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20,000 solar panel-compatible digital smart meters will be installed at households across the Northern Territory by the end of June 2024, with plans to upgrade all remaining old meters by 2034.

Power and Water has begun the process of installing about 20,000 smart meters in Darwin, Katherine, Tennant Creek and Alice Springs, replacing old mechanical power meters nearing the end of their operational life.

Power and Water Executive General Manager Core Operations, Michael Besselink, said this makes up roughly a quarter of Power and Water electricity meters.

“These new smart meters are compatible with solar panel installations and will support us to move towards the Territory’s target of 50 per cent renewables by 2030, making it easier for Territorians to connect to rooftop solar panels and batteries.”

Smart meters are the modern electronic equivalent of old rotating disc mechanical meters and have been used by Power and Water for all recent new and replacement meters.

They will assist Power and Water to modernise a key part of its business, safely delivering power to homes and businesses.

“Power and Water is committed to providing a safe and reliable power supply to Territorians,” Mr Besselink said.

“The smart meters are expected to last at least 15 years and wirelessly send an accurate reading of customers’ electricity use back to Power and Water using the same communications technology as mobile phones.

“The technology will greatly reduce estimated reads being provided to energy retailers and will lessen the need for meter readers to enter people’s properties.”

The upgrade process requires power to be turned off to the property for approximately 10 to 30 minutes, while the old meter is disconnected and the new smart meter is installed.

Power and Water will continue to upgrade another 25,000 smart meters from 2024 to 2029, and then the remaining old meters from 2029 to 2034.

The replacement of power meters is in accordance with the National Electricity Rules (Northern Territory), and the smart meters are owned and maintained by Power and Water.

More information is available here.

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