Tasmania’s new electricity smart metering roll-out: Why opting out may be your wisest, and healthiest choice

On December 1, 2017, the Australian Energy Market Commission’s (AEMC) final rule determination, titled: “Expanding competition in metering and related services” came into force in Tasmania, SA, NSW, the ACT and QLD. The rule states that this is a framework which is designed to, “promote innovation and lead to investment in advanced meters that deliver services valued by consumers at a price they are willing to pay. Improved access to the services enabled by advanced meters will provide consumers with opportunities to better understand and take control of their electricity consumption and the costs associated with their usage decisions,”

This rule came about as a result of a request from the Council of Australian Governments’ (COAG) Energy Council that considered that the previous metering rule allowed and encouraged the continued installation of mechanical analogue meters, which they said had “only limited functionality”.

What this means is that over the next few years we will see a gradual replacement of the existing analogue electricity meters with so called advanced meters (also called digital or smart meters). These meters have the capacity to collect energy use data and send that back to the provider by a wireless network without the need for a meter reader going from house to house to collect that data. As for the uptake of advanced meters (smart meters), TasNetworks has estimated that presently (2017-2019) only about 4% residential and 12% small business customers have a smart meter. By 2024-29, it is expected that this will increase to 31% residential and 59% small business customers. By 2029-34, it is expected that all energy customers will have a smart meter.”….. SNIP