October 7, 2011 - Contact Energy has contracted Vector subsidiary Advanced Metering Services to install smart meters for up to 150,000 North Island customers over the next three years.

Contact says the meters will mean an end to estimated bills and allow customers to gain access to more detailed information about electricity use.
The company is not disclosing the value of the contract with AMS.

New Electricity Authority regulations require meters to meet tougher standards by April 2015.

Contact's general manager of retail, Ruth Bound, said that smart meters provided an immediate benefit to customers because they electronically transmitted electricity use data directly to the company.

"Customers with a new smart meter who use our online account management services will also be able to view a detailed record of their daily and hourly electricity usage. This more granular information gives interested customers a better understanding of their electricity use and enables them to make changes to how and when they use energy."

More than 60,000 Contact customers nationwide use smart meters. AMS will own and operate the new meters.

Vector chief executive Simon Mackenzie said the Contact installations would bring the total by AMS nationwide to 700,000. About 80 per cent of meters are in the North Island with the rest concentrated around the Christchurch area.