A device that recognises the electrical fingerprint of individual devices in real time is poised for global distribution after Fremantle-based start-up Ecocentric finalised a licencing and research services agreement with CSIRO.

Ecocentric is the developer of the Numen energy system, which brings together Australian-designed hardware and cloud-based computing with CSIRO’s electrical fingerprint technology to change our understanding of how energy is used within the built environment. Ecocentric founder Paul Lyons said the agreement paves the way for the commercial roll-out of Numen to national and international markets while securing CSIRO as an R&D partner for years to come.

“Existing metering-based technologies are designed to support billing, and while some are smarter than others, fundamentally that is their role,” said Lyons. “Numen has been designed from the ground up for a different purpose – to support end users to become as efficient in using energy as possible. With Numen, the ability to become a net zero user of energy is now real.”

In addition to reducing electricity bills and carbon emissions, Numen allows end users to get an unprecedented insight into the operation of critical machinery, which reduces operating downtime and maintenance costs. Numen is a Latin word that means the energy that resides within a place or object.

Ecocentric was co-founded by Lyons and Russell Wilson. Lyons was formerly a technical expert for the Formula One racing teams Williams and McLaren.

“Numen is a shining example of Australian innovation,” said Lyons. “We’ve taken lessons from the racetrack to fast track energy efficiency on a commercial scale.”

The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates global investment in energy efficiency increased by 6% to USD$221bn in 2015. Energy efficiency is gaining momentum as a key policy issue with Dr Brian Motherway from the IEA telling an conference in Sydney last year the IEA sees energy efficiency as the ‘first fuel’.

Ecocentric’s Numen device is attracting strong commercial interest from a range of companies including energy retailers, large-scale mining and waste management organisations, both in Australia and overseas.

“Numen will be a part of Australia’s contribution to a more energy efficient future,” said Lyons. “There is no waste in nature, that’s a human phenomenon.”