Smart meters are given the thumbs up


The advent of smart metering was the most significant technology impact in the National Electricity Market (NEM) at present, the National Electricity Market Management Company (NEMMCO) said in its 2006 annual report on metering and retail market development.

All states investigating impact and benefits: NEMMCO said there was no national program in Australia but all state jurisdictions were investigating the impact and potential benefits of smart metering.

COAG encourages their use: A statement from the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) encouraged the use of smart meters to improve supply efficiency through effective price signals to customers.

No formally accepted definition in Australia: While there was no formally accepted definition of the term “smart meter”, a general definition of a “smart meter” was an advanced meter that identified electricity consumption in more detail than a conventional basic (accumulation) meter of the type now used in domestic situations.

More than 4000 readings in a quarter: While a “basic meter” accumulated the measurement of electricity consumption until it was read, providing the total energy volume for the period between reads, a “smart meter” would, typically, provide consumption data in half-hourly intervals (e.g. providing more than 4000 readings in a three-month period).

Readings can be delivered over communications network: A “smart meter” was therefore also referred to as an “interval meter”. The “smart meter” might also deliver the readings over a communications network to a remote location for monitoring and billing purposes, and provides other specialised functions.

Advanced metering infrastructure: This end-to-end arrangement of smart meters and data communications was referred to as AMI (advanced metering infrastructure).

Reference: 2006 annual report by National Electricity Market and Management Company (NEMMCO) on metering and retail market development. 26 October. Address: Level 12, 15 William Street, Melbourne. Vic. 3000. Phone: (03) 9648 8777. Fax: (03) 9648 8778.

Erisk Net, 13/11/2006

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