Making better use of smart-meter data

Published on the 08/06/2017 | Written by Newsdesk

Smart meter data

BI platform leverages anonymised smart meter data to deliver new tools for the electricity sector…

Smart meters are in most households around the country, but if ‘challenger’ retailers like Electric Kiwi and Flick are to be believed, the data they produce doesn’t get used by most power companies. That’s set to change with a business intelligence platform being developed by local startup company Ampli.

A joint venture between Axos Systems Ltd and Counties Power, Ampli is among the ventures participating in a three-month ‘Lightning Lab Electric energy sector accelerator’ at Wellington’s Creative HQ.

“This is an amazing opportunity for the entire energy industry to take advantage of smart-meter capability to drive better decisions and deliver better outcomes for the sector – and ultimately consumers,” said Ampli co-founder Jason Baker in a statement.

Ampli said New Zealand leads the world in market operation and its electricity regulatory environment ‘with the highest country penetration of advanced meters on electricity networks’. Estimates put the numbers at around 7 or 8 out of every 10 households.

Baker noted that the industry has an opportunity to support data sharing – especially when this can be done on an anonymised and highly secure basis.

“Our product delivers solutions by combining retailer and network data with smart meter consumption and diagnostics to provide energy sector participants with powerful insights and the tools to apply them,” he said.

The outcome is that the platform will enable the sector to make data-driven decisions in a diverse range of applications from field service automation to innovation of new products and services to asset management and investment, he added.

However, while smart meters offer benefits associated with knowing more about consumption habits (and enables a point of difference for those retailers already using that data), it isn’t universally welcomed. Fringe lunatics worry about ‘health and safety impacts’ from the technology and there are those who feel their lives are so important that ‘the government’ or others can use that information for snooping.

But Baker assuages those fears, in this instance. “Privacy is a key consideration wherever data is concerned and our best-practice security and anonymisation process ensures this is sacrosanct.”

Counties Power Chief Executive Sheridan Broadbent said the joint venture is a commercial collaboration that will deliver transformational operational and investment efficiencies for network companies, energy retailers and industry stakeholders through smart meter data.

“Ampli’s suite of solutions will deliver an unprecedented level of analytics designed to optimise network planning and investment, manage connection and outages and revenue – and ultimately drive innovation,” he said Broadbent.

The Lightning Lab Electric programme gives Ampli access to a network of more than 250 mentors, interns and advisors.

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