Asking Origin How Long It Takes Them To Change An Electricity Meter: An 11 Step Process

Origin energy and electricity meter changeovers

Electricity meters are low cost, reliable devices that measure how much grid your home uses.  Traditional meters need someone to come around and read them, but all new meter installations now have to be smart meters that transmit information wirelessly, making your human meter reader redundant.

It’s no secret Australia has screwed up royally when it comes to providing grid electricity. Prices that were among the cheapest in the world are now among the highest.  As a result of Australia’s grid fiasco, you’d think that Australia would now be smart enough and careful enough not to make a dog’s breakfast of the very basic task of electricity metering.

Unfortunately, from the number of complaints I have been hearing, it’s time to enjoy some custard poured on a bone, because it appears that a dog’s breakfast is what we are getting.  At the end of last year the responsibility for metering was passed from your DNSP to your electricity retailer.  This was called “The Power Of Choice”. And from the anecdotes I’m hearing, it’s been a debacle.

For example, yesterday I received an email from a concerned citizen in Sydney who said Origin Energy was unable to estimate when they could get a smart meter installed.  They are planning to get rooftop solar and as this involves a meter change, they now must get a smart meter.

I decided to call Origin Energy and check if they had given up on providing timeframes for new meter installations.  After all, it could just be a matter of poor communication resulting in crossed wires.  I also decided to to check if there were any fees or charges, either upfront or ongoing, involved in getting a smart meter.  While this document from Origin says there are no charges in New South Wales, I still wanted to make sure.

Calling Origin turned out to be an 11-step process that’s not over yet, so it may turn into a 12, 13, or god knows how many step process before it’s over.

STEP 1:  I called Origin Energy customer service at 7:15 pm Melbourne time last night.  They advised me to ring their “New Connections Team” in the morning.  Fair enough.

STEP 2:  At 10:10 am this morning I called their “New Connections Team” and said:

“Hello, my name is Ronald Brakels.  I’m a writer for SolarQuotes and I’m looking for some information on how long it takes to get a new electricity meter installed in NSW.”

I was told a meter change would occur within a 30 day period when getting solar installed but they couldn’t say when it would happen within those 30 days.

The conversation went fine until the person I was talking to realized I wasn’t a solar installer as they had assumed and I was instead writing an article – and I think they panicked a little.  She said she wasn’t authorized to give me a statement and transferred me.1

STEP 3:  I was transferred to a person who attempted to transfer me back to New Connections.  When I explained that was where I had come from, he said he would transfer me to Sydney since I wanted to know about NSW.

STEP 4:  I played an automated number picking game to get to talk to a human being.

STEP 5:  The human being I was passed to transferred me to Sydney’s New Connections Team.

STEP 6:  Sydney’s New Connections Team told me a member of Origin’s Media Team would contact me soon.

STEP 7:  Waiting for Origin’s Media Team to call me.

After this phone called ended I checked the time and was surprised to see it was only 10:28.  Steps 2 to 6 only took 18 minutes.  It seemed a lot longer but pure excitement can cause time to stretch out when you engage in the extreme sport of large company calling.

STEP 8:  At 11:01 Origin Energy Media called.  I told them I was looking for information on how long it would take to get a new meter installed in NSW and they told me they would get back to me.

STEP 9:  Waiting for Origin Energy Media to call.

STEP 10:  I realized I hadn’t actually managed to check if there were any fees or charges involved in getting a new meter, so I called Origin again, but this time I was very sneaky and I didn’t tell them who I was.

Origin Energy call - icognito

I was connected to someone who told me there were no fees for getting a smart meter installed in NSW.  I asked if there were any ongoing fees and they said they didn’t know and would transfer me to their Solar Department.

STEP 11:  I was transferred to Origin Solar and I was assured there were no fees in NSW for getting a smart meter installed and there were no ongoing monthly or quarterly fees either.

It is now 11:07 and the only useful information I’ve gotten so far from my telephone adventures today was from people who didn’t realize who I was.  According to them it takes up to 30 days to get a new electricity meter when rooftop solar is installed, but Origin can’t say when in that period it will occur.  And they were able to confirm there are no fees or charges, either upfront or ongoing.

Hopefully Origin is getting new smart meters installed within 30 days and people aren’t being left hanging.  But if Origin Media gets back to me and is able to provide new information I will let you know. I doubt Origin Media will be able to tell me anything on account of how they know who I am.

Clearly electricity metering and delays in getting new meters is something I need to look into over the next couple of weeks.

Stop The Presses!

I’ve just seen that Origin Media has sent me an email.  I have reproduced it in all its original glory below:

Hi Ronald,
further to our earlier conversation this morning and your request for information on “how long it takes to raise orders for new connections and solar alterations” please find following a quote that may be attributed to an Origin spokesperson:
“Delays associated with the introduction of the Power of Choice reforms late last year have now been largely resolved. In most cases we’re now processing requests for new solar connections and alternations within a couple of days.”  
 
