Smart meters allow Counties Power customers to monitor usage

Posted On 05 Dec 2014
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Moira CP Pukekohe

Moira Moroney, spokesperson for Counties Power, displays a new smart meter.

Section: Pukekohe business news

Around half the meters in the Counties Power area are now smart meters and the local electricity distributor, Counties Power, says most local people have welcomed the new meters with open arms.

The company began installing smart meters in new homes and businesses early last year, about the same time that they started upgrading existing meters to smart technology.

There are now over 19,000 meters in this area.

Some local people who have a smart meter are already having their meters read remotely.

For them, smart meters has already meant an end to meter reader visits and estimated readings.

Easier to monitor daily power use

The meters also make it easier for people to keep an eye on their daily power use .

Counties Power is a consumer-owned company and chose to offer smart meters for their direct benefits to power users, their advantages for fault response and the environmental advantages of the meters.

Faults can be detected faster

Company spokesperson, Moira Moroney, says that when most local people have smart meters, Counties Power will be able to find and fix faults faster.

Smart meters also make it possible for the electricity industry to offer incentives to people who make environmentally responsible choices like saving power at peak times,” she says.

The company accepts that a small number of people prefer not to have a smart meter, and respects their choices.“Local people who prefer not to have a smart meter can just call us and ask to be left out of the smart meter roll-out.”

Counties Power also puts the question of electromagnetic radiation into perspective. “Smart meters use radio signals and the smart technology we use has radio frequency emissions that are much less than that of a mobile phone or microwave oven.”

Threat to privacy?

From time to time the company is also asked whether smart meters are a threat to privacy.

Moira Moroney reassures people that the key difference between traditional meters and smart meters is that one is read manually and the other is read remotely.

Just like in the past, the power company can see how much power was used for water heating and how much power was used for all other purposes.

Some people feel smart meters have privacy advantages – especially those living in remote areas or those with indoor meters who are not keen to have meter readers in their homes.”

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About the Author
Rex Warwood is a well-known local with a passion for Franklin and its people. He has been spreading the news in our area since 1979 and has held various journalism and Editor positions. Contact Rex at rex.warwood@welovepukekohe.com.