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Smart meters: End of rollout

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The rollout of smart meters in Victoria is now effectively complete with almost 2.8 million meters installed across the state. It is the Government’s policy that smart meters are, and will continue to be, the standard meters in Victoria.

Under new regulations made by the Victorian Government, if an electricity distributor has not attempted to install a smart meter in a Victorian home or small business by 30 June 2014, the customer at that premise will be entitled to a rebate ­ (provided the customer has not refused the installation of a smart meter).

From 1 April 2015, for the small number of customers who continue to refuse a smart meter, electricity distributors will be able to recover the costs associated with running a separate meter reading service from those customers.

The smart meter rebate

Under new regulations made by the Victorian Government, electricity distributors are required to pay a rebate to customers where the distributor has failed to attempt to install a smart meter by 30 June 2014.

The rebate recognises that some homes and small businesses have not been able to access the benefits delivered by smart meters.

The rebate amount will be delivered in two parts.

  • First payment: This is a one-off payment of $125 that will be paid to customers at premises where the distributor has not attempted to install a smart meter by 30 June 2014.  This payment must be made to customers by 31 October 2014.
  • This first rebate will not be payable if a customer has expressly refused a smart meter or has not provided access to their premises to allow a smart meter to be installed, or if conditions at the site mean that the smart meter cannot be installed (for example, there is an electrical defect at this site.)
  • Second payment: An additional one-off payment of $125 will be paid to customers who have a smart meter installed that is not being remotely-read by 31 March 2015. This rebate payment must be made to customers by 30 June 2015. This additional payment acknowledges that many of the benefits of smart meters require the smart meter to be read remotely.
  • Both of these rebate payments will only apply to premises that existed as at 31 December 2013, which means that any new houses built after this date will not be eligible for a rebate.

Under what conditions is a rebate payable?

If an electricity distributor has not attempted to install a smart meter at a premise by 30 June 2014, the distributor is required to pay a rebate.

You will be entitled to a rebate if:

  • you do not have a smart meter installed at 30 June 2014
  • your electricity distributor has not contacted you before 30 June 2014 to advise that a smart meter will be installed at your premises or visited your premises to install a meter  
  • your home or small business existed at 31 December 2013. (You are not eligible for the rebate if your home was built after 31 December 2013.)

The rebate will be paid by the electricity distributor to the electricity account holder at the relevant premises.

If you have any questions about whether you might be eligible for a rebate please contact your electricity distributor.

Manual meter fee

Under new regulations made by the Victorian Government, the costs associated with the manual meter reading of ‘older style’ meters may be recovered separately by an electricity distributor through a manual meter fee. The manual meter fee may be charged from 1 April 2015, and will apply to premises that do not have a smart meter because the distributor has not been granted access to install a meter. For example, where a customer has expressly refused a smart meter or has not provided access to allow a smart meter to be installed. This fee will continue to be in place until the electricity distributor is able to gain access and install the smart meter at the premises.

The fee will not apply to premises where the electricity distributor has not attempted to install a smart meter, or where conditions at the premise mean that the smart meter can’t be installed. For example, the meter board is not the right size for a smart meter, or there is an electrical defect at the site that is preventing installation.

How much will the manual meter fee be?

The amount of the manual meter fee will reflect the cost of continuing to provide manual meter reading services to premises that do not have a smart meter (for example, the cost of visiting the site to read the meter).

The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) must approve the amount of a manual meter fee before it is charged, to determine it is set at a reasonable level, and that it is cost reflective.

If you have any questions about the fee, please contact your electricity distributor directly.