Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011
Victoria’s problems with its smart metering rollout point to the need for a more considered approach in other parts of the country, says DataCol, a new technology provider in the Australian market.

“The recent controversy over a Melbourne customer receiving an electric shock from a smart meter is the latest in series of issues that have plagued the rollout, and show that the scheme needs better planning in other parts of Australia,” says DataCol’s Chief Executive Bruce Franks.

Smart metering had huge potential to help consumers manage their energy more effectively, and for utilities to manage the energy load smarter, but in the headlong rush to rolling it out mistakes were being made, he said.

“Having been involved in smart metering rollouts in New Zealand, we know how much planning and effort is needed to transition smoothly.”

Mr Franks said rather than forcing quick adoption of smart metering, attention should be paid to improving the existing semi-automated metering approaches while the right groundwork is laid for a fully intelligent metering system.

“There is a lot that can be done to improve the efficiency and lower the cost of the traditional meter-reading approach.

“DataCol has delivered technology and services related to both traditional meter reading and smart metering, and understand how important it is to manage the transition carefully.

“The biggest issue with many current meter reading services is that they are based on old, expensive and inflexible technology so the value proposition of rushing to smart metering looks attractive.

“Adopting some simple, affordable technology to enable more efficient semi-automated data collection reduces the pressure on the rush to smart metering, thereby enabling a smoother roll out and fewer incidents like we have seen in Victoria.”

DataCol has launched a set of meter data collection software products into Australia, designed to assist electricity, gas and water utilities improve the efficiency of their existing meter reading capability and prepare for their smart metering roll outs.

Contact Profile


DataCol’s direct industry experience and knowledge sets it apart from other providers of metering technology for the utility sector, particularly software vendors. Established in 1999, DataCol has over 200 employees and contractors and gained widespread recognition for its service commitment and levels of innovation.

A fully-owned subsidiary of New Zealand energy distribution company Electra, DataCol has offices in New Zealand and Australia. The Electra Group’s turnover is around $64 million with total assets of $169 million.

DataCol counts New Zealand’s largest electricity, gas and water utilities as its customers. The company launched its SevenX meter data collection software into the Australian market in January 2011.
Bruce Franks
P: 1-800-190-183
W: www.datacolgroup.com.au


energy, utility, meterering, smart metering, smart meters, utilities



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