About Energy Made Easy
Operated by the Australian Energy Regulator, Energy Made Easy is a free Australian Government energy price comparison service for households and small businesses in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory, that helps residential and small business energy consumers to navigate the often complex electricity and gas retail markets to find a suitable energy offer.
The energy market is rapidly evolving. With the introduction of smart meters, the rise of solar, virtual power plants, and frequent new entrants into the market, Energy Made Easy must continually enhance its offering to remain a viable and trusted independent service.
Delivered a reinvented consumer website leveraging progressive web technologies and features like real-time translation, bill scanning, integration with smart meter data, and energy pricing and comparison algorithms, to provide the best plans and pricing for consumers.
Energy Made Easy was given a mandate by the Government to improve its existing service that had been active for six years and been through multiple (yet incomplete) upgrades. The previous version required Energy Made Easy to manually capture data from consumers – a tedious process that was impacting accuracy and user engagement at both ends.
Following a competitive tender process that sought proposals for the full scoping, design and redevelopment of new infrastructure, Energy Made Easy selected Mantel Group as its partner to build the technology.
The solution needed to address numerous business requirements:
- Scalability – handling high load periods (e.g. when Energy Made Easy’s service is mentioned in the media, or during COVID-19 when consumers sought ways to reduce household expenses)
- User experience – making a mundane task appealing and easy for consumers and relieving the burden for energy companies to share their data
- Accuracy – less prone to human error
- Accessibility – for multilingual consumers and across platforms
- Expertise – needing a partner that could understand data flows, not just build websites
- Creativity – delivering a fresh approach while adhering to stringent regulatory requirements
- Longevity and adaptability– future proofing the service from market changes
Education – collaborating to teach and support the Energy Made Easy team to manage the service into the future.
Energy Made Easy engaged Mantel Group to partner with its team on the construction of a new public interface and retailer interface. DigIO led the initial stages through application design and experience, while Eliiza’s Machine Learning capabilities were leveraged to establish a bill scanning function. CMD Solutions is now engaged on the project to provide a Managed Service, with DigIO an ongoing key partner for necessary enhancements.
- Ability for consumers to search for energy plans using their energy meter data or by uploading a bill
- Retailer solar feed-in credits can now be included in estimated plan costs in a new redeveloped pricing algorithm
- Full website translation into 33 different languages
- Energy content for consumer users to support them in getting energy smart and controlling costs, including calculators and other useful resources
- Redesigned portal for energy retailers to upload and manage their energy plans through the system’s workflow (including publishing and expiring offers)
- Portal features such as export of plan data, pricing and PDFs
- New content management system for admin users to update content on both the consumer website and retailer portal
- Administration functions such as managing users and reference data for plans
“Mantel Group demonstrated a shared commitment to purpose from the outset of the project. This cultural alignment combined with the depth of experience across all of their brands, led to the creation of something awesome that really showed off their skills. We are really proud of our new product and what we have been able to achieve through our partnership with Mantel Group.”Jonathon MilneDirector, Energy Made Easy
Taking approximately 18 months from initial discovery to full delivery in April 2020, Energy Made Easy has completely reinvented its service. In its first quarter of launching the new site, Energy Made Easy experienced a 110% increase in access/traffic to the service (visits) compared to the same three month period in 2019. This equates to approximately 92% increase in actual users accessing the service – just under 50% of the total visitor volume for the entire 2019 calendar year. During this period, Energy Made Easy also saw a 21% increase in users completing its search form from start to finish.
Energy Made Easy has achieved
- A transformed user experience – intuitive, attractive design, with three different ways for consumers to provide their energy usage data in seconds; more efficient and robust data uploads for retailers, thereby easing the previous burden and data quality risks
- Improved resilience – in high traffic periods
- Extensibility – the ability to evolve the service in line with market changes
- Multilingual offering – ensuring no consumer is left behind.
- Accessibility – improved compatibility across browsers, a suite of accessible and inclusive design and functionality improvements, etc.
Mantel Group has supported Energy Made Easy to function according to its name, providing a simple, trusted service to the public while building stronger relationships with energy retailers by simplifying the regulatory burden of data transparency.