CLP Power will expand trials of smart meters in customers' homes this year in an effort to improve electricity consumption management.
The trial, following tests last year at some homes at Lohas Park in Tseung Kwan O, will cover more and different types of estates to ensure the selected hardware delivers the desired benefits. But the exact locations and number of homes involved in the trial have yet to be decided.
One aim is to work out the right mode for wireless transmission of meter data between homes and power companies in the city's high-density community.
The power firm hopes the meters, which track power use levels continuously and send instant data back to users through a wireless network, can become a tool for users to adjust their consumption levels and patterns and help them save energy.
'It will tell you not just how much you are consuming but where you stand compared to your neighbours or an average household. You might also set a maximum consumption level so you will be alerted by the system when you hit that level,' said Kwan Chung-ming, CLP's senior smart grid development manager.
In the future, power users may be able to connect through their mobile phone or computer to a communication network that allows remote control of appliances at home.
CLP chief operating officer Poon Wai-yin said the company would study the cost-effectiveness of the meters during the trials but it would be years before the technology could be widely applied.
'We have to get the technology right first as once they are installed it will be difficult to reverse it.'
CLP has also built an intelligent power substation in east Kowloon near Kai Tak, which will allow automatic and online monitoring of the facility to ensure power supply reliability. It says the cost was comparable to conventional substations.