The AEMC is seeking stakeholder feedback on a rule change request from Federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg to require retailers to install new electricity meters for customers within a defined timeframe.

Customers typically need a new electricity meter when they need a new connection, when their old meter needs replacing, or when they want to access new products and services such as solar panels. Currently, there are no set timeframes for retailers when providing customers with a new electricity meter, except in the case of faulty meters, which must be replaced within 10 business days. 

The proposed rule change would require retailers to install a new meter on a date agreed with the customer, or otherwise within six business days. This would apply for all new and replacement meters, but not faulty meters.

Retailers would also be required to inform customers of their rights in relation to installation timeframes. 

This rule request is being considered together with a request from the Australian Energy Council (AEC) to extend the timeframe to repair a faulty meter to 20 business days to align with the current steps involved in faulty meter replacement.  The AEC has also proposed a change to enable customers to agree with their retailer to a planned interruption to their electricity supply within the minimum four day notification period.

The AEMC has published a consultation paper on these rule change requests. Submissions on the paper are due by 12 July 2018.

These rule change requests are part of the AEMC’s retail work program to help deliver more affordable energy by giving consumers more control over their energy bills. For more information see our consumer project action plan.

Media: Prudence Anderson, Communications Director, 0404 821 935 or (02) 8296 7817

Background: How have metering rules changed?

Under the AEMC’s Competition in metering rules which started in December 2017, all new meters must be advanced or ‘smart’. Also, retailers and metering coordinators (rather than distribution network businesses) are now responsible for arranging metering services for their customers. More than 100,000 advanced meters have been installed under this new framework since the rules started.

The information and services available through advanced metering can help customers find the best retail offer for their circumstances, make it quicker to switch retailers, allow them to decide how often they want to be billed, and provide them with better information about how they can change their electricity use to save money. 

These reforms also underpin innovation in energy retail markets so consumers can choose from a broader range of technologies, products and services to meet their specific energy needs, including the ability to access services such as demand management, battery storage and solar services which advanced meters enable.

These reforms will also enable innovation in the delivery of distribution services. Electricity distributors will be able to detect outages more quickly and monitor the quality of electricity supply.