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SmartCo to Electricity Authority on Advanced Metering Infrastructure data

posted Jul 25, 2011, 3:26 AM by ema-1 ema-1   [ updated Feb 15, 2012, 8:17 PM ]
"SmartCo comprises 14 New Zealand electricity distribution companies serving a total of about 550,000 customers. The members are: Northpower, Counties Power, The Lines Company, Alpine Energy, Network Waitaki, Aurora Energy, The Power Company, Electricity Invercargill, Top Energy, Eastland Network, Electra, Network Tasman, MainPower, WEL Networks"

"All SmartCo members wish to see any AMI installations on our networks designed and implemented in a manner which facilitates good service for customers, facilitates good service for and strong competition between retailers, and meets reasonable distributor requirements including future network automation where appropriate. Subject to satisfactory arrangements, all members are willing to invest in AMI if necessary to achieve these objectives. SmartCo has established AMI specifications in consultation with retailers, has selected preferred vendors after an extensive RFP process, and is presently engaged in detailed discussions with retailers on our proposed AMI roll‐out"

"Our main concern with the consultation paper is that it perpetuates a view which focuses on individual customers and their individual ICPs and meters. We quite accept that we are all here to serve individual customers, and that empowering them is important. We also accept that from the point of view of retailers, consistency of capabilities and service across their national customer base is important. We are concerned, though, that while the proposals as drafted may facilitate smart metering, they will not deliver AMI as we contemplate it. The authority seems to have given little or no weight to the fact that from a distributor point of view, smart meters will be significantly less useful if they are introduced piecemeal at some premises but not at others, at differing times, using different systems, and providing differing functionality"

"In our view the authority has not correctly articulated the key problem. We submit that it should be articulated thus (proposed change underlined):

The key issue with AMI is whether competition between retailers that either own or have affiliated MEPs (Genesis who is affiliated with AMS, Mighty River Power who own Metrix, and Meridian who own Arc) will be sufficient:
a) to prevent suboptimal development of potential AMI assets on distribution networks, and  
b) to prevent inefficient use of the AMI asset and to promote competition for services
of AMI data.

Our answer on the first leg of this question is a resounding “no”. Our experience suggests that the large retailers are primarily interested in smart metering (focussing on their own ICP level requirements) rather than on co‐ordinated AMI encompassing distributor requirements"