Francis Logan,
Minister of Energy,
Western Australia
 
Perth, Australia --- (METERING.COM) --- March 13, 2007 – An advisory committee representing residential and business electricity consumers has urged the government of the state of Western Australia to investigate ways to manage peak electricity demand, including the use of smart meters.

This is the text of an announcement from the office of the Minister of Energy, Francis Logan.

“An advisory committee representing residential and business electricity consumers has urged the State Government to investigate ways to manage peak electricity demand in Western Australia.

At its recent meeting chaired by Energy Minister Francis Logan, committee members suggested using smart metering technologies and related tariff structures.

Committee member and managing director of Westralian Real Estate John Vegar said strategies were needed to manage peak demand. "Smart meters, in conjunction with appropriate tariff structures, can help electricity consumers to better manage their power usage and provide them with a mechanism to reduce their electricity costs," Mr Vegar said.

"The overall benefits to consumers and the WA public could be substantial and may lead to less investment on infrastructure."

Mr Logan said the WA Government was already working with other States and Territories to analyse the benefits of smart-meter technology.

"An extensive cost-benefit analysis is being conducted that will involve close consultation with WA energy stakeholders," he said. "The analysis is expected to be completed at the end of the year, at which time the State Government will consider the case for rolling out smart meters and time-of-use tariffs."

The Minister said a smart meter could read electricity consumption on a more regular and accurate basis than the standard meters installed in most Australian homes. "Smart meters can also allow for meters to be read remotely and for electricity tariffs to be charged on a time-of-use basis which improves price signals for energy consumers," he said.

"There is considerable experience overseas and trials conducted in the Eastern States indicate there are real benefits from introducing smart meters and time-of-use tariffs.

"Smart meters provide the potential for customers to make informed choices about their use of electricity. This may help manage the overall demand for peak-period power and reduce the costs of electricity infrastructure, which is ultimately borne by consumers.”