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Smart meter eUpdate - Issue 7

January 2014

Smart meter rollout arrangements

The Victorian Government is implementing ongoing arrangements for the installation of smart meters now that the vast majority has been installed. More than 90 per cent of the rollout is complete with over 2.5 million meters installed at homes and small businesses across the state.

The Government is focused on ensuring that the benefits of smart meters are available to all Victorians. For this to occur, new regulations require distribution businesses to continue to install smart meters following the end of 2013. It is the Victorian Government’s policy that smart meters are now the standard meter in Victoria.

If a distribution business has not attempted to install a smart meter in a Victorian home or small business by 30 June 2014, the customer at that premises will be entitled to a rebate from their distribution business.

Customers who have refused the installation of a smart meter will not be entitled to a rebate.

Distributors will continue to engage with customers who have concerns relating to the installation of a smart meter. From March 2015, distributors will be able to consider recovering the costs of running a separate metering service from the small number of customers who continue to refuse a smart meter. Regulations will prevent distributors from recovering the additional costs incurred in providing manual metering services from customers with smart meters.

For more information on the ongoing arrangements of smart meters visit the latest news section of the smart meter website.

Choice gives My Power Planner the tick of approval!

Independent consumer advocate, Choice, believes My Power Planner is good for consumers. In a recent article on energy affordability Choice says, "We welcome the work the Victorian government has done to enable Victorian consumers to use their personal consumption data on an independent comparison site as a step in the right direction."

Available on the Switch On website, My Power Planner is an interactive price comparison tool that helps you compare offers from electricity retailers and find the offer best suited to your budget, lifestyle and needs.

My Power Planner will also help you understand the potential benefits of shifting when you use high-electricity use appliances to off-peak periods, through a flexible pricing offer. The tool includes simple instructions and videos to guide you through the steps.

So, why not give it a try! Visit My Power Planner and upload your own smart meter data or build an 'energy profile' and find out if you could save money.

If you’ve already used My Power Planner to find a better electricity plan we're interested in your experience and would appreciate hearing from you. Please email us at smartmeters@dsdbi.vic.gov.au and share your story.

Energy Information Fund update

Submissions for the Energy Information Fund (EIF) are currently being reviewed following the close of applications on 20 December 2013. The EIF is working towards completing the assessment process and notifying applicants of results by the end of February 2014.

The Victorian Government established the EIF following major changes in the Victorian electricity market to support community groups in distributing information to people who might not be reached otherwise.

The EIF will provide funding to not-for-profit organisations to develop and adapt information about flexible pricing, smart meters and the electricity market with the view to developing and delivering education materials, tools and resources to hard-to-reach consumers across Victoria.

The EIF also works with the Consumer Utilities Advocacy Centre to promote collaboration and share information resources across the not-for-profit sector.

For updates on the EIF visit the Switch On website.

AMI Program Community Liaison Manager - Mark Travill

Over the past 12 months, Mark Travill has spoken to many community groups and stakeholders in Melbourne and throughout Victoria about smart meters, energy efficiency and affordability - providing helpful advice and support.

Mark has an extensive background in energy trading, operations and the development of competitive markets and renewable power generation. He is a valuable source of information about our complex energy sector.

Mark is available to meet with stakeholders and community groups to discuss the Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) smart meter program including the ongoing arrangements relating to the installation of smart meters. To request a meeting or presentation from Mark Travill, please email smartmeters@dsdbi.vic.gov.au