KEY Terms - Energy
- Behind the meter - another name for DER because the electricity is generated or managed ‘behind’ the electricity meter in the home or business (Australian Renewable Energy Agency).
- Distributed Energy Resources (DER) - distributed energy resources is the name given to renewable energy units or systems that are commonly located on the rooftops of houses or businesses to provide them with power. Common examples of DER include rooftop solar PV units, battery storage, thermal energy storage, electric vehicles and chargers, smart meters, and home energy management technologies (Australian Renewable Energy Agency).
- Energy retailers - buy electricity and gas in wholesale markets from electricity generators, package it with transportation services (poles and wires, or pipelines) and sell it to customers. A retailer is the link between the electricity and gas industry and households and small businesses (Australian Energy Regulator).
- Innovative [energy] retailer – an energy retailer that empowers consumers using new technology (eg smart meters) to reduce their power usage and potentially use more renewable energy (Phillip Island 100% Renewable Pre-feasibility Study; Origin Energy).
- Smart meters - a smart meter measures when and how much electricity is used at a consumer’s premises. It sends this information back to the consumer’s energy retailer remotely, without their meter needing to be manually read by a meter reader. Smart meters can also allow the electricity supply to be remotely switched on and off without the need for a field technician, measure the power quality at a consumer’s premises and notify a consumer’s electricity distributor when the power goes out (Australian Energy Regulator).
- Smart grids – distributed generation technologies (such as solar PV units) have resulted in the need for a more advanced, responsive grid, or smart grid. A smart grid uses computers and smart meters to exchange information between energy retailers, distributors and customers (Origin Energy). According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in the US, a smart grid is an automated, widely distributed energy delivery network that uses a two-way flow of electricity and information to monitor and respond to changes in energy needs in everything from power plants to customer preferences to individual appliances.