Telstra has announced a $100 million deal to provide up to 4.1 million SIMs to Australian and New Zealand utility services company Intellihub for use in smart meters over the next decade.

The agreement is Telstra's largest IoT deal in terms of value and the number of connected devices, Telstra Enterprise Group Executive David Burns stated in a blog post. He said that more than five million devices are connected to Telstra's IoT network and there are around 1.2 million devices connected to a Telstra LPWAN.

Burns' blog post focused on the use of Telstra SIMs in energy meters. The SIMs will be soldered into smart meters at the point of manufacture and connected to Cisco's Jasper platform. Intellihub and its customers will be able to use the SIMs to better manage energy demand, solar feed-ins and peaks and troughs in energy usage, for example.

The deal comes ahead of an expected Telstra Energy launch this year. Telstra has flagged plans for a "retail offering" and wants to help customers "access more affordable renewable energy".

While Burns' blog post today didn't mention Telstra Energy, a separate agreement announced today by Intellihub stated that it was now a metering supplier for Telstra Energy customers. It will provide advanced metering and data insights to Telstra Energy.

A "new high speed Intelli-M smart meter and Intelli-ConX communications bridge" capable of "sub second, high speed measurements and enhanced connectivity for additional solar control and VPP style services" will be deployed, Intellihub stated.

Intellihub talked-up both companies' focus on sustainability: "For us, partnering with an organisation like Telstra with strong renewable energy commitments and sustainable development targets, sits nicely with our own focus on climate and sustainability," it read.

In late 2021, Intellihub announced it had secured a "Green Loan" which meets the Climate Bonds Initiative’s certification criteria for electrical grids and storage.

"Large and growing pipeline"

In January 2021, Intellihub Group's former CEO Adrian Clark stated that Australia's slow pace at adopting modern metering technology was "starting to change" as "more Australian homes adopt solar and other behind the meter solutions.”

Today, Intellihub CEO Wes Ballantine stated that increasing penetration of rooftop solar and growing interest in batteries, electric vehicles and behind the meter distributed energy resources was fuelling the need for more smart meters.

“The smart meter is an essential part of the billing process, but it’s also an enabler of so many other new energy services inside Australian homes,” Ballantine stated. “Data is key to providing these metering services."

Intellihub has a "large and growing pipeline" of new smart meter deployments over the next decade, which it expects will require the processing of large volumes of near real time data.

It currently has more than 1.2 million smart meters under management, with "around" half a million smart meters connected to the Telstra IoT network.

The company installs smart meters for "all major retailers" in Australia and New Zealand, including Origin Energy, which announced the expansion of its metering service agreement with Intellihub in December 2021.

Intellihub's customers also include Endeavour Energy, which in May 2021 announced a "smart hot water" program enabling hot water systems to be "switched on during the day when surplus power is being generated from household solar systems, helping lower customers’ electricity bills."

In December 2021, Intellihub announced that Brookfield Asset Management would become a strategic investor in Intellihub, alongside existing owner Pacific Equity Partners.