Trustpower rolls out smart meters as new electricity era begins

Energy company Trustpower is rolling out smart meters to around 160,000 customers nationwide, the last of the five big power retailers to do so.

Simon Clarke, Trustpower's general manager of business solutions and technology, said about a third of its 280,000 customers already had smart meters from other companies before crossing to Trustpower.

The rest would be getting the new meters installed over the next three years.

Smart meters give customers a much more accurate reading of their energy use by taking remote readings much more regularly. They also effectively do away with human meter readers.

Clarke said Trustpower had not leapt into smart meters until now because the business case had not stacked up. It had more of the older, "dumb" meters than most of its competitors. 

With more data a host of new opportunities opened up and Trustpower would, like its competitors, be able to analyse usage on a much more granular level.

Smart meters here had not had as much impact on power companies here as they had in the United States because New Zealand's system required retailers and generators to be separated. 

So in Tauranga, Trustpower hoped to work more closely with its local lines company Powerco to make the most of that information..

Ultimately, smart metering was the start of a suite of new technologies that enabled people to sell solar power back to the grid or channel it towards other areas of high demand.

Article originally published here.