Rule Change: Open

Overview

On 18 April 2019 the Australian Energy Market Commission published a draft determination and decided not to make a draft rule to require retailers to include start and end meter readings in electricity bills for customers with interval meters.
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On 18 April 2019 the Australian Energy Market Commission published a draft determination and decided not to make a draft rule to require retailers to include start and end meter readings in electricity bills for customers with interval meters.

The Commission considered, when assessing this rule change request, whether the underlying issues raised by the proponent are best addressed by competitive market interactions or changes to the rules. The materiality of the issue raised by the rule change request was found to be insufficient to make the proposed change. 

The Commission’s analysis indicates 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.

On this basis, the Commission has determined that the proposed change to the current bill content requirements in the NERR is not in the long-term interests of consumers and will not, or is not likely to, contribute to the achievement of the National Electricity Rules Objective (NERO) at this time.

Submissions to the draft determination are due by 30 May 2019. 

Consultation 

The AEMC published a consultation paper on the rule change request on 31 January 2019. We received 15 submissions from stakeholders which can be found below.

Background

On 18 June 2018 the AEMC received a rule change request from Mr Craig Whybrow (the proponent) to amend the NERR. 

The proponent considered that a rule change should be made requiring all electricity retailers to display start and end meter readings in the bill for every customer with an advanced interval meter (smart meter).  
 

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Documentation