A consultation on advanced metering systems in New Zealand has been launched by the country’s electricity market overseer, the Electricity Commission, with the view to developing a set of advisory guidelines for the introduction of advanced metering systems into New Zealand.
Currently the metering employed in the vast majority of installations in New Zealand uses stand-alone single or three phase meters which are interrogated manually on site, and most low voltage consumers pay the same flat rate for each unit of electricity they use. Thus consumers see no incentive to use less electricity when the cost of production is high, generation capacity is unavailable, or transmission or distribution networks are capacity constrained.
Moreover the current metering stock is ageing and to ensure certificated compliance with the Rules will necessitate the replacement of a large proportion of this stock over the next few years.
The Commission states that the nature and structure of the first advanced metering infrastructures installed are very likely to shape the nature and success of the systems that follow. Both operational capabilities and the business models under which these new infrastructures are deployed are seen as critical to the long term success of advanced metering adoption in New Zealand.