Trilliant to start Isle of Man smart meter roll-out

  • March 16, 2021
  • Steve Rogerson

All 50,000 electricity meters on the Isle of Man will be replaced by Trilliant with smart meters in Manx Utilities’ roll-out due to start in June.

By using North Carolina-based Trilliant’s LPWAN technology, Manx Utilities should be able to improve coverage, capacity, network longevity and overall performance across the island. The result should provide reliable and strong communications for smart grid and smart city technologies.

The island-wide smart metering system will form part of a smarter energy grid allowing Manx Utilities to be more precise about energy production and supply, enabling a reduction in waste and better support low carbon technologies for transport and heating.

Over the next four years all of Manx Utilities’ 50,000 meters in homes and businesses will be replaced helping consumers to stay in control of their electricity use with accurate consumption information sent directly to the organisation through a dedicated low-power wireless network.

The wireless network has been commissioned and the first 15,000 smart meters have been manufactured and in-house testing of the system is progressing to plan.

Domestic prepayment meters in the north of the island will be replaced first and Manx Utilities will be contacting those customers prior to the commencement of the roll-out, currently anticipated for June 2021.

Smart meter installation is the beginning of the Smarter Living concept, which is helping the organisation support actions to mitigate climate change. Heat pumps support the Smarter Living ethos as they use natural resources to heat a home more efficiently.

With 4kW of heat output for every 1kW of energy input, they can supply more heat than they consume, which makes them more efficient than a standard boiler. Heat pump users qualify for Manx Utilities’ ComfyHeat tariff, which offers half-price electricity during the afternoon and overnight for the entire house.

The first phase of a recent air source heat pump trial has been delivered with 40 heat pumps being installed. Feedback from these customers has been positive with home owners experiencing a more comfortable living environment. Users have indicated that they would want to use their heating systems for a year to measure the savings versus fossil fuel. Based on the positive feedback to date the trial has been extended with a further phase to allow up to 165 homes to be assessed overall.

“Manx Utilities will, in the coming weeks, be sending out information to every home and business on the island so that customers understand how smart metering will help to modernise our island’s electricity infrastructure and support government’s climate change action plan,” said Tim Baker, chairman of Manx Utilities. “With Tynwald approving a ban on fossil fuel heating by 2025 for new properties it is important for Manx Utilities to better understand the benefits for customers in a variety of different home set-ups enabling consumers to make informed choices for the future.”