Frequently Asked Questions

The BESY Energy Platform

What is the BESY Energy Platform?

The BESY Energy Platform is an innovative energy management system that allows individuals to automate the response of their energy consuming devices to a localised electricity price. It uses electricity prices to coordinate the response from Consumer Energy Resources to support reliable electricity supply at the lowest cost.

How does the BESY Energy Platform work?

The BESY Energy Platform establishes a localised electricity price that reflects operation of the local power station or the cost of supplying the local community. The price signal is dynamic and moves at either 5 or 30-minute intervals. Consumers use the BESY Energy Platform to set the prices at which their devices will respond. The BESY Energy Platform uses cloud-to-cloud communication to trigger devices to respond to changes in the localised electricity price.

What are the key features of the BESY Energy Platform?

Key features of the BESY Energy Platform include real-time balancing of electricity demand and supply at the lowest available cost, monitoring of CER, predictive analytics, demand response capabilities, and remote control functionalities to optimize energy usage and reduce costs

How does the BESY Energy Platform contribute to environmental sustainability?

Through the co-ordination provided by the BESY Energy Platform,greater penetration of renewable energy in the distributed electricity grid becomes possible. As well as reducing reliance on fossil fuels, the platform helps limit the need for investment in expanded network capacity.

What are Consumer Energy Resources?

Consumer Energy Resources (CERs) are any consumer-owned devices that either can:

  • produce electricity (e.g. a roof-top solar system, or a battery discharging), or
  • control the electricity being consumed (e.g. a controlled pool pump or hot water system, or a battery charging).

CER are located behind the customer’s electricity meter and can therefore impact the electricity bill of the customer.

How can residents access and monitor their energy usage through the BESY Energy Platform?

Residents can access real-time energy consumption data and analytics through a user-friendly online portal.

Does the BESY Energy Platform have a social media presence?

Yes – you can find us on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Norfolk Island

How reliable is the BESY Energy Platform during adverse weather conditions?

The BESY Energy Platform does not directly change the underlying reliability of electricity supply at a location. However, with the BESY Energy Platform in place, expanded investment in solar and battery systems, including on-site storage can provide limited support to residents and small businesses during an outage of the grid.

Does the BESY Energy Platform support grid stability and resilience on Norfolk Island?

Yes, the platform enhances grid stability by balancing energy supply and demand, and by integrating solar and battery systems. Users with batteries of the platform can over-ride their regular BESY Energy Platform settings and store energy locally during adverse weather events.

Are there any ongoing community engagement initiatives related to the BESY Energy Platform on Norfolk Island?

Incite Energy, the team behind the BESY Energy Platform, are continuously engaged on Norfolk Island. We work closely with Norfolk Island Regional Council to hold workshops, information sessions, and ensure feedback mechanisms are in place to involve residents in the transition to a more sustainable energy future.

How can residents and businesses participate with the BESY Energy Platform?

On Norfolk Island all residents and businesses are benefiting from the implementation of the BESY Energy Platform. The BESY price signal is passed to all electricity consumers and producers, resulting in everyone receiving lower electricity bills. Through the BESY Energy Platform all electricity customers can access their consumption data that supports their electricity bill. By shifting consumption to periods when lower electricity tariffs apply, adopting energy-efficient practices, installing rooftop solar panels and batteries everyone has the opportunity to participate.

What support and resources are available to Norfolk Island residents interested in transitioning to renewable energy through the BESY Energy Platform?

Incite Energy, the team behind the BESY Energy Platform, provide comprehensive support services, including technical assistance, to help residents make the switch to renewable energy and maximize energy savings. We authorise installers of solar panels and batteries to connect to the platform and coordinate the application of the Norfolk Island Regional Council subsidy of batteries.

What difference does it make what time I set my battery to release the stored energy during the night?

Once the diesel generators have been turned back on in the evening and the 80c/kWh tariff applies, a battery owner is financially indifferent to when the battery is set to release the power back into the grid. It will be worth 80c/kWh, and it will either avoid the purchase of electricity at 80c/kWh if it is used by the resident or will result in an 80c/kWh credit if injected into the grid.

However, for the electricity grid, the value of that energy is dependent on the quantity of diesel saved, and ultimately in reduced operating and maintenance costs at the diesel power station. For the power grid:

  • Batteries that release energy in the evening peak (between 6-9pm) not only reduce diesel consumption, but they also reduce the likelihood of a second diesel generator being needed to supply the island for this short period of time.
  • Batteries that release energy after the evening peak immediately reduce diesel consumption if the diesel generator is operating above its minimum load. If the diesel generator is operating at its minimum load, the release of energy by batteries will result in more energy being stored in the central Tesla battery. This will bring forward the time at which the diesel generators will be switched-off the next sunny morning.

