The Western Australian Government yesterday launched the Perth component of its smart meter trial, after the successful installation of 8900 smart meters in Perth homes.
Minister for Energy, Training and Workforce Development Peter Collier said that "the meters will enable customers to closely monitor their power consumption, allowing them to make more informed choices about their energy use".
Western Power is partnering with the Western Australian Government, footing $13 million of the $15 million trial bill. Households will not be charged for the meter or its installation and the price of electricity will stay the same for customers with a smart meter.
The smart meters have been installed across four suburbs in Perth. The meters are designed to be compatible with future technologies like solar panels for the home and electric cars. The meters will also give customers more information about their energy usage around the home.
"For householders who want to embrace a sustainable future with energy efficiency ... this is the way forward," said the minister.
The trial is expected to run until 2013 in tandem with the $73.5 million Solar City project. It was flagged by Western Power almost one year ago, with 11,500 meters to be rolled out over a four-year trial period, in suburbs both in and outside of Perth.
IBM won a contract with Western Power to provide system integration between the smart meters and the power grid in December 2009.
Silver Springs, an American smart grid services provider, was contracted to supply communications and network software, while Landis+Gyr provided the meters, with contracts valued at a combined $5.33 million. Western Power's in-house IT team completed the systems integration.
Field deployment for the roll-out areas outside of Perth, Denmark and Walpole, was to be conducted by Western Power's metering services provider Service Stream.