IPART Launches Electricity Meter Experience Survey

Electricity meter changeover frustration

Image: composita

If you live in New South Wales and have experienced problems with getting your electricity meter changed over after installing a solar power system, IPART wants to hear from you.

Last week, the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal launched a survey for NSW electricity customers who have recently requested a digital meter installation or upgrade.

“The NSW Government is concerned about reports of delays and poor customer service in relation to metering services provided by retailers,” said IPART Chair Dr Peter Boxall. “Our review seeks to identify problems and opportunities, and make recommendations to improve retailer customer service in this area,” said Dr. Boxall.

The survey is open until 3 August 2018 and can be found here.

The exercise is part of IPART’s review of retailers’ practices in relation to metering and it will report on its draft findings in September this year. After a consultation process with stakeholders, a final report will be delivered to the NSW Government by 30 November 2018.

As well as electricity customers, all interested parties are invited to participate in the review; including accredited service providers, retailers and those involved in meter installations. Instructions for lodging a submission can be found here.

Meter Changeover Frustrations Not Confined To NSW

Getting an electricity meter changeover organised and then actually carried out has proven a frustrating experience for some new solar power system owners – and not just in New South Wales. A few months ago, SQ blogger Ronald (based in South Australia) decided to try and find out how long meter changeovers were taking – that in itself was an eleven-step process.

Hopefully with the issue of meter changeover problems gaining increased attention over the past few months in New South Wales and other states, things have recently improved – or will do very soon.

Electricity retailers in the National Electricity Market (NEM) took over the responsibility of digital meters from distributors in December 2017 under “Power Of Choice” reforms, which were touted as putting consumers in the driver’s seat. However, the reforms appear to have instead seen them bundled into the boot. The decision to take meter installation away from distributors was made by the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) in 2015.

The Power Of Choice reforms have also resulted in powerful conflicts of interest says Ronald and pushed costs onto electricity customers by sucking up their most valuable resource – time.

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

Comments

  1. Power of Choice is anything but. I’m in SE Qld and following a solar installation what would have used to be a cheap 10 business day meter reprogram on my less than 2 year old meter is now a 4 to 6 week at cost meter replacement.

    The only thing this seems change to be generating is an excess of waste.

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