along with a cohort of global energy startups to work on its long-term strategy.
The Australian market Lawes says has huge potential, because while households are engaged with solar and clean tech solutions, battery and storage technology has taken some time to get off the ground.
«Very early on, we noticed that nobody was really using the power they were generating. Batteries were a good idea, but nobody was really selling them.»
Power Diverter plans to enter the battery storage space this year to complement its other energy storage solutions.
The units, which cost $650 to purchase and install, save a typical household $450 per year. The business has so far installed close to 500 units in Australia and made $2.8 million since launch when sales from the UK are included.
«They can be installed within an hour and you make your money back within 18 months.»
Lawes and other clean technology entrepreneurs are watching national discussions about energy storage closely.
Lawes believes there’s strong policies at state level for Australian households to «get on board» with clean energy.
It’s a sector with plenty of investment activity, too: Australia invested $US9.5 billion ($13.54 billion) in clean energy globally in 2018, according to Statista.
This makes it the seventh biggest investor in a global sector worth hundreds of billions of dollars and led by China, which invested more than $US100 billion ($142.6 billion) in clean energy last year.
Sector charging up
Electric vehicle charging startup Everty agrees Australia is making progress on solutions for using clean technologies.
«I think what we need to keep in mind is that nobody expects this to explode tomorrow, it will be slow. But as we grow the number of EVs, we will clean up the energy mix,» says chief executive Carola Jonas.
Everty has spent the last two years developing a software system to connect electric vehicle drivers with charging stations in homes, shopping centres and public spaces.
The company has private investors that have contributed at least six figures to the software development, with Everty now working to get drivers and charging station owners using the offer.
Throughout the federal election campaign, Jonas says she’s been listening carefully to the discussions about the future of electric cars.
Once vehicles are more widespread and charging networks are better developed, she believes Australians will realise these vehicles often have improved safety features and are a better driving experience.
«It’s a new tech, yes… and they are so much more fun to drive.»
Emma is the small business reporter for The Age and Sydney Morning Herald based in Melbourne.