Surging solar installations have pushed Australia’s and New Zealand’s smart meter market past the million-meter milestone, according to smart metering services provider Intellihub.
The millionth smart meter was installed as part of the connection requirements for a new rooftop PV system at a suburban home in Sydney, one of the many thousands of Antipodean homes continuing the region’s strong uptake of residential solar.
Smart meters, which eliminate dodgey readings, allow monthly billing, provide the solar owner with dynamic load control to save money and even provide for the installation of larger solar systems, is good for the consumer and good for the grid at large.
Moreover, as Aussies and Kiwis begin to take up electric vehicles (EVs), smart meters better allow for smooth energy orchestration throughout the home and across devices including EVs.
“One million meters under management is a special milestone to crack,” Intellihub Group CEO Adrian Clarke said, “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.”
Like in Rugby, and indeed politics, New Zealand is more advanced in the meter market than Australia. According to Clarke the Land of the Long White Cloud is close to full penetration (90%) of smart meters, “but the Australian market has been slower to adopt modern metering technology. But that is now starting to change, as we’re seeing more Australian homes adopt solar and other behind the meter solutions.”
The milestone was reached only a week after Intellihub called for changes to the Australian Energy Market Commission’s (AEMC) metering services framework. In a submission to the AEMC, Intellihub said that competition was delivering a better and more efficient service but that Australia still lagged behind in other aspects.
According to Intellihub, Australia only became a viable market in late 2017 when reforms from state and federal governments (except Victoria), helped to unlock scale. Intellihub says that almost two million of the active meters in Australia, excepting Victoria, are over 30 years old, and 365,000 are more than 50 years old.
Of course, there is nothing much wrong with durability and longevity as such, but the transformation of the grid necessarily means a transformation of metering technology.
Intellihub says that 65% of its new meter installs in 2020 were a direct result of solar installations.
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