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AusNet Services joins the Free Electrons global accelerator program

10 January 2017

 Free Electrons logo          AusNet Services logo smallOrigin Energy logo

A new global consortium is looking for Australian energy start-ups to participate in an unprecedented business mentoring and development program that includes three fully funded week-long workshops in Europe, Silicon Valley, and Asia.

The Free Electrons global accelerator program is seeking the next generation of ideas in energy innovation, and will connect the people with these ideas to major utilities currently serving more than 70 million customers in 40 countries.

Leading Australian utilities AusNet Services and Origin Energy are founding members of the consortium, sharing a commitment to innovation and working collaboratively with energy entrepreneurs to transform the energy market.

“Australians are innovative and resourceful, and we want to see the best local ideas and entrepreneurs get a global kick start,” said AusNet Services’ Executive General Manager for Commercial Energy Services, Chad Hymas.

“This is a world first opportunity for start-ups to work with utilities from across the globe, to provide them with unprecedented scale and access to markets. By leveraging the expertise of partners involved, we are confident great outcomes can be achieved for the industry and for our customers,” said Origin Energy’s Anthony Lucas, Executive General Manager, Future Energy and Business Development.

The call for energy start-ups gets underway today, with the launch of the Free Electrons website ( Energy start-ups with a working prototype can apply to join the program through the website from now until the end of February, with the successful applicants to be announced in April.

Twelve energy start-ups around the world will be selected by consortium members to participate in the six-month accelerator program. Workshops will provide access to skills, knowledge, investment, and markets around the world, and will also facilitate discussions about possible opportunities for pilot projects and the testing of products with utilities.

Origin and AusNet Services are joined by Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), ESB (Electricity Supply Board), EDP (Energias de Portugal), innogy, Singapore Power (SP) and Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), with the support of two accelerator partners, New Energy Nexus and swissnex San Francisco.

The Free Electrons Program is recruiting in the following categories:-


  • Clean energy
  • Smart grids
  • Energy efficiency
  • Energy management
  • e-mobility
  • customer experience
  • business model innovation
  • IoT and digitisation
  • Energy access

Interview opportunities available upon request

For media enquiries, please contact:

Stuart Osborne, Media Manager, Origin Energy, ph. 0427 586 401

Emma Tyner, Manager Corporate Communications, AusNet Services, ph.03 9483 0989

For program enquiries, please contact:

Caroline Taylor, Manager, Marketing, Commercial Energy Services, AusNet Services, ph. 03 9695 6423

Stuart Osborne, Media Manager, Origin Energy, ph. 0427 586 401