The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) has put forward a recommendation for a 100 per cent uptake of smart meters by 2030, as part of a suite of reforms putting customers at the heart of the transition to net zero.
AEMC Chair Anna Collyer said smart meters offer customers more ways to engage with the energy market now and in the future, as we continue up the tech curve.
“Smart meters turn power into knowledge and knowledge is power. Consumers can make informed choices which in turn open the way to greater retail options that suit their family or business usage patterns,” Ms Collyer said.
“The electricity market needs a critical mass of smart meters across households and businesses before we can introduce other significant advances necessary to reach net zero.”
A draft report outlining key recommendations for accelerating the rollout of smart meters shows a 100 per cent uptake would deliver net benefits to the tune of $507 million dollars for all NEM regions including NSW, ACT, QLD and SA.
Other potential benefits consumers can unlock with smart meters include:
- Remote meter readings: smart meters provide accurate real-time information about electricity usage. That means no more manual meter readings or estimated bills.
- Track your energy use: customers can see their usage more frequently and accurately, meaning they have more control over their daily energy use and can potentially change their usage patterns by identifying cheaper times to use energy and as a result, cut the costs of their bill.
- Flexible pricing: smart meters enable access to different flexible pricing options, meaning customers can choose different rates for electricity that suit them. Those without solar or batteries can especially benefit from new tariffs that reward usage during times of excess solar generation, helping to cut costs of their bill and reduce solar wastage.
- Faster detection of faults & outages: smart meters can help distribution businesses quickly identify if your power is out. Those alerts can speed up power reconnection for consumers.
The AEMC is working with stakeholders to accelerate a smart meter rollout in the National Electricity Market (NEM), to support the energy transition and build a smarter grid for the future.
Key recommendations in the draft report for the Review of the regulatory framework for metering services, include potential changes to the energy rules to support a more coordinated program of meter replacements in addition to ensuring appropriate safeguards for privacy.
Ms Collyer said that as well as providing benefits to consumers, smart meters are vitally important for the evolution of the electricity network.
“You can’t run a smart system on the old, ‘dumb’ technology like traditional accumulation meters,” Ms Collyer said.
“Smart meters are foundational to a more connected, modern and efficient energy system that allows all consumers to get data about their household energy use. They also allow providers, in a secure way, to get the information they need to provide better service to consumers.
“Smart meters really are the gateway to a more dynamic and flexible market where energy is traded both ways. The sharing of power quality data with distributors would also help manage supply and reduce future spending on expensive poles and wires.”
The draft report is now open to submissions with a final report expected early to mid-next year.
Media: Jessica Rich, 0459 918 964 or email us.