Western Australia Minister for Energy Peter Collier
WA Trials First Smart Meters In Perth’s Eastern Region
Victor P Taffa
A trial of sophisticated new technology that will significantly transform the electricity system has been launched by the State Government in Perth’s Eastern Region.
Energy Minister Peter Collier today launched Western Australia’s first roll-out of Smart Meters, which will provide valuable information to help inform decisions about the State’s future energy direction.
“Smart meters will ultimately enable customers to closely monitor their power consumption, allowing them to make more informed choices about their energy use.” Mr. Collier said.
“More than that, the meters will provide a platform for new technology to be introduced, such as the use of electric cars.”
“As part of this trial, smart meter customers will be able to take part in energy efficiency initiatives such as air conditioner trials, time-of-use tariffs and in-home displays, which will soon be offered.” Mr. Collier said.
“For householders who want to embrace a sustainable future with energy efficiency, solar panels and electric vehicles, this is the way forward.”
Other benefits of the Smart Meter include:
- Improved Accuracy of Meter Readings;
- Easier Tracking of Power Outages;
- Earlier Detection of Power Quality Issues;
- Real Time Data on Power Consumption.
The Minister said the trial was expected to run until 2013, and information gathered would be used to evaluate the benefits of rolling out smart meters more widely across the network.
The $15 Million trial is part of the Perth Solar City Program, which is challenging households and businesses to better manage the way they produce, use and save energy.
The trial is jointly funded by the Federal Government, with Western Power providing $13 Million of the total cost. Meters are being installed in more than 8,900 homes in Bassendean, Midland, Forrestfield and Darlington.
Western Power Managing Director Doug Aberle said the electronic smart meter was more sophisticated than those devices already in place in most homes or businesses.
“It will do the job of the old meter, but also enable more energy choices to users, even to those who don’t have solar panels.” Mr. Aberle said.
“Customers taking part in the trial will not be charged for the meter and the device itself will not alter the cost of electricity for the customer.”
“The trial is a major milestone for Western Power in a project which will help determine the suitability for a range of new technologies right across the network.” Mr. Aberle said.
Background On The Perth Solar City Program
Perth Solar City is part of the Federal Government’s Solar Cities initiative challenging industry, business, governments and communities to come together and change the way they produce, use and save energy.
The initiative includes the City of Swan, Towns of Belmont, Bassendean and Bayswater, and the shires of Kalamunda and Mundaring.
During the three-year program, residents in Perth’s Eastern Region have access to free home eco-consultations, valuable discounts off solar hot water systems and solar energy systems, and take part in other energy saving projects.
Western Power is responsible for the delivery of the Perth Solar City program, including program management, marketing and communications and data management.
As part of its Perth Solar City contribution, Western Power will also undertake a number of technical trials to test new technologies, engage with the community and promote energy efficiency.
Results from the Perth Solar City program will help Australia develop more sustainable energy solutions both now and in the future.
Supporting Western Power to bring Perth Solar City to the community is a consortium of industry leaders, including Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority, Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council, Mojarra, Prospero Productions, Solahart, Sunpower and Synergy.