Vector buys Contact's metering business for $63 million

An upgrade of the 128,000 meters acquired has been signalled.

BUSINESSDESK: Vector is buying Contact Energy's gas metering business for $63 million and is signalling an upgrade of the 128,000 meters acquired.

"We have been trialing smart gas metering technology and in the longer term we hope to retro-fit this technology on the acquired gas meter fleet as customers request such technology," Vector chief executive Simon Mackenzie says.

Contact acquired the meters from Enerco in 1999 and their sale to Vector is subject to Commerce Commission clearance.

Contact says it will retain ownership of the data the meters provides so it can maintain its relationship with the gas customers affected.

Contact is the retailer for about 40% of the gas meters. The 128,000 meters are located at residential, commercial and industrial premises.

In 2008, Vector started the installation of smart meters to electricity and gas customers nationwide. As at June 2012 it had installed 369,394 units.

Vector owns and operates the electricity distribution network in the greater Auckland region and owns and operates 2286km of high-pressure transmission gas pipelines throughout the North Island.