Smart Meters

The peak problem that drives infrastructure expense exists for a very few hours each year.

Smart Meters:
• would make energy cost more on 100% of days to address a <1% problem
• Do not contribute to increased penetration of renewables
• Data is unsuitable for automation or positive behaviour change
• Are of little use unless they communicate, which is expensive the Utilities way
• Are rightly seen by the public as another gouging
• Would seriously raise stress levels generally, without enabling any positive measures
• Cost a lot of money, have installation issues, and achieve very little
• Preserve the status quo: basic power relationships will remain untouched
• Would reduce peak marginally, but not contribute to reduced use or carbon
• Meet the Industry requirement of not delivering less electricity
• Storms cause more outages than distribution constraints.
• Smart meters do not support multi-retailing, so retailers add no value and no competition
Trends
• Renewables and all other trends drive in the direction of reduced peak, and carbon
• The inevitable reduction in grid delivered energy makes Smart Meters even more expensive
• Get me out of here! get 90% off the grid with PV and (stationary and vehicular) batteries

Plenty of electricity, a few distribution issues

The Energy Market has no resemblance to a “commodity” or “stock” market: it is not mediated by volume. The idea that “a scarce resource should cost more” simply does not apply to electricity. It is not scarce at all, until that moment that it is. There is currently an overabundance of generation capacity all the time, and some distribution issues in some areas for a few hours.

No realtime measurement or control

The existing industry is utterly without new ideas .. there is an enormous silence. Domestic energy management that reflects into grid efficiencies is the elephant that is NOT in the room.

Off the Grid

Prices are now at a level that it feasible (at scale) to take a medium size house off the grid except for a connection that would be used to “precharge” batteries based on weather forecast.
This will happen in niches at first, on SWER lines and more remote locations. These solutions are already being commercially offered.

Consumer Energy Management

The nature of this technology
• Requires no legislation
• Much lower cost that Smart Meters
• Does everything a Smart meter does except disconnect the client
• No communication costs (uses the householders internet connection)
• Co-exists with existing metering systems
• Easier and cheaper to install that smart meters (asbestos)
• Makes the entire grid more efficient (public benefit)
• Enables the centrally coordinated “demand side” at domestic and commercial scale
• Start to manage hot water systems pool pumps: GWs of power
• even small amounts of demand side response will have a huge effect on peak prices
• Acts to limit market “gaming”
• Better management the business “critical half hour” dramatically lowers costs
• Can detect imminent grid instability and act within seconds to shed load
• Enables new forms of contracts e.g. between renewables and pool pumps, electric vehicles
• Acts to reduce carbon and prices
• Enables “smart hot water” (weather predictions limit unnecessary boost)
• Optimise cost benefit of electric solar panels
• Minimise the “voltage push” problem (too many solar panels in one area)
• Enable larger solar panel installs for business (currently limited to “Sunday morning use”)
• Information and control is delibered to browsers and smart phone apps
• Will drive down the requirement for additional poles and wires
• Meets the consumer requirement to be not threatened, and in control
• Can provide significant improvements in energy management in remote locations
• Provides for a a high degree of adaptability
• A large scale rollout costs very little
• Enterprise class systems that handle the data and provide applications already in use
• Several hundred devices built and running
• Consistent with emerging international “demand management” standards
• Provides “smart hot water” technology to local industry to help compete with cheap imports

Why hasn’t some else done it.

Other “home monitoring” systems were not designed with the intent outlined in this document. For that reason they are all inadequate in one way or other.
This is an exercise in distributed computing, executed by very experienced product and systems development engineers.

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