Smarter smart metering
Nick Wellington believes that the capabilities of smart meters currently fall short of what is needed to identify where energy is being wasted.
The chief aim of the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme is to deliver carbon savings by reducing the amount of energy used by large organisations. To achieve this, companies need to work with energy providers to find new ways of monitoring and reducing amount of energy they use. One way (while streamlining and managing the integration of this scheme into current energy-management systems) is through smart meters.
The problem with today’s smart meters is that they only give business owners and utility companies access to overall energy-consumption data. Such data provide limited insight into energy-consumption patterns by identifying how much energy is used overall and at what time. The data does not give businesses or energy providers the granular detail, based on an individual appliance or electricity consumption unit, that is needed to identify where energy is being wasted.
I believe there should be a leap in smart-meter technology, in the form of disaggregation technology, which will allow organisations to improve their energy-management awareness, minimise their environmental impact and provide the detailed energy consumption data needed to make behavioural changes. This will ultimately allow businesses to reduce carbon emissions and save money.
Integrating disaggregation technology into current smart meter offerings will enable energy providers to transform smart meters from simple displays for businesses, to intelligent energy-measurement and management systems, allowing businesses to accurately track energy usage for every energy-consuming device across the business.
But, the process of integrating this type of technology into the mainstream smart meter offering, to benefit the CRC EES, can only be achieved if there is a level of interoperability between energy providers. All suppliers will have to adopt a flexible approach to ensure that new and innovative technologies can easily be brought to market.