Rule Change: Open

Overview

This rule change request from the Chair of the Competitive Industry Metering Group, a sub-branch of Master Electricians Australia, proposes to allow metering coordinators to interrupt customers’ electricity supplies to install or repair an electricity meter.
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This rule change request from the Chair of the Competitive Industry Metering Group, a sub-branch of Master Electricians Australia, proposes to allow metering coordinators to interrupt customers’ electricity supplies to install or repair an electricity meter.

Draft determination

On 19 December 2019 the AEMC released a draft determination for a more preferable rule.

The draft rule would introduce timeframes for the installation and repair of meters at premises with shared fusing.

Shared fusing is when customers share electricity connections - for example in some apartment blocks, duplexes and townhouses – which means the supply of all customers who share the fusing may need to be interrupted for metering work.

Under the draft rule, where shared fusing is discovered, the following timeframes would apply to install or repair a meter:

  • retailers would be required to complete the meter installation within 30 business days of discovering the shared fusing
  • metering coordinators would be required to rectify meter malfunctions within 30 business days of discovering the shared fusing
  • distribution businesses would be required to carry out a distributor planned interruption within 25 business days upon being requested to carry out the planned interruption to allow for the retailer or metering coordinator to meet their timeframes.

The draft rule makes it clear that a retailer is able to interrupt supply to any of its own customers for the purpose of installing, maintaining, repairing or replacing metering equipment, not just the customer receiving the new meter.

To help minimise site visits for future installations, the draft rule also includes changes which require retailers and metering parties to notify the distribution business as soon as practicable of any shared fusing situations that they have identified.

The distribution business is required to record and share information about a shared fusing situation as soon as they become aware of it through either their own investigation or when notified by other parties.

Submissions on the draft determination and draft rule are due by 13 February 2020.

Consultation

On 27 August 2019 the Commission published a consultation paper on the rule change request. Submissions closed on 10 October 2019 and can be found below.

The Commission held a workshop on 19 September 2019 for all interested stakeholders to discuss the issues raised in the consultation paper. Follow this link to listen to the webcast recording. Slides from the workshop are available below.

Background

On 20 May 2019 the Commission received a rule change request from the Chair of the Competitive Industry Metering Group, a sub-branch of Master Electricians Australia, that seeks to amend the National Electricity Rules (NER) and the National Energy Retail Rule (NERR). The request proposes to allow metering coordinators to interrupt customers’ electricity supplies to install or repair an electricity meter.

The rule change request aims to reduce delays in installing new meters or undertaking maintenance by giving metering coordinators the ability to interrupt supply to customers, as long as they have obtained consent from the affected customers or given four business days’ notice.

Under the rule proposed by the proponent, metering coordinators would need to meet the same obligations relating to planned interruption notifications as distribution businesses and retailers when carrying out their work, or face penalties.

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Documentation