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50,000 Smart Meters In Christchurch


50,000 Smart Meters In Christchurch

More than 50,000 Christchurch power consumers now have smart electricity meters in their premises as part of a $100 million upgrade programme initiated by Meridian in 2006.

“Reaching 50,000 installations is a significant achievement in the smart meter programme,” says Steve Ferguson, Meridian’s Director of Retail.

“This technology evolution is key to Meridian’s continuing progress on transforming the customer experience. It enables us to challenge the status quo and create a vastly improved standard of service for customers.”

The smart metering solution was developed by Christchurch-based Arc Innovations and smart meters are being installed in more than 112,000 households throughout Canterbury. The households are predominantly in the Orion network, and are all Meridian retail customers.

“The smart meters replace several models that have been in operation for 40 years or more and will bring electricity services for retail customers into the 21st century,” says Steve Ferguson.

“The immediate benefit of this technology is that customers will always receive a bill based on their actual consumption, as we can read the meter remotely. This removes the sometimes large variances month-on-month between bills based on estimates, and those based on reads by meter readers, who no longer need to visit.

“Additionally, smart meters provide the opportunity to offer many new and promising services that will help our customers use and manage electricity more efficiently.”

“In the future there will be scope for adding new services from different price options to give our customers more choice, through to capability to operate appliances such as heaters and heat-pumps remotely.

“The system also has the potential to deliver value to our network company partners by supporting greater network efficiency. It will help us better manage peak demand periods. By having a better understanding of our customers’ power usage we will be able to communicate tips and incentives for customers to reduce demand during peak times, and enable customers to make better energy efficiency decisions.”

Meridian customers Patricia and Jason Pryke had the 50,000th meter installed recently at their home in Beckenham, Christchurch.

To celebrate, Patricia and Jason Pryke have been presented with vouchers for a $300 home energy audit by Right House and $2,000 towards any selected energy efficient appliances.

The Prykes were delighted with the timing as they are planning on building a new house. They are looking forward to working with Right House to get input and advice on the best energy options and technology.

“Advance metering is an exciting development for Meridian customers. We are pleased to be able celebrate the 50,000th install with Patricia and Jason, and excited about how we will introduce new services to give them choice and money saving options in the future” says Steve Ferguson.

(ends)


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