Rule Change: Completed
On 6 December 2018 the AEMC made a more preferable final rule requiring retailers to provide small customers with new or replacement electricity meters within set timeframes, or face penalties.
The key features of the more preferable final rule are:
- Retailers must provide a meter installation for a new connection or perform a simple meter exchange by a date agreed with the small customer. If no timing can be agreed, then the retailer will need to install the meter within six business days for a new connection, or within 15 business days if the customer has requested a simple meter exchange.
- For complex meter exchanges where connection alteration is required, retailers must provide a complex meter exchange by a date agreed with the small customer, and the distribution network service provider (DNSP) where the DNSP is providing the connection alteration. If no timing can be agreed, then the retailer will need to install the meter within 15 business days. Where the DNSP is providing the connection alteration, it must coordinate with the retailer to allow the retailer to meet its timeframe obligations.
- Retailers must inform small customers of the new timeframe requirements for customer-initiated meter installations.
- Metering coordinators must replace or repair a small customer's malfunctioning meter as soon as practicable, but no later than 15 business days after they have been notified of the meter installation malfunction.
- A retailer and DNSP may engage with a small or large customer to agree either a date range of five business days, or a specific date, for a planned interruption to occur. Where a person residing at the customer's premises requires life support equipment, the party arranging the planned interruption may only agree a specific date. If the customer does not agree to the timing, then the retailer or DNSP will need to provide a minimum of four business days' notice of the planned interruption to the customer.
The rule commenced on 1 February 2019.
The AEMC received two rule change requests to address the adverse impacts on consumers as a result of metering installation delays:
- The Hon Josh Frydenberg MP, Minister for the Environment and Energy, submitted a rule change request on behalf of the Australian Government that would impose obligations on electricity retailers to install a meter within a specified timeframe.
- The Australian Energy Council (AEC) submitted a rule change request to extend the timeframes in which faulty electricity meters must be replaced; allow customers to opt out of the written notification requirements involved in a retailer led deployment of advanced meters; and address several issues related to planned interruption notices.
The rule change requests sought changes to the National Electricity Rules (NER) and the National Electricity Retail Rules (NERR). As such, the AEMC consolidated the rule change requests under the National Electricity Law and the National Electricity Retail Law.
On 31 May 2018 the AEMC published a consultation paper for the metering installation timeframes rule change. 24 submissions were received and can be found below.
On 13 September 2018 the AEMC published a draft rule determination and a draft rule. 32 submissions were received can be found below.
On 12 October 2018 the AEMC held a workshop on the draft rule in Adelaide. An audiocast recording of the workshop is available here . A copy of the slides from the workshop can be found below.