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David Scott
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A team of researchers from the University of Melbourne is leading large-scale field experiments to evaluate how consumers respond to smart meter technologies. 

Energy economists Dr David Byrne and Dr Leslie Martin will analyse how consumers use electricity, opt for new pricing plans and switch retailers. 

The joint research project with energy software and services company Billcap, was recently awarded funding of $177,000 over four years, under the Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Projects scheme.

"The results will have important implications for environmental policies designed to conserve energy, for consumer choice and welfare, and for retail market competitiveness," Dr Martin explained.

Billcap Chief Executive Officer Mr Yann Burden said the project will have a profound impact on the electricity sector.

“We are pleased that Billcap’s research programs have been recognised, and will continue to drive innovation in the energy and software industry here in Australia,” he said.

“The energy industry has long theorised on the impact of smart meters and related technologies.  This research aims to deliver concrete insights to benefit both consumers and the energy industry.”

The Linkage Projects scheme provides funding to eligible organisations to support research and development projects which are collaborative between higher education researchers and other parts of the national innovation system.

Billcap was founded in 2010 in Melbourne, Victoria in the heart of the contestable energy market to provide smart-meter enabled customer engagement and retention services for energy retailers.