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Environment Commissioner to Electricity Authority on Advanced Metering Infrastructure data

posted Jul 25, 2011, 3:11 AM by ema-1 ema-1   [ updated Jul 25, 2011, 4:18 AM ]
"A consistent theme in my work on smart meters/smart grid has been the need for effective leadership. Consequently, I was pleased to see a report of a plan to roll out up to 750,000 smart meters that I understand are HAN-functional.  This is a 
$200 million initiative of a group of 13 lines companies called SmartCo. This would see around half of the country’s households having HAN-functional smart meters installed by lines companies, and the other half likely to have new meters that are not HAN-functional installed by retailers. The lines companies reliant on the meters installed by retailers will not be able to gain the benefits of improved load management.  Nor will the consumers in these cases be able to monitor and reduce their demand if they wish. The result will be a muddle – half the country with truly smart meters – the other half with a variety of different meters, with inferior functionality and different data transfer systems. The costs of this muddle will ultimately be borne by lines companies, consumers and the environment due to the lost opportunities to better manage demand"

"Indeed, the interests of lines companies, consumers and the environment are substantially aligned:
  • Many lines companies want HAN-functional smart meters so that they can run their lines harder, manage outages and faults proactively, reduce peak demand and so defer or avoid costly upgrades.
  • HAN-functional smart meters will allow consumers to easily track their energy use in real time, allowing them to better control their consumption through both behaviour change and access to new technology.
  • Reducing peak demand and overall electricity use will lower carbon dioxide emissions and defer the need to build costly new generation.
Lines companies are the ‘natural owners’ of meters. Without strong guidance through regulation and standardisation, different players will play by different rules in the New Zealand electricity market"