A new plan from Australia’s energy market operator may pave the way for companies offering energy management technology to actually start making money.

At the end of June the Australian Energy Market Operator will release its Integrated System Plan, a map for bringing the ever-increasing levels of renewable energy into the national grid.

This could prove to be the turning point for a handful of companies that are trying to make cutting edge “demand response” software profitable.

>> Scroll down for a list of ASX energy-monitoring stocks

Demand response allows customers — whether business or home users — to shift heavy energy use from peak times to off-peak through time-based rates or financial incentives.

Right now there is no mechanism that allows companies (or individuals) to provide demand response and be paid for it says Australia Renewable Energy Agency chief Ian Kay.

ASX-listed energy monitoring players include Simble (ASX:SIS), BidEnergy (ASX:BID), BuildingIQ (ASX:BIQ) and Buddy platform (ASX:BUD).

Only Buddy, which has been around the longest, has cracked a $100 million market cap and none has so far turned a profit.

The Integrated System Plan could change that.

Here’s a list of ASX stocks that offer energy-monitoring technology:

ASX codeCompanyOne-year price changePrice Jun 27 (intraday)Market Cap
BIDBIDENERGY2.06250.04937.0M
BUDBUDDY PLATFORM0.1538461538460.105112.6M
BIQBUILDINGIQ0.3902439024390.05713.7M
EOLENERGY ONE1.2250.8917.3M
SISSIMBLE SOLUTIONS (listed Feb 2018)-0.150.1715.3M

Where’s the opportunity 

Distributed energy including rooftop solar, household batteries, and other storage and generation technology like electric vehicles could make up half of Australia’s energy network by 2050, the market operator believes.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance analyst Leonard Quong says by the 2030s so much residential rooftop solar will be installed it will slash midday energy prices.

By 2040 occurrences like negative energy prices — as happened in Queensland last week — could become a regular feature of the national energy network.

At the Large-Scale Energy Conference in Sydney yesterday Mr Kay said he expects a gradual shift from large scale renewable deployments to more distributed power.

But for that to happen, consumers and businesses need to be able to monitor their energy use.

Currently that kind of software is limited in availability. Where households may have smart meters, few of them or the retailers who serve them have a system that makes the data usable.