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Smart meter rollout arrangements

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

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

Smart meters are now giving Victorians access to more detailed information about their power use and to new flexible pricing options that could help some households save money.

Smart meters mean faster and cheaper reconnections, an end to estimated bills and better reliability as electricity companies can pinpoint faults and act more quickly to fix them.

The installation process has also provided a safety check of the meter boards of Victorian homes and businesses. To date, more than 19,000 homes have been found with wiring or other defects that needed to be repaired, potentially saving lives and preventing property damage.

The Government recognises that some Victorians have not yet been able to access the benefits of smart meters, and is changing regulations to ensure all consumers can benefit from the program.

If a distribution business has not attempted to install a smart meter in a Victorian small business or home 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.

Distribution businesses will not be able to recover the costs of paying the rebate from customers, either through the network charges or metering fees.

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.

A distributor will only be able to recover the costs of managing manual meter reading services from those customers who have refused the installation of a smart meter. The new arrangements will ensure that the costs of this extra service will not be an additional cost to households who have a smart meter.

Customers are encouraged to discuss the upcoming installation of a smart meter with their distributor if they have any concerns.