Stroud Road Smart Meter Trial
We're undertaking our first-ever community trial of smart meters at Stroud Road, with the technology to be installed at every residential and commercial property in the village. Due to begin in July 2021, the trial has been delayed because of the current COVID situation in NSW. However, when it gets underway it will still run for around three months and allow us to assess the effectiveness of smart meters as a water management tool.
Following the completion of the trial, the smart meters will remain in place and customers will have the opportunity to track their own water use via a smart phone app and website login. This will give them greater control over their home budgets before their quarterly bills arrive. It will also allow us to flag any abnormal water use with them directly, such as in the case of a leak. This will help customers save water and allow us to provide a higher level of service than we have traditionally offered.
If the Stroud Road trial is successful, we’ll look to roll the technology out to more communities across the MidCoast to promote further water savings across the region.
What are smart meters?
Digital water meters, or 'smart meters' as they're more commonly known, are water meters that log water usage and securely transmit this data in hourly intervals. A smart meter can come in two forms - a data logger and transmitter that can be retrofitted to an existing mechanical meter, or an ultrasonic meter that includes the data logger and transmitter.
For the purpose of the Stroud Road trial, we will be using a mix of both meters. The smart meters will communicate using Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT), which is a Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) that operates using the existing mobile phone data network.
What are the benefits of smart meters?
Smart meters provide instantaneous water consumption data and can help customers better understand their own water use. They have also been shown to be an effective tool for detecting leaks. It is estimated that smart meters can reduce water use in the home by up to five per cent.
Are smart meters safe?
Smart meters use low power wide area networks to communicate. The selected supplier will be required to meet relevant health and safety guidelines.
Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) reports there is no established scientific evidence that low-level RF EME exposure from smart meters causes health effects.
Smart meters are regulated by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). The ACMA’s regulatory arrangements require wireless devices to comply with the exposure limits in the ARPANSA RF Standard.