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Adelaide Solar City

Image Adelaide Solar City

Solar Cities is a Federal Government initiative designed to demonstrate how solar power, smart meters, energy efficiency and new approaches to electricity pricing combine to provide a sustainable energy future in urban locations.

The Adelaide Solar City Project was launched in 2007 by The Honourable Malcolm Turnball MP, at the time Minister for the Environment and Water Resources.

Adelaide Solar City consortium leader Origin Energy engaged Metropolis to deliver a versatile and innovative smart metering solution for residential consumers.  During 2008 Metropolis deployed several thousand residential meters across the northern suburbs of Adelaide – including Salisbury, Elizabeth, Mawson Lakes, Tea Tree Gully and Golden Grove.

Metropolis provided Adelaide residential customers with the first on line data access service available in Australia, allowing electricity users to monitor and assess usage to reduce their bills.  The service has been available since 2008 and continues to this day.

Chief Technology Officer, Chris Boek with The Hon. Malcolm Turnball at Adelaide Solar City Launch, 2007
Chief Technology Officer, Chris Boek with The Hon. Malcolm Turnball at Adelaide Solar City Launch, 2007

The project also introduced the first colour touch screen in-home display for electricity users available in Australia.  The unit, provided to 500 project participants, is wireless and polls the smart meter from anywhere in the home every few seconds to provide real time usage information.

The information is displayed in full colour with detailed graphics and uses touch screen navigation to allow an enhanced range of features.

With real‐time point‐to‐point communications Metropolis is also able to upload content to all or selected smart meters, which is then picked up by the in-home display for presentation to the consumer. 

A simple demonstration of this ability is inclusion of a four‐day weather forecast updated 3 times a day on each in-home display.


This ability has allowed Origin Energy to advise consumers of new products and services,  issue marketing messages, and provide customers with critical peak price alerts.

A key component of the Adelaide Solar City project was time-of-use and critical peak pricing trials to test the willingness of customers to shift electricity consumption from peak to off-peak periods.

Each summer Metropolis issued over 20,000 price alerts to customers via email, SMS, telephone voice broadcast, and to in-home display units – enabling electricity consumers to modify their consumption behaviour in order to avoid the higher prices.

Subsequent collection of 30-minute interval data from Metropolis’s network of residential smart meters allowed Origin Energy to assess consumer responsiveness to price signals in comparison to a control group of smart metered customers.

In February 2012 Metropolis was presented with the Innovation of the Year Award at the 2012 Australia & New Zealand Smart Metering Awards held in Sydney for its innovative Critical Peak Price messaging service.

Residential Electricity Metering

Residential Electricity Metering

Metropolis provides a comprehensive range of poly-phase and single-phase metering solutions for residential homes. read on Residential Electricity Metering

Bi-Directional Electricity Metering

Bi-Directional Electricity Metering

Metropolis provides bi-directional metering for residential and business sites with renewable energy generation. read on Bi-Directional Electricity Metering

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