Horizon Power will begin electricity meter replacements across premises in Port Hedland, Roebourne, Point Samson and Cossack (WA) this month.

The meter exchange project is funded by the WA State Government as part of its commitment to regional Western Australia and will result in new meters being installed across Horizon Power’s entire service area.

The new meters being installed are advanced meters which will automatically read electricity consumption, resulting in more accurate and timely billing for customers.

About one-third of customers in the Port Hedland area have locked gates or a dog, meaning they often receive estimated bills because the meter cannot by be physically read.  From September, estimated bills will largely be a thing of the past as the new meters will no longer need to be physically read.

There is no charge to Horizon Power customers for the new meters or their installation, thanks to the State Government’s $34.1 million in funding.

Energy Minister, Mike Nahan, said the advanced metering project included a number of benefits to customers.

“Horizon Power will be able to reconnect customers or disconnect customers from electricity supply more quickly when the new meter is installed.  Horizon Power will also be able to identify faults faster because they will be able to see whether the fault is inside the house or on the network,” said Dr Nahan.

“Meters can operate in credit or prepayment meter mode allowing customers in areas approved for prepayment meters – such as Aboriginal communities – to move from one form of payment to the other.”

The meter exchange project aims to provide $7.3million per annum in savings.  Horizon Power has undertaken a strategic review with the objective of reducing its operating subsidies by $100 million per annum by 2017-18.

Fact file

  • More than 47,000 new meters will be installed from July 2015 to the end of 2017  across a 2.3 million square kilometre service area
  • It is estimated by Bloomberg New Energy Finance that at the end of 2014, more than 540 million advanced meters had been installed at customers’ premises to meter electricity or gas across the world.  Horizon Power customers are the first to benefit from this technology in WA.

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