Smart meter investment helps Australians control electricity use
A major new smart meter investment will give Australian energy consumers more control over their electricity use.
The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) is committing $35 million of debt finance to expand intelliHUB. This new venture provides smart meter solutions for Australian energy retailers and consumers.
IntelliHUB is a joint venture between Pacific Equity Partners and global smart meter leader Landis+Gyr. The latter company is acquiring Acumen, Origin Energy’s $267 million smart meter business.
Around 1,700 smart meters are already deployed by Acumen. IntelliHUB plans to roll out and manage more than one million smart meters across Australia and New Zealand.
Acumen’s ‘Power of Choice’ program was introduced in December 2017. It subsequently requires all new and replacement electricity meters to use smart technology.
Why smart technology is so important for electricity customers
According to CEFC CEO Ian Learmonth, smart meters give energy consumers far great control over their power consumption. They can then take active steps to reduce electricity usage and use smarter appliances.
ABOVE: Practical tips to save energy include monitoring with a smart meter.
Consumers can therefore better understand the benefits of behind-the-meter solar energy systems and battery storage solutions. Reduced consumption at peak times also reduces pressure on the grid.
Meanwhile, one of the best ways to gain energy independence is by installing solar panels in your home or business. You can then gain bill credits by exporting excess power back to the grid. Or you can store it using a Tesla Powerwall 2 and use it during the evening peak or overnight.
Some nine million metering points currently exist in the National Electricity Market (NEM). All should eventually convert to smart technology the CEFC claims.
According to CEFC Grid Solutions and Storage Lead Simon Brooker, customers need more meaningful information about their energy use. They are then better equipped to choose the most suitable solar installations and energy storage batteries.
Smart meter investment benefits grid operators too
Better data provision helps the entire electricity network, Brooker says. Because it gives network operators greater insight, it helps the grid operate more efficiently.
It will also help integrate renewable energy like solar power and battery storage into the grid.
The CEFC is also investing $39 million into a Melbourne solar installation. This will fund a solar power system at a Southbank hotel, along with a range of energy-efficiency and clean energy technologies.
The funding is part of CEFC’s Sustainable Cities Investment Program. It’s the first hotel investment the clean energy financing body has made.