24/04/2019 - 16:00

Advanced power meters for WA

24/04/2019 - 16:00

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The state government has announced it will spend $251 million to install advanced electricity meters, bringing WA in line with other states.

Advanced power meters for WA
Western Power will install 238,000 advanced meters as part of its routine meter replacement and for all new meters. Photo: Gabriel Oliveira

The state government has announced it will spend $251 million to install advanced electricity meters, bringing WA in line with other states.

Western Power will install 238,000 advanced meters over the next three years as part of its routine meter replacement and new installations.

Similar policies exist in New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, South Australia, Tasmania and Queensland, and Victoria has implemented a mandatory roll-out.

The meters require a communications network to facilitate the technology which is being upgraded alongside the roll-out of meters and will be completed between mid-2020 and mid-2021, according to a Western Power spokesperson.

Once the communications network is in place, advanced meters will be able to automatically and remotely read electricity consumption, identify outages and allow for better management of network assets.

Energy minister Bill Johnston said advanced metering technology would empower customers and gave them a choice on how and when they used their electricity.

“It’s important to move with global technology trends and enable the grid to evolve, to meet the needs of families as well as businesses, as meter assets are replaced over time,” Mr Johnston said.

“Advanced metering is one of the keys to unlocking a grid that will inspire innovation in emerging technologies and drive new economic growth and business opportunities.

“Once fully implemented, Western Power expects an increase in operational savings from this initiative, which will contribute to putting downward pressure on household energy bills.”

Advanced meters can save people money if they have a flexible pricing plan and choose to use cheaper electricity at off-peak times.

The new infrastructure can monitor two-way flows on the electricity network, which the government said was needed as demand for solar PVs and electric vehicles grows.

The government said the new meters would facilitate the development of new trail products and services which would enable WA homes and businesses to have greater visibility and control over energy use, including managing rooftop solar electricity systems and batteries.

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