An additional point here is that the consumer might have a different (non-financial) reason to hold power and release it in the early morning. Holding power overnight means that it is there as a backup in case there is an electricity outage.

What tariffs apply to residents that buy solar and battery systems?

Norfolk Island Regional Council published tariffs in July 2023. All the energy tariffs apply equally to people without solar, with solar, and those with solar and battery systems. Whether it is the 80c/kWh tariff or the 6c/kWh tariff that applies to a particular half-hour, ALL energy flow at every resident’s meter – whether purchases or sales – with be at that tariff.

Through BESY, the owner of a battery sets the price at which they are willing to buy power from the grid (or soak up their own solar power rather than selling it to the grid). There is no “solar excess tariff” nor is there a “grid solar overload into residential batteries”. It is simpler than this - when there is excess solar, all electricity on Norfolk Island will be priced at a low tariff. That’s good if you are consuming electricity. If you have a battery it is also a good time to use it to buy power. The BESY App allows you to do this automatically.

All customers also pay a daily charge (56c/day) and a meter charge ($2 or $7 per quarter for single phase or three phase service, respectively).

There is one exception to this equality. As a transition step, a solar tariff of 28c/day applies to all customers with solar or solar and battery systems. This tariff is a reduction from the old Photovoltaic Infrastructure Charge which was based on the size of individual systems.

The tariffs are available here - see Page 11.

Tariffs are subject to review at regular intervals and may be adjusted in the future to account for changes in the fixed costs of running the electricity network.

How will surpluses be distributed for accounts with credit balances?

BESY will pay credits directly into customer bank accounts as part of the regular billing cycle. There is no intention to hold funds on behalf of customers. To request your credit payment, please complete this form and email it back to connectbesyenergy so we can process your payment

Do the electricity prices apply to both the purchase and sale of electricity?

Yes. An important principle of the dynamic tariffs on Norfolk Island is that they are two-way. They apply equally to electricity bought and electricity sold. The electricity bill for each resident will be the net outcome of electricity bought and sold plus the daily charges.

With the increase in solar and batteries on Norfolk Island, will restrictions in electricity use be lifted?

Yes. The intended end-state is for residents to be able to electrify what they want. However, this transition needs to be managed carefully, requiring changes to the legislation and supporting regulation, supported by engineering studies on the capacity of the network.

How do I contact BESY Energy?

Talk to us via our Website Live Chat during business hours below, or freecall 1300 25 25 04 or email connectbesyenergy

Opening Hours: Mon-Fri : 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Eastern Australian Standard Time

Address: BESY Energy, L6 123 Eagle Street, Brisbane 4000

Device Control

How long does it take between purchasing a system and seeing results?

When a resident buys a solar and battery system it usually takes anywhere from two to ten weeks to install depending on the availability of equipment and installers. Once installed, the battery will then operate in a standalone mode for up to a week before synchronising with the BESY Energy Platform and responding to electricity price as they change each day.

Why do we need both the iSolarCloud App and the BESY Energy Platform?

The iSolarCloud App provides access to the detailed operations of the SunGrow battery. Through this app, you will be able to see if your communication channels are working and view the activity of your SunGrow battery. The BESY Energy Platform sits above iSolarCloud and potentially other equipment-specific apps. Through the BESY Energy Platform, you set the pricing parameters that drive the activity of SunGrow battery. The BESY Energy Platform give you access to your meter data which is the basis of financial outcomes.

How effective or reliable is the data from the SolarCloud App? Are consumers right to rely on this daily data as an accurate assessment of their production/consumption?

The iSolarCloud App provides very accurate data and it can be relied upon by consumers. This data is continuous and provides a rolling representation of energy use, energy storage and energy production. It differs from electricity meter data only in that meter data collates this same information into 30-minute blocks for billing purposes.

What happens when internet or Wi-Fi communication doesn’t work?

The BESY Energy Platform relies on sending instructions to your battery via iSolarCloud when the localised electricity price changes. It therefore relies on internet communication channels being available. When communication channels fail, the instructions will not reach the battery and therefore an opportunity charge or discharge would be lost. As part of the installation process of both the new electricity meters and solar and battery systems, we are ensuring that internet communication is available at every installation. Where the signal is weak, we are using additional equipment to boost the signal.

Is battery operation dependent on electricity consumption or solar energy production?

Batteries can only absorb or discharge electricity at a given time. They can be programmed to absorb or discharge energy at set times, or in response to real-time signals like the level of consumption, the level of solar production, or the electricity tariff. With the BESY Energy Platform, batteries are programmed to respond to the localised electricity price, which in turn reflects the local electricity grid conditions.

Still got questions?