Smart meters for hot water system control in New South Wales community

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Sydney electricity distributor Endeavour Energy and smart metering company Intellihub have launched the ‘Off Peak Plus’ programme to gain off-peak benefits.

The two companies, in partnership with ten energy retailers, have installed smart meters at 2,500 homes across the Albion Park suburb of the city of Shellharbour, about 100km south of Sydney, to enable dynamic control of hot water systems.

The programme, named Off Peak Plus, was initiated to solve the problem of replacing and upsizing a 50 year old, off-peak control system in an Endeavour Energy substation, according to a company statement.

The meters allow the hot water systems to be switched on during the day when surplus power is being generated from household solar systems.

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“By using advanced smart meters, instead of investing in expensive old technology at the substation, Endeavour Energy can save real dollars and cents for our customers by finding ways to help them capture more affordable solar energy,” says the company’s CEO, Guy Chalkley.

“We’ll also be able to access energy and power quality data through the smart meter to help us better respond to issues and outages, particularly during storms, giving customers even safer and more reliable energy.”

About a quarter of New South Wales homes are now using solar, opening the way for more widespread programmes such as this that can benefit from the excess solar power generation and support the management of peak energy demand.

New South Wales Energy Minister Matt Kean points out the programme will help to future proof the grid to integrate more home solar systems.

“Nowhere else in Australia are we seeing this level of collaboration and innovation within the electricity sector to produce community wide benefits,” he asserts.