close
MENU
Hot Topic NBR Focus: GMO
Hot Topic NBR Focus: GMO
1 mins to read

Innovative lines company plans ahead

Innovative Waikato lines company WEL Networks is planning ahead.The company plans to test new electricity technologies on customers, including small-scale solar and wind generation and an individual appliance control device.“We believe the technolog

Nina Fowler
Tue, 20 Jul 2010

Innovative Waikato lines company WEL Networks is planning ahead.

The company plans to test new electricity technologies on customers, including small-scale solar and wind generation and an individual appliance control device.

“We believe the technologies we’re testing have potential to provide a range of energy efficiency benefits”, WEL chief executive Dr Julian Elder said yesterday.

WEL is looking for 200 homeowners to trial a device, known as SWITCHit, which allows the company to control electricity to home appliances during peak electricity periods.

SWITCHit will help WEL minimise Transpower line charges and delay future investment, while potentially saving customers money on their power bills.

The company is also seeking two homeowners to trial roof-mounted photovoltaic cells, which allow for on-site solar power generation, and one homeowner to install a small wind turbine on their property.

WEL business development manager Jack Ninnes said he thought the spread of small-scale distributed generation technology was inevitable.

“As technology improves, we expect to see price of this technology coming down and eventually it’ll be commercially viable for people to install it themselves… what we’re trying to do is learn as much as we can about what’s involved.”

So far, the customer response to the trial has been enthusiastic, Mr Ninnes said.

“Customers are very keen to see ways they can reduce their electricity bills. So if we can introduce an innovative product that allows us to work together to achieve savings, that’s fantastic.

WEL Networks’ 100% community-owned shareholder WEL Energy Trust is funding the project, which will be carried out at no cost to customers.

WEL Networks is a Deloitte Energy Excellence Awards 2010 finalist for lines company of the year.
 

Nina Fowler
Tue, 20 Jul 2010
© All content copyright NBR. Do not reproduce in any form without permission, even if you have a paid subscription.
Innovative lines company plans ahead
6853
false