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Smart Meters eUpdate - Issue 1

New advisory council to oversee Smart Meter benefits

The Minister for Energy and Resources Michael O'Brien has announced the formation of a Ministerial Advisory Council for the Advanced Metering Infrastructure (Smart Meter) program.

It will focus on realising the benefits to consumers from Smart Meters and will ensure that Victorians have a strong voice in the program.

The Council provides a collaborative framework for key stakeholders, including consumer groups and industry representatives, to work towards bringing forward the benefits of the Smart Meter program.

Importantly the Council will monitor Smart Meter consumer information and engagement programs to ensure that Victorians will have the facts when it comes Smart Meters.

Members will include key stakeholders including consumer groups and industry representatives - a good cross-section of both the community and industry.

The following organisations have accepted the Government's invitation to be part of the Council:

  • AGL
  • Citipower/Powercor
  • Community Information Victoria
  • Consumer Action Law Centre
  • Consumer Utilities Advocacy Centre
  • Council on the Ageing
  • Energy Retailers Association of Australia
  • Jemena
  • Origin Energy
  • SmartGrid Australia
  • SP AusNet
  • St Vincent de Paul
  • TRU Energy
  • United Energy Distribution
  • Victorian Council Of Social Service

Smart Meter Roll Out Numbers

With over one million meters installed, the rollout of AMI is around 40% complete (as at end February 2012), with many already being read remotely. The roll out is expected to be completed by the end of 2013

Update ... Smart Meters And Electrical Safety

There have been a number of recent media reports of Smart Meters exploding. The distributor concerned, Jemena, has advised that independent testing has shown that 21 Smart Meter failures have been the result of deliberate interference. Police have been called in to investigate.

Contrary to media reports, these explosions did not cause house fires and emergency services were not called to respond to any of these incidents.

According to Energy Safe Victoria there is no evidence to say smart meters are in any way unsafe to residents or electrical workers.

Jemena Managing Director Paul Adams re-iterated that the same meters were installed across Victoria, and were safe. Mr Adams said that he was extremely disappointed that the public had been unnecessarily alarmed.

Last month, Jemena held a customer consultation forum to answer questions about the safety of the Smart Meter and reiterated its full confidence in the safety and quality of its Smart Meters and the future benefits of the program. Around 30 community members attended the event.

A photo of a smart meterWant More Information About Smart Meters?

DPI's Smart Meter website is constantly being updated with new information - fact sheets, useful reports, links and program updates.

To visit the website click on www.dpi.vic.gov.au/smartmeters

Other LanguagesOther Language Versions Of Our Fact Sheets

Smart Meter fact sheets are now available in Mandarin, Greek, Arabic, Italian, Turkish, Macedonian, Vietnamese and Spanish.

Visit the Smart Meter website to view an in-language version of our fact sheets.

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If you have any ideas for articles or wish to contact the editorial team please email SmartMeters@dpi.vic.gov.au