35,000 meters for replacement?

Alpine Energy commercial manager Daniel Roos . . . "Alpine Energy will work with customers to ensure the least possible disruptions when it comes to installing new meters. Fewer than half the electricity meters in South Canterbury homes and businesses examined so far in a region-wide survey by Alpine Energy meet new standards set by the Government.

Alpine Energy commercial manager Daniel Roos . . . "Alpine Energy will work with customers to ensure the least possible disruptions when it comes to installing new meters.

35,000 meters may need to be replaced in SC

Most SC electricity meters do not meet new Govt standards, inspectors find

Fewer than half the electricity meters in South Canterbury homes and businesses examined so far in a region-wide survey by Alpine Energy meet new standards set by the Government.

And this means that more than 35,000 meters might need to be replaced across South Canterbury by the time of the Government's March 2015 deadline, Alpine's commercial manager Daniel Roos says.
There are 67,000 meters at 30,069 sites in South Canterbury and so far inspectors employed by Alpine's operations company NETcon have visited 26,435 sites or almost 90 per cent of them, Mr Roos said. Most urban areas have now been covered and inspectors are now completing Waimate before moving into the Upper Mackenzie, Lake Tekapo, Twizel, Mt Cook, Pukaki, Godley, Lilybank and Black Forest areas.
They have found that 55 per cent of the meters do not comply.
"The new standards set by the Government measure factors such as meter accuracy and efficiency," Mr Roos said.
"Because many meters in South Canterbury were aging there was a relatively high non-compliance rate, especially in rural areas.
He said the reason rural areas seemed left behind was due in part to the higher turnover of properties in urban areas, each property change usually also bringing a change in electricity retailer. Retailers were more likely to upgrade meters at that point in the property cycle.
Nevertheless, South Canterbury meters were aging.
"The average age of South Canterbury meters is 30 years plus. Technology has come a long way since many were installed and it is important we upkeep our network assets by upgrading to current technologies," he said.
He said affected customers would be informed well in advance of planned meter upgrades, scheduled to begin in April next year.
"Alpine Energy will work with customers to ensure the least possible disruptions," Mr Roos said.
"Meters are generally changed within minutes and will involve brief electricity outages to allow the electrician sufficient time to complete the upgrade."
Inspectors had made excellent progress in the survey, the first to completely cover South Canterbury. Originally expected to take a year, the survey is now expected to be completed in about half the time, finishing just before Christmas.