The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) recently released a directions paper highlighting the need to expedite the roll out of smart meters for households and small businesses. In 2011 Victoria made smart meters mandatory, while in NSW, ACT, Queensland and South Australia only 25% of premises have a smart meter and Tasmania is slightly higher at 35%(1). This slower than expected roll out means the potential benefits of smart meter technology aren’t being realised for homes, businesses, and the grid.


“Consumer awareness of smart meters remains low and research we commissioned has found it likely that one-third of people who have a smart meter are unaware it exists, let alone getting any benefits from the data,” AEMC Chair Anna Collyer said.


“At a community level, smart meters are a crucial enabling tool for the reforms we all need to decarbonise the grid They are a gateway to enabling a more dynamic and flexible market – where energy is traded both ways and consumers – and the grid – can harness the power of distributed energy resources like rooftop solar, batteries and electric vehicles.


“We need the aggregated data that sufficient numbers of smart meters could provide on usage and power quality before we can really rely fully on these resources to power the grid.


“This paper we’re releasing today is designed to kick-start discussion on what could be achieved for consumers and the community if smart meter installation reached, for instance, 50% of all premises, and how the regulatory framework can enable that growth.”


The directions paper outlines recommendations to improve smart meter take up and improve the installation process and customer experience. It is also recommended retailers give consumers information prior to smart meters being installed.


Consumers will benefit from a smart meter combined with an app to see their real-time power use. Products such as Emerald’s Electricity Advisor (IHD) and FREE emerald EMS app enables them to make power-saving decisions to suit their family or business.


The directions paper will be open to submissions and discussions for the next six weeks, with a draft report later in 2021, and a final report early in 2022.


Published 19 September 2021
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