Rule Change: Open

Overview

This proposed rule change aims to improve the metering installation process for customers. This includes requiring retailers to provide customers with new electricity meters within a defined timeframe.
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This proposed rule change aims to improve the metering installation process for customers. This includes requiring retailers to provide customers with new electricity meters within a defined timeframe.

Rule change requests

Customers typically need a new electricity meter when they need a new connection, when their old meter needs replacing, or when they want to access new products and services such as solar panels. Under the AEMC’s Competition in metering rules which started in December 2017, all new meters must be advanced or ‘smart’. 

Currently, there are no set timeframes for retailers when providing customers with a new electricity meter, except in the case of faulty meters, which must be replaced within 10 business days.

Some customers have experienced delays in receiving new meters. The Commission has received two rule change requests to address the adverse impacts on consumers as a result of issues related to metering installation timeframes:

  • The Hon Josh Frydenberg MP, Minister for the Environment and Energy, submitted a rule change request that would require retailers to use their best endeavours to install a new meter on a date agreed with the customer, or otherwise within 6 business days after the customer has met necessary preconditions
  • The Australian Energy Council (AEC) submitted a rule change request that would extend the requirement to repair a faulty meter to 20 business days; and enable customers to arrange an alternative planned interruption date within the minimum notification period.

Both rule change requests are seeking changes to the National Electricity Rules (NER) and the National Electricity Retail Rules (NERR).  As such, the AEMC has consolidated the rule change requests under the National Electricity Law and the National Electricity Retail Law. The two rule change requests are therefore being considered together.

Consultation Paper

On 31 May 2018 the AEMC published a consultation paper seeking stakeholder feedback on issues including:
•    the costs and benefits of imposing timeframes for the installation of new and replacement meters, including the appropriate point at which the relevant timeframe would commence.
•    the costs and benefits of the options put forward to streamline the installation process, and whether there are any other options that would help reduce the timeframes involved in meter replacement.
•    the costs and benefits of the options to improve the planned interruption notification process.

Submissions are due by 12 July 2018.


Background

On 1 December 2017, new rules commenced that introduced a competitive framework for the provision of metering services. Under the new framework, retailers and metering coordinators (rather than distribution network businesses) are now responsible for arranging metering services for their customers. More than 100,000 advanced meters have been installed under this new framework since the rules started.

The Competition in Metering rules, which are part of the AEMC’s Power of Choice reform program, provide a framework for the competitive provision of advanced meters for residential and small business consumers. Consumers are able to drive the uptake of advanced meters, and innovation, through their choice of new products and services. Introducing competition for the provision of advanced meters will help put downward pressure on the price of these services.  

Under the new framework, retailers and metering coordinators are responsible for arranging metering services for their customers.
 

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