POWER OF CHOICE AND ADVANCED METERS
Advanced meters can offer a dynamic, dependable and proven total systems approach to metering data collection and information analysis.
And with the right product you can:
- Make it easier to monitor usage
- Give accurate meter reads
- Provide more timely data
- Deliver faster move in and out.
With Power of Choice effective from 1 December 2017, people are taking more of an interest in advanced meters.
We want you to have the right information.
If you’re a retail customer, you may have been advised the terms of your energy contracts are changing from 1 December 2017 in preparation for the Power of Choice metering reforms. Power of Choice is a government-led, industry-wide program to provide consumers with more opportunities to make informed choices about the way they use electricity products and services.
Under new metering rules, advanced meters will progressively be made available to all residential and small business customers. We’ve answered your most frequently asked questions about the changes below.
NMI* classification codes – help you to classify your size?
|Victoria: >=160 MWh
NSW: >=160 MWh
ACT: >= 160 MWh
QLD: >=100 MWh
SA: >=160 MWh
|Victoria: <160 MWh
NSW: <160 MWh
ACT: < 160 MWh
QLD: < 100 MWh
SA: <160 MWh
TAS: <150 MWh
* National Meter Identifier
From 1 December 2017, all new electricity meters for residential and small business customers will need to be advanced meters. This means that older-style meters will be phased out and replaced over time until all meters are advanced.
How do Advanced Meters work?
Advanced meters, also known as smart or digital meters, are the next generation of electricity meters. Unlike the past generation of meters, they communicate between your home and your energy supplier using a wireless network?
Advanced meters use a very low power radiofrequency (RF) to communicate information such as meter readings to a base station for use in providing electricity service to customers.
They measure your home electricity use every 30 minutes and send this data automatically to your retailer every day via a secure wireless network. In future, the advanced meters will have the capacity to provide real time data to the consumer.
What’s the difference between advanced, digital, intelligent, ‘smart’ and internal meters?
These terms – plus remote-read meter of unregulated meter – are often used interchangeably, but they don’t necessarily mean the same thing. The term ‘advanced meter’ is being used by us as the terminology to describe a compliant interval meter with both a digital readout and a communication device to send and receive data. An interval meter is only one component of the advanced meter.
The term ‘smart’, ‘intelligent’ and ‘ advance’ are also being used in various parts of the world to describe a similar set of meter features/ components, but we are not using these terms. We refer to the older style accumulation meters (eg Type 6) as ‘basic meters.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) commissioned an investigation into improving consumer choice of products and services relating to electricity.
One of the key recommendations was to create competition in the metering space by:
- Separating out the provision of metering services from distributors
- Creating opportunities for new participants to enter the market and for new products and services to be based on advanced meter functionality
- Bringing greater control and choice to consumers through the introduction of advanced meters and by requiring retailers and distributors to give them detailed data on their power usage patterns.
This mandate means all new and replacement meters must be advanced after 1 December 2017.
Moving forward, we will also be offering digital meters to customers who want to replace their existing basic meters with advanced meters and will be working towards realising the business and customer benefits the project can bring.
From 4 December 2017 all meters installed in new properties will need to be an advanced meter. Your electricity retailer will arrange installation for you.
Yes, these rules are the same for small business, as well as residential customers.
What if I don’t want to change?
You don’t need to change meters immediately.
However, after 4 December 2017, if your meter needs replacing (due to defects or similar issues) or you need a new meter for any other reason, then your replacement meter will need to be an advanced meter. Your utilities provider will sort out the installation for you.
Health authorities around the world, including the World Health Organisation (WHO), have examined the scientific evidence regarding possible health effects from advanced meters. Current research indicates that there are no established health effects from the low exposure to the RF EME from advanced meters.
Looking for more? Read all about it on the AEMO Power of Choice web page.