The AEMC today published a final determination to not make a rule that would require retailers to include start and end meter readings in energy bills for all customers with an interval meter.
Under the National Energy Retail Rules, retailers must include the values of meter readings at the start and end of the billing period. However, for interval meters, the rules include a provision that permits retailers not to display these values if the metering data required is not reasonably available.
The Commission is of the view that the materiality of the issue raised by the rule change request is insufficient to make the proposed change.
The analysis undertaken by the AEMC found that:
- not including start and end meter readings in the bill is not a material issue for most electricity customers with interval meters
- start and end meter readings would be insufficient to allow customers with interval meters to reconcile their bills. The proposed change could have an unintended consequence of increasing consumer confusion, considering that such meter readings would not always correspond to the customer’s energy usage (as interval meters measure usage in intervals and not on a cumulative basis)
- there are alternative market measures that can assist in achieving the purpose of the rule change request. The market already offers various tools for customers to verify their energy consumption that are more effective than the proposed rule change. The current rules also provide an adequate framework that assists consumers in case they need additional support to check their bill or their meter
- it is not likely that including start and end meter readings in electricity bills would increase trust or transparency in the market. Therefore, the increased levels of regulatory and administrative costs that would arise if a rule is made would not be justified.
Media: Prudence Anderson, Communication Director, 0404 821 935 or (02) 8296 7817