A new project is creating tech tools to combat Summer energy challenges and high power bills.

The National Energy Analytics and Research (NEAR) Program has been launched with the aim of providing comprehensive information to underpin key decision-making.

The NEAR Program will collect, integrate and enhance information about Australia's energy use, which will then be delivered to decision-makers and the public through a tailored web platform.

Data includes energy consumption patterns, demographics, building characteristics, appliance uptake, weather statistics, and more.

Currently, this type of data is held by numerous parties, formatted to different standards and access is often restricted.

The NEAR Program is first-of-its-kind, according to project leader Dr Adam Berry, bringing together data not previously available and publishing its own new datasets.

“In times of rapid change in the energy sector, we need rich data to plan for the energy system of tomorrow,” said Dr Berry.

“This is particularly true in summer when the Australian energy system is most under strain due to high consumer demand and the increased likelihood of extreme weather events.

“Major investments in our energy system depend on accurate, long-term forecasting, and NEAR Program data and research can support dramatic improvements in the way we do this.”

Over periods of extreme heat or system stress, outputs from the NEAR Program will help identify areas of risk and provide evidence to support appropriate demand-response options.

The NEAR Program will also address increasing energy costs, linking consumer patterns with energy sector data to build a fuller picture of the modern Australian energy user. This will support research focused on simultaneously increasing comfort and lowering costs for Australian homes.

NEAR Program research has already contributed important data to the ACCC's Retail Electricity Prices Inquiry, quantifying the impact of tariff structures on electricity costs for Australian households.

More information is available here.