Smart Meters Rolled Out in Parts of NSW to Help Boost Solar Savings

New South Wales power distributor Endeavor Energy is making it easy to manage electricity for solar customers thanks to its latest smart meter program.

In cooperation with the utility company Intellihub and ten electricity traders, the “Off Peak Plus” program in Albion Park is intended to help households consume less electricity.

Guy Chalkley, CEO of Endeavor Energy, said the initiative was launched to cut carbon emissions, help customers save money while improving network performance.

“Endeavor Energy initiated this program to address the problem of replacing and upgrading a 50 year old control system at off-peak hours at the nearby substation,” he said. “By using advanced smart meters, Endeavor Energy can not invest in expensive legacy substation technology, but save real dollars and cents for our customers by finding ways to get cheaper solar energy.”

Mr. Chalkley stated that the addition of these smart meters will enable faster disaster response as well as better access to excess solar power in the area.

“We can also access data on energy and power quality via the smart meter in order to be able to react better to problems and failures, especially during storms, and to offer customers an even safer and more reliable energy supply.

“With the meters installed, hot water systems can be dynamically controlled so that they can be turned on during the day when excess electricity is generated from household solar panels, which can lower customers’ electricity bills,” said Chalkley.

Smart meters have been installed in 2,500 households as part of the Off Peak Plus program, which is currently running in a small pocket in Albion Park.

Using off-peak electricity, these smart meters allow customers to monitor their energy usage and manage costs, as well as provide access to excess solar energy in the neighboring house for heating hot water systems.

NSW Energy Secretary Matt Kean said nearly a quarter of all households are now powered by solar energy. This initiative will give customers more control over their electricity usage while enabling safer and more reliable electricity.

“Nowhere else in Australia do we see this level of collaboration and innovation in the electricity sector to achieve community-wide benefits. This state-of-the-art program has found a way to meet peak energy demands and future proof the grid with even more solar systems for the home, ”said Kean.

Despite this innovative achievement, the Off Peak Plus program is not the first instance of solar sharing in Australia. Several providers such as AGL and Origin are already creating small solar power communities through dedicated virtual power plants, also known as VPPs.

I’m in Sydney: can I access the Off Peak Plus program?

Unless you are among the 2,500 residential properties throughout Albion Park with a specially installed smart meter, you will not be able to access that particular program. However, it is initiatives like Off Peak Plus that are helping to generate more awareness and funding for future programs running in other areas of NSW.

NSW energy plans

You don’t have access to the Off Peak Plus program but still want to save some money? Check out some of the cheapest electricity prices in your area by clicking on your distribution area below. For a more precise offer, go to our comparison tool and enter your postcode.

Here are some of the cheapest published offers from retailers in our database, with a link to the retailer’s website for more information. These are products from referral partners †. These costs are based on the Sydney Ausgrid network, but prices may vary based on your circumstances. This comparison assumes a general energy consumption of 3900 kWh / year for a private customer at a uniform tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all offers in your area. As always, check all the details of a plan directly with the dealer before making a purchase decision.

Here are some of the cheapest published offers from retailers in our database, with a link to the retailer’s website for more information. These are products from referral partners †. These costs are based on the Endeavor Energy network in Wollongong, but prices may vary based on your circumstances. This comparison assumes a general energy consumption of 4900 kWh / year for a private customer at a uniform tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all offers in your area. As always, check all the details of a plan directly with the dealer before making a purchase decision.

Here are some of the cheapest published offers from retailers in our database, with a link to the retailer’s website for more information. These are products from referral partners †. These costs are based on the Essential Energy network in Coffs Harbor. However, prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes a general energy consumption of 4600 kWh / year for a private customer at a uniform tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all offers in your area. As always, check all the details of a plan directly with the dealer before making a purchase decision.

What is a smart meter?

An intelligent meter records your electricity consumption, which is measured in kilowatt hours (kWh) and then sent to your energy provider for billing purposes. Unlike traditional meters that require a physical meter reading, a smart meter records data live and sends it to your dealer every 30 minutes. Smart meters are generally more accurate than traditional meters and can therefore save households on electricity bills.

How do I get a smart meter?

The installation of a smart meter is usually organized by your electricity supplier. In some areas, smart meters have already been introduced to replace existing defective or obsolete meters. The cost of installing a smart meter will vary, but as a general guideline it is expected to be around $ 600. It’s important to note that some providers may waive the fee or include the cost in their electricity bill. So the best thing to do is to contact your provider to find out how much it will cost.

Do you need solar to get a smart meter?

Smart meters can be installed on your property with or without a solar system. While solar households may find it more beneficial to measure solar exports more accurately (and efficiently), customers without solar panels can use smart meters. Customers with a smart meter have the option of choosing a tariff for the duration of use in which the electricity is charged at different rates depending on the time of day.

Photo credit: Krisana Antharith / Shutterstock.com

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