AEMC recommends mass rollout of smart meters
The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) has made a final recommendation in its metering review for the accelerated rollout of smart meters across Australian homes and businesses. As part of the AEMC’s suite of reforms, energy customers would receive a smart meter by 2030, along with better information, protections and data.
The independent review determined that speeding up the rollout of smart meters to 100% of households by 2030 would provide net benefits to the value of $507 million for national electricity market regions, including NSW, QLD, the ACT and SA.
“Going from an old accumulation meter to a smart meter can be like going from a landline to a smartphone, and people deserve transparency and timely information about how they can make the device best work for them,” AEMC chair Anna Collyer says.
In the AEMC’s proposal, a coordinated rollout would be led by energy networks developing a legacy meter retirement plan, with retailers overseeing upgrades to smart meters. Under the final recommendations, retailers would be obliged to provide customer-friendly information prior to meter installations as well as adequate notice regarding any tariff changes and access to real-time data free of charge.
The recommendations also include the development of a communications strategy for the rollout to inform and assist consumers with their choices, and support for vulnerable customers with premises requiring remediation before a smart meter can be installed.
“Smart meters are key to ensuring we are building a grid that will see us move into a net zero future,” Energy Networks Australia chief executive officer Dom van den Berg says.
“We can’t run a 21st-century grid with 19th-century meter technology. Making sure every home and business has a smart meter will enable that.”
The AEMC said its final recommendations took in feedback from extensive consultation with stakeholders. The organisation will now work with energy advocacy bodies on the next steps in the rule change process.