Australia - Smart Grid - Smart Meters

Synopsis

While developments in automatic meter reading and demand side management (DSM) have been taking place over many decades the current smart meter developments in Australia started in Victoria in 2004. Led by initiatives of the State Government of Victoria the electricity utilities started to discuss the modernising of the meter network. Legislation was passed in 2009 and the project was launched the following year. Initially there were problems, but in 2012 the project turned the corner and Victoria is now seen as one of the global leaders in smart grid/smart meter developments.

It started with rather simple ideas about capturing electricity usage in 30-minute intervals. This was followed by time-of-use (ToU) applications which would also enable differential pricing by time-of-day, allowing utilities to discourage certain types of ‘non-time-critical’ use during periods of high demand. Reducing peaks has a major impact on electricity generation costs, alleviating the need for new power plants and cutting down on damaging greenhouse emissions.

It quickly became clear that this also impacts on the management of the grid itself, since the back-office had to be updated and upgraded in order to manage the data that becomes available from the meters; and obviously the more sophisticated the meters, the more and better data, and the more the need for proper collection, storage and analysing of that data.

The focus on energy savings and sustainability linked to the rapid development of smart technologies is seeing the focus shift – among all smart meter rollouts – to the broader issues of smart grids, and smart meters should be considered in the broader context of the modernisation of electricity networks through the introduction of sensing, communications and information technology into the grid (also known as M2M).

The case study of Victoria is a good lesson for others looking at their rollout programs (see separate report) see: Australia - Smart Meters in Victoria - Case Study

Apart from Victoria very little has happened anywhere else. New meters rolled out elsewhere – be it at a small scale – are most of the time still not smart meters and will have to be replaced once real smart grid deployments will start to occur.

This report provides an overview of the developments that are more specific to the smart meters rather than to smart grids. Smart meters are going to play a key role in smart grids as the in-house energy management tools for the users.

Hot topics covered in this report include:

Smart Meters, AMI, AMR, Smart Grids, Demand Site Management, M2M, communications, LTE

Table of Contents

  • 1. Synopsis
  • 2. Smart meter update early 2015
    • 2.1 Market developments
    • 2.2 Benefit analysis of the Victorian smart meter roll out
    • 2.3 Smart meter roll out NSW
    • 2.4 Infrastructure developments
  • 3. The future of smart meters – analysis
    • 3.1 Customer interaction moves towards apps.
    • 3.2 New approach towards communication networks
    • 3.3 Smart grid is the facilitator
    • 3.4 Nest Thermostat Study
  • 4. What are Smart Meters?
  • 5. The road from automated meter reading (AMR) and demand side management (DSM) to smart grids
    • 5.1 Automated meter reading
    • 5.2 Demand side management
    • 5.3 In-home display devices
    • 5.4 Energy monitoring for households
  • 6. Smart Meters in Victoria - Case Study (separate report)
  • 7. South Australia
  • 8. Northern Territory
  • 9. Western Australia
  • 10. Queensland
  • 11. ACT
  • 12. World first – prepaid electricity through smart grids
  • 13. Smart Water
    • 13.1 Water for the Future
    • 13.2 Smart water metering
  • 14. Smart grids projects and players (separate report)
  • 15. Separate background reports
  • Exhibit 1 – Smart grid applications
  • Exhibit 2 – Smart air-conditioning control

Related Reports

Focus Report Profile

Technologies

Smart Infrastructure

Number of pages 15

Status Archived

Last updated 4 May 2015
Update History

Analyst: Paul Budde

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