Smart grid

Solar panels and Perth skyline.

The way we use electricity is changing with customers becoming more focused on renewables and energy efficiency. Future technologies, such as smart cars, will have an even bigger impact on energy use.

We are working to meet the needs of consumers now and in the future by developing an adaptable and responsive electricity grid that supports these changes – a smart grid.

We want our customers to take advantage of all the technologies that will be soon be available to them and we are working to develop a network that will support these options.

Over the next few years, we will be conducting trials to find out how to best do this and what will make up the right kind of smart grid for our customers.

Smart grid foundation project

Our smart grid foundation project is underpinned by an Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) trial, which involves:

  • the installation of approximately 9,000 smart meters in Perth's eastern metropolitan region
  • the installation of around 2,300 in Denmark 
  • the integration of smart meters and communications software into Western Power's existing meter data management system

This trial will enable us to gather information about energy usage patterns, which will help formulate future energy programs and initiatives to make better use of existing assets. The trial will also see the introduction of Homes Area Networks, In Home Displays and energy saving programs such as voluntary demand-management trials.

We have selected the Silver Springs Networks' Smart Energy Network as a secure IP-based Radio Frequency (RF) mesh network. Our existing secure fibre-based substation communications network is being used as the backbone communications with our control centre.

Landis+Gyr Smart Meters have been chosen for the trial. As well as allowing data to be collected remotely, these meters allow communication technology to be easily upgraded in the future.

Energy efficiency initiatives

Supporting this is a range of energy efficiency initiatives including the:

Generating your own energy

As the cost of electricity increases it makes sense to start generating some of your own household energy from home.