ASX listed Spotless – which provides a diverse range of services – has launched smart metering service provider Spotless Advanced Metering (SAM) to take advantage of new legislation that shifts responsibility for metering of energy supply from network operator to retailer and gives large customers the option of appointing their own metering service provider.
SAM will offer a service direct to retailers, including meter supply and finance, installation and maintenance and remote digital services.
Spotless said that SAM would focus on contract and operations efficiency, and effective risk allocation, providing “the required standards with the best possible value, allowing retailers to focus on their core retail energy business of today whilst providing a platform to help them to thrive tomorrow.”
Spotless CEO, Martin Sheppard, addressing the Australian Utility Week conference in Sydney today, said the new ‘Power of Choice’ legislation, which comes into effect on 1 December 2017, would turn the metering value chain upside down.
“We recognised early on that, for the retailer, it is very challenging environment, an increasingly competitive marketplace, a mature business model which is being challenged,” Sheppard said.
‘Power of Choice’ will challenge retailers
“This is going to require new capabilities, systems, processes and governance for the retailers. So we have moved quickly to adapt our business to accommodate that change and we have expanded our footprint away form what was our core competence to go upstream and downstream.
“In this new world we will provide the meter, the financing for the meter, continue to do the installation and maintenance of the smart meters but also do all the remote digital services including reading, connection and reconfiguration of meters, which is a significant transformational shift for our business and for the industry.
“For the retailer we will be an end-to-end provider of services from the meter, the data provider and the co-ordinator of metering services.”
Sheppard added: “We don’t think the retailers are the best placed or well equipped to provide this service so we commenced the development of Spotless Advanced Metering some months ago to take care of the new legislative environment and provide a simple scaleable whole of life metering proposition delivered via a long term single contract with a single interface that takes out all the elements of the supply chain.
Independent smart metering
Sheppard said Spotless’ independence from the energy supply chain would give it a competitive advantage. “We see ourselves being differentiated in the market by being independent of the networks and the retailers. We have developed a series of best in class partnerships that will provide the technology and the financing structures.”
Sheppard said Spotless had previous smart metering experience gained from its involvement with the Victorian Advanced Metering Infrastructure Program where it installed about one million smart meters.
“We also have capability in NSW and Southeast Queensland, where four times a year we read 3.5 million and 1.5 million meters respectively,” Sheppard said. “This will ensure deployments performed for SAM meet the strict quality and safety requirements associated with this work.”
He added: “With direct ownership of a local field services capability and all the on-the-ground expertise this entails, Spotless aims to be a ‘partner of choice’ with leading providers. … The industry, particularly retailers, can look to us to provide end-to-end metering services enabled through state-of-the-art technology, digital data capture and analytics, and operating and financing solutions.”
Spotless acquires electrical contractor Nuvo
On 2 November Spotless announced its acquisition of electrical contracting and technology services firm Nuvo, saying the move would broaden its service capabilities and enhance customer service offerings.
“Led by [Nuvo CEO] Paul McMurtrie, Nuvo will arm Spotless with an elite team of technical advisors skilled across data platforms, security systems, electrical, high voltage, low voltage, smart systems and building technologies, CCTV, audio visual, lighting and technology integration,” the company said. “Nuvo has a growing presence in the areas of energy efficiency, solar solutions and battery storage systems.”
Sheppard described the move as “a modest acquisition of a boutique operation which has strong growth potential, adds to our capability and has a contract footprint in our priority sectors, including tertiary education and health.”
He said the acquisition would “make a positive contribution to our FY17 result and presents a great opportunity to combine offerings with other Spotless services.”