Horizon Power will soon begin replacing electricity meters at customers’ premises in the Kimberley.
The rollout of more than 7,500 advanced meters in Port Hedland and other smaller Pilbara towns since July has been very successful, with more than 95 per cent of customers surveyed reporting a courteous and professional service.
The meter exchange project is funded by the State Government as part of its commitment to regional Western Australia and will result in new meters being installed across Horizon Power’s service area. There is no charge to Horizon Power customers for the new meters or their installation.
Customers will be advised when the meter exchange work will take place in their street up to two weeks before the exchange. Horizon Power anticipates power supply to customers will be interrupted for up to 30 minutes during the exchange.
The new meters being installed automatically read electricity consumption, which will result in more accurate and timely billing for our customers.
“Once that local area is complete, the meters will be connected to our billing systems and will be automatically read from then on,” said West Kimberley Retail and Community Manager, Jodie Lynch.
“Estimated bills will become a thing of the past for most customers, with the exception of some customers in very remote locations.
There is no charge to Horizon Power customers for the new meters or their installation.
One of the biggest challenges for Horizon Power crews installing meters and to meter readers is the threat posed by unrestrained dogs. Twelve Horizon Power staff in the West Kimberley and Pilbara have been bitten or attacked by a dog in the past 12 months while doing their job.
“While this project will eliminate the need to access properties to read meters, our crews still need safe access during a fault or emergency. Horizon Power is encouraging customers to provide safe access,” said Mrs Lynch.
“It is also very important for landlords to provide their tenants with access to their meter boxes to ensure installations of the new meters can be undertaken without delays to customers and our crews.”
Other benefits of the meters include:
- Horizon Power will be able to connect or disconnect customers from electricity supply more quickly when the new meter is installed.
- Horizon Power will be able to identify faults faster because we will be able to see whether the fault is inside the house or on our network. If the fault is related to our network, we will send crews as soon as possible to rectify it.
- The advanced metering project assists Horizon Power’s strategic objective of saving $100 million per annum, by 2017–18 while also addressing meter compliance obligations.
- 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.
- Meters can operate in credit or prepayment meter mode allowing customers in areas approved for prepayment meters (Aboriginal communities) to move from one form of payment to the other.
- 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 Western Australia.
- Customers who rent properties must have access to the new meter in the event of a disconnection to ensure they can reconnect once approved.