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Government

Western Power flags smart meter roll-out

Western Power is looking to install 10,500 smart meters as part of a four-year smart grid trial.
Written by Suzanne Tindal, Contributor on

Western Power is looking to install 10,500 smart meters as part of a four-year smart grid trial.

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(Power trip image by mugley, CC2.0)

The utility has just started its search for a vendor and hopes to have a preferred tenderer by October in order to start installation early in 2010. Perth's eastern corridor will receive 8500 of the meters while 2000 smart meters will be rolled out in Denmark and Walpole.

The meters would provide real-time information on energy consumption, remove the need for manual meter readings and the need to log fault calls, according to the company. Connecting and disconnecting services will also be able to be carried out more quickly.

"A significant aspect of the trial will be data collection. Western Power will use the data to better understand customers' energy usage patterns, which will help to formulate future energy programs," Western Power's smart grid manager Lisa Cunningham said in a statement.

The new meters will be able to interface with Western Power's network communication system and existing metering data management systems, Cunningham said.

This is not Western Power's first step towards a smarter electricity network. Last year it trialled turning off selected customers' air conditioners briefly in peak times to manage demand. It has also been installing new meters capable of recording data in short time intervals since 2005.

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