Smart metering

15 November 2023 at 9:39 am

Smart metering data a vital step in decarbonisation journey


Orion is partnering with Vector Metering to access detailed operational data from smart electricity meters. This will provide an efficient and cost-effective way for Orion to gain enhanced visibility on the performance of its low voltage network. 

Orion is the first electricity distribution business in the country to access the information from Vector Metering, the largest smart metering provider in New Zealand. Under this agreement, Orion will gain access to operational data on the performance of its network right up to the boundary of around 90% of its customers.

Electricity distribution businesses have historically had excellent insight into their high voltage networks but have not needed to have granular visibility of their low voltage network, and this has now changed. A low voltage network carries electricity from local distribution transformers to end customers’ meters.

“Advancing low voltage visibility is a vital step in enabling the future energy market and facilitating decarbonisation at the lowest cost to customers. By accessing this smart meter information we’ll be much better placed to improve the optimisation of our network as our region’s demand for electricity increases with decarbonisation,” says Orion General Manager Future Network David Freeman-Greene.

“Gaining access to smart meter operational data gives us terrific visibility and understanding of our low voltage network, including electricity load and voltage across the day.”

“This will help us meet the evolving needs of our customers and understand where the pressure points are across our network. Our opportunities to optimise the capacity and performance of our low voltage network, without building more lines and cables, increase significantly by gaining access to this data.”

“Without this smart meter data, we would need to physically install thousands of monitors and meters throughout our network, which would be significantly more costly and time-consuming, and would delay progress on our decarbonisation journey.”

The ability of the smart meters to collect the data was already there. The processing and delivery of the data was enabled by Vector Metering investing in the expansion of its digital systems to unlock recording and sharing data in the Orion network.

Vector Metering CEO Neil Williams says, “We are excited to work with Orion by providing a service that will see benefits to their business and customers through the optimisation of their low voltage network investment.

“Leveraging the capability of our smart meters to provide granular power quality data is an important step in the decarbonisation of the New Zealand economy.”

As part of the agreement with Vector Metering, Orion will receive data for 195,000 meters on an ongoing basis over a five-year period.