SC's first comprehensive audit

Read about South Canterbury’s first ever comprehensive survey of electricity meters in every home and business...

Alpine Energy launches SC's first comprehensive audit


NETcon Ltd’s meter assessment team leader Hesham Mikhail shows the small hand-held remote device that uses a satellite link to send data back to Alpine Energy’s data base in Meadows Road, Timaru. He describes the task ahead of his four-strong team undertaking South Canterbury’s first ever comprehensive electricity meter survey as a simple job taking around five minutes at most properties.

Meter efficiency survey a five-minute job at most properties

Simple and easy, just a five-minute job at most properties. That’s how NETcon Ltd’s metering project manager Hesham Mikhail describes the task ahead of his four-strong team undertaking for Alpine Energy Ltd South Canterbury’s first ever comprehensive survey of electricity meters in every home and business...

And Hesham points out that no wires are connected or disconnected to the household supply – the survey is all done by a small hand-held remote device with a satellite link to Alpine Energy’s data base back at its Meadows Road offices.

In fact, says Hesham, modern meter performance testing technology has done away with the need for form-filling, hard-wire connections and any form of meter dismantling and the information read at each property’s meter board is transmitted to Alpine Energy’s computer server at the touch of button – instantly. “Then we are gone,” he said.

The hand-held device, about the size of a one-litre milk bottle, even has a camera built in to provide vital information for a snapshot of the meter installation.
Alpine Energy’s commercial manager Daniel Roos says Hesham’s team of inspectors will visit more than 32,000 homes in South Canterbury during the next 12 months in a zone-by-zone approach. The inspectors were only interested in the efficiency of meters, not how electricity was being used in a home or business, he said. “That’s their business. Ours is making sure that the power used is measured accurately.”

Fairlie is being assessed this month and inspections will shift to Pleasant Point for the month of June. The Timaru urban area survey will begin in July. The project, scheduled to be completed by April 29 next year, is part of the Government’s requirements for meter efficiency compliance, which it says must be completed nationwide by March 31, 2015.

Mr Roos expected that most South Canterbury meters would need to be replaced prior to the March 2015 deadline and the current meter inspection would position Alpine Energy for an accurate assessment of future smart meter requirements across South Canterbury.
He said NETcon inspectors would be clearly identified when they knocked at the door.
“They will be wearing identification labels and company-branded apparel and each auditor is expected to visit up to 32 homes a day,” he said.
The staff would call at properties in the normal meter-reading manner during the normal working day. They would not be calling at night, Mr Roos said.
“In the event a householder was not home and access to meters could not be established, the assessors would make a return visit after leaving a card that clearly identified them.”

He had one request though. If large dogs were roaming a property, Alpine Energy would welcome a call to let the inspectors know about their presence.