Smart Meters enable remote readings and tariff changes. They also help customers to better understand and manage their energy consumption by feeding back information on their usage.
As well as enabling us to introduce our first 24-hour uninterrupted heating tariff, Economy 20 Plus (E20+), Smart Meters also bring many benefits for customers. These include:
- An end to meter readers calling
- The elimination of around 8,000 estimated readings a year
- An end to pro-rata billing when tariffs change
- Bills on the same date each quarter, giving four equal billing periods
- Swift and remote change of tenancy with on-demand reads
- Swift and remote change of tariffs
- Remote charging for Pay As You Go (PAYG) customers
- More places to top-up for PAYG customers
- Online topping up anytime from anywhere
Why install Smart Meters?
Smart Meters are the foundation of a Smart Grid that could in future enable micro renewable generation and dynamic supply and demand management.
2010 - Finding the smartest solution
We started looking for a cost-effective, future-proof solution to replace our ageing cyclone-control system and analogue meters in 2010.
We needed a bespoke meter solution because our heating tariffs need twin element meters that record heating units separately to general lighting and power units. We also wanted a system to comply with UK standards to ensure long-term supply.
Secure Meters UK designed and produced three meters specifically configured for Jersey with a view to later using them in the UK. The mainland is around five years behind Jersey in its £11bn programme to install 53 million Smart Meters.
2014 - A delayed start
Uncertainty around the UK’s Smart Metering standards, with which we wanted to comply, resulted in delays in the manufacture of the meters before we began our roll-out in earnest.
We abandoned our original plan to sweep across the Island street by street, installing different meter types at the same time, in favour of sequencing the installation of the meters by type.
We began in 2014 by installing all the single rate Liberty 140s across all parishes, then the twin element Liberty 115s and finally 3 phase Secure Sprints and PAYG Liberties.
2016 - Our staged installation moves at pace
By mid-2016, half our customers - around 25,000 Islanders were benefiting from remote reading Smart Meters.
Around 10,500 Horstmann Mainscom meters, installed some years ago, had been joined by around 14,000 new Liberty 140s and 1,500 twin element Liberty 115s.
2018 - Smart Accounts for Smart Meters
Once all the communication systems were in place, enabling us to collect detailed consumption data from the meters, we wanted customers to benefit by offering the data back to them. We partnered Swiss Post Solutions to develop Smart Account.
This online portal enabled customers to view their electricity consumption profile in simple charts on their phone, tablet or PC and compare usage, daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly and with that of similar properties.
2019 - The end is in sight
By the end of 2019, St Mary, St John and Trinity had become our first 100 per cent smart parishes. We had replaced 100 per cent of those parishes’ old credit meters among over 46,500 Smart Meters installed so far.
2020 - Roll out complete and the app overhaul
SmartSwitch entered its final phase as we set about replacing our 4,100 Pay As You Go Key Meters. We accelerated this roll-out due to the COVID-19 pandemic to help customers who were self-isolating with no one to top up for them.
Because Smart PAYG Meters can be charged remotely, a friend or relative can top up for a vulnerable person without having to visit their home with a key.
By the end of September 2020, we had completed the project. Importantly, the end-to-end metering system has been designed to have a lifespan of 10 to 15 years with the flexibility to develop and change to meet the future needs of customers whose data viewing habits are constantly evolving.
We will soon be launching an app to replace Smart Account providing customers with detailed consumption data, and an online portal to enable PAYG customers to top up any time from anywhere.
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