*Watch video here*

New Zealand is likely to see a new breed of electricity retailer emerge as artificial intelligence (AI) plays a bigger role in managing our electricity use.

Murray Dyer, the general manager of Simply Energy, which provides management services to small scale electricity generators, says in the video interview above with Newsroom that solar energy companies and electric vehicle manufacturers are likely to enter the retail market.

“This technology (AI) will start to recognise that when you get home at night you are not going to you use your car (EV) until the next morning and that it could be slowly charged overnight or that that it can use the solar energy you’ve generated first before drawing off the grid.”

Dyer says the need for a more flexible approach to electricity management in the home will suit more agile retailers who understand the new technology.

This week’s passing of the Zero Carbon Bill will also see large companies move quickly to reduce dependence on fossil fuels, according to Dyer.

“I think it will move from being a corporate social responsibility into real business practices. And I think, if anything, the environment we’re in now with a low cost of capital will also help. It’s going to be more economic to put some of these energy efficiency projects into play when you’ve got low interest rates like we have today.”

Dyer says he expects gas will continue to be an important generation fuel for some time unless the Tiwai smelter was to shut and free up a large amount of hydro power.

Mark Jennings is co-editor of Newsroom.

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