Contact Energy is installing smart meters in Christchurch.
“All of our residential and small business customers in Christchurch will have their current meter replaced with a smart meter,” says Contact Energy spokeswoman Anne-Marie Shepherd.
She was unable to confirm how many smart meters the project involves, however.
Customers will be sent a letter to let them know when their meter will be replaced, she says.
Using the smart meters — which will be rolled out under the SmartConnect brand — customers will receive an electricity bill based on actual usage each month, says Shepherd. There will be “no more bi-monthly estimates”, she says.
The digital smart meters read the information every half-hour. The company will also be able to access the meter information remotely.
“Once a smart meter is installed, meter readers will no longer need to visit the property to undertake a meter-reading,” she says.
Contact Energy expects the smart meters will enable the company to provide more detailed information to customers about their energy usage — and help the company resolve queries more efficiently, says Shepherd.
“We believe that this information could also put customers in a better position to save energy,” she says.
In the future, smart meters could enable customers to view their power usage online, she adds. The new-style meters could also offer opportunities to develop new products and services that are more tailored towards customer needs.