The drive towards the electrification of homes appears inevitable. The simultaneous efficiency gains and cost reductions of consumer renewable energy generation and storage technologies, along with supportive regulatory environments, have spurred this transition’s momentum. While the load connected to the grid continues to increase, ageing infrastructure, legacy operating models, and severe weather events have led to unreliable service and higher costs for consumers. As a result, homeowners are increasingly choosing to install onsite renewable generation and battery storage. In addition, well-developed financial markets and Federal tax incentives in the US, Span’s home market, have improved the economics for solar installers and consumers alike.
Span is both gateway and gatekeeper to every connected appliance in the home. As a result, the load panel occupies a central position in the connected home. While a patchwork of closed systems from multiple providers has created siloed platforms, Span promises to bring intelligence from a single focal point, enabling the monitoring and control of lights and televisions and large appliances such as heat pumps and induction cooktops, and EV chargers. In addition, users gain unprecedented control over their energy consumption, with the ability to remotely monitor and control individual sub-circuits through a simple mobile app. Another aspect of Span’s appeal in this regard is the longevity of the load panel.
Span propels customers on their journey towards energy independence. Homeowners can become instant prosumers, either leveraging third-party providers or directly exploiting the commercial potential of their connected energy resources. Span is agnostic to whether these distributed energy resources are PV systems, batteries, heat pumps, or electric vehicles. As a result, users can benefit from optimising energy trading strategies, providing grid services, or maximising self-consumption.
Span is a platform for the new energy ecosystem. It will allow a host of third-party providers to leverage its networked hardware and control system to acquire customers and manage DER assets without deploying any hardware of their own. The smart panel will also enable open-systems vendors to compete with closed systems and compete on cost and efficiency through system standardisation.
Span’s unique system makes a strong case for future energy disaggregation, which may enable a suite of applications around equipment leases, insurance and pre-emptive maintenance for HVAC and other large equipment.
Perhaps Span’s most significant advantage is its universal appeal. Energy markets are geofenced and given to varying degrees of regulatory and operational complexity. Yet, Span’s functionalities are quickly becoming essential to homes faced with increasing energy costs and the coming wave of electrification. Moreover, the Span panel is compatible with legacy circuit-breakers and looks and behaves like a traditional distribution board. This legacy compatibility, by design, minimises friction in the market.
Our view at A/O PropTech is that solutions like Span will play a pivotal role in meeting ambitious net-zero targets for the real estate industry. The success of decarbonisation in real estate hinges on enabling the modernisation of existing buildings, which will account for two-thirds of all buildings in 2050.