Ian Kearney, chairman of New Zealand’s Network Tasman, said that Network Tasman was undertaking a feasibility study into joining SmartCo, a consortium of 14 companies which wants to spend $200m installing electronic meters equipped with Home Area Network (HAN) radios capable of wirelessly controlling smart home appliances

Kearney said that if Network Tasman became a SmartCo shareholder, it would invest $15-20m over 3-4 years installing the meters in its distribution area. He said that a decision whether to proceed would not be made until October, and because it was a significant investment, it would require approval from trustees of the consumer trust which owns the company.

Kearney said: “There are economies of scale in buying and reinstalling meters, so Network Tasman is looking at taking that meter ownership position in the Tasman region where retailers are looking at getting out of the meter business.”

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