Residents of New Zealand’s Marlborough region have responded positively to smart meters according to local media.
Three power suppliers in Marlborough have committed to installing advanced electric meters.
Genesis Energy has new metering in place, Contact Energy has installed 500 units to date and Trustpower has plans to begin a pilot early this year.
The Marlborough Express reported this week how one family, who are Contact Energy customers, has seen monthly bills drop from NZD600 (US$465) in winter and NZD400 (US$300) in summer to no more than NZD200 (US$154).
Householder Tiana Dahlberg attributed the reduction in energy costs to more accurate meter readings.
Smart meter pilot and rollout
Contact Energy metering services development manager Damon Smith said the rollout of smart meters in the Marlborough region would begin “in earnest” from February 2015.
The energy supplier has about 3,000 installation connection points within Marlborough, with each customer being offered a smart meter.
Mr Smith said that 80-90% of customers were expected to take up the offer.
Trustpower is expected to follow next year up on completion of a pilot advanced meter scheme in March 2015.
Community relations manager Graeme Purches said contractors would be providing the meters to customers from mid-2015, but they would not be installed in Marlborough until 2016, he said.
The final regional rollout would be in 2017.
Smart grid developments
Meanwhile across the country SmartCo, a consortium of New Zealand lines companies, selected Silver Spring Networks in July 2013, to deploy an advanced smart grid network across New Zealand.
SmartCo is pursuing an innovative new business model in New Zealand’s disaggregated market where retailers are responsible for deploying smart meters.
SmartCo and its lines company members will use Silver Spring’s platform to generate incremental revenue by providing smart metering services to energy retailers.
The lines companies including Alpine Energy, Counties Power, Electricity Invercargill, Network Tasman, The Power Company, and WEL Networks, serving more than 250,000 urban and rural consumers across New Zealand, will also leverage the same platform to improve services for consumers including faster outage detection and restoration and improved power quality.