Surging solar and behind the meter services are driving smart meters across electricity markets, Antipodes utility services company Intellihub reports.
The company reports having achieved the million meter milestone across the Australian and New Zealand markets. The millionth meter was installed in a suburban Sydney home as part of the connection requirements for a new rooftop PV system.
“One million meters under management is a special milestone to crack,” says Intellihub Group CEO, Adrian Clark.
“The smart meters we are installing now are a lot different to what was on the market a few years ago. There has been a big focus on the meter offering more to consumers participating in the two-side energy market.
Intellihub’s smart meter not only eliminates estimated reads, but also unlocks monthly billing for the customer, new prices and products and access to new retailers, according to a statement. It’s also capable with edge computing technology of dynamic load control and provides improved diagnostics to distributors.
According to Intellihub, the New Zealand market has now reached about 90% smart meter penetration, as a result of improvements to market competition and the economic benefits to both the consumer and the retailer by unlocking smart meter services at scale.
The Australian market has been slower to adopt the technology but that is now starting to change and drive new growth in smart metering solutions as more homes adopt solar and other behind the meter solutions.
The company says that solar or other behind the meter services was the driver for almost two-thirds of its new smart meter installations in 2020.
Other drivers are new or renovated homes and commercial premises connecting to the electricity grid and replacement of old meters either failing or on request from customers via their electricity retailer.
According to Intellihub, outside of Victoria only about one in five meters are modern smart meters, with the remainder old analogue accumulation or time of use meters. Almost two million of those meters are more than 30 years old and 365,000 meters are 50 years or older.
Intellihub quotes the Australian government as estimating that one in four Australian homes now have solar PV installed, with an installation rate 10 times faster than the global average. Installations in January 2021 were 23% up on the same month in 2020.