I trust this is help2 & please get in touch if you have any questions.

Well, that’s good news.  If you need a new meter because you are getting rooftop solar panels or if for some reason you want an alternation — which according to the dictionary is the “repeated occurrence of two things in turn” — then your request should be processed in a couple of days according to a quote from an Origin Energy spokesperson.  And presumably you’ll actually get a new meter within 30 days.  So thank you Origin Media, this message is definitely help.

Footnotes

  1. Working for Origin must be pretty scary.  This is why I think everybody should work for my boss, Finn, who has sacked me 3 times and nothing has happened.
  2. Yes, this is help.
About Ronald Brakels

Many years ago now, Ronald Brakels was born in Toowoomba. He first rose to international prominence when his township took up a collection to send him to Japan, which was the furthest they could manage with the money they raised. He became passionately interested in environmental matters upon his return to Australia when the local Mayor met him at the airport and explained it was far too dangerous for him to return to Toowoomba on account of climate change and mutant attack goats. Ronald then moved to a property in the Adelaide Hills where he now lives with his horse, Tonto 23.

Comments

  1. Great timing. Whilst it might differ from state to state, I just installed a solar system on my vic residential rooftop a couple of weeks ago. The meter alteration was completed within 5 business days of submission. When I first called Origin Energy, they also quoted 30 business days, which I thought was rather long.
    I suspect they can only deploy the teams a few areas at a time, and to make sure they don’t overpromise on the timeframes. The consultant I spoke to assured my the FIT credits would accrue from the day the panels was installed so I would not miss out the credits if the alteration took the

    • All us Victorians have smart meters which are “owned” by the distributor..in my case Powercor. Origin are the Retailer and charged $68 to reset my (by Powercor remotely) smart meter to zero for peak electricity and off-peak circuit and for FIT. Yes the smart meter had been busy exporting excess solar whilst installer/Powercor/Origin did their paperwork. 43 days off free power! Australia mucked up its Electricity System because it Privatised.

      • AND NSW sold its Electrickery kit to the Chinese! Good move that!
        Now we are paying at least three tiers of management and investment arms, all so they can avoid paying tax in Australia!

  2. whoops…

    *if the meter alteration took the full 30 business days.

  3. Hi Ronald,

    I would just like to say that getting my meter simply “reprogrammed” from Origin was a nightmare after I got my solar installed in March 2018. (I already had a new Solar meter installed a while ago when they upgraded all our meters in the street).

    The on hold times were ridiculous and could take 1 to 2 hours before you could get through to their new connections team. When I finally got through they said they didn’t have the EWR number from Energex and I had to call back. So I called back the next day and finally got through after 1 hour and 5 minutes on hold. They processed the request and said it would take up to 30 days. All was great 🙂

    A week went by and I sent them an email to confirm it was underway. I received a response a few days later saying they confirm it had been received to the meter provider (Acumen) and was underway. Another week went past and I hadn’t heard anything. As it was a reprogram and they had 3G access directly into the meter it should be very quick to activate/reprogram my meter. I contacted Origin again and they said it was all fine and underway. I decided to be clever and I rang Acumen and I was through to someone in Acumen in under 1 minute 🙂 They confirmed they received the order but it was cancelled in the system and the lady said it was put in as a meter fault not a solar reprogram, she also said she could have done it over the phone if the order was valid and they are usually done within 24-48 hours of them receiving it as it is just a simple reprogram over the 3G connection the meter has.

    I rang Origin, and an hour later I got through, the lady could see there was an error but she had to call them directly to understand why it was errored. She apologised and resubmitted the order and promised I would receive a follow up email to confirm it was all processed. I wait 24 hours and decide to call Acumen again (I get through less than a minute – so refreshing to get through straight away – if only Origin was this fast) but it has been cancelled AGAIN?? This time there was no start date on the solar install.

    So once again I rang origin and after another 1 hour on hold (I am calling around 9:30am on a Weekday). I get through to someone and this time they appear more confident in what they are talking about and they resubmit the order with the correct start date. I call back Acumen and the helpful fella hasn’t received the work order but took my phone number down and said they usually get it within a few hours, he said he would call me back (this was Acumen not Origin) and to my glee he actually did and said he programmed the meter and it’s all sorted and that Origin will have their systems updated within 24 hours and will show that I have Solar installed. Finally it was done and I no longer need to call Origin. YAY!

    Did I wait the 30 days, no, but had I would have been so annoyed to find out I was waiting for nothing. I guess it doesn’t really matter as it was back dated to when it was installed. However, I think I spent a total of 5 hours on hold to Origin and not once did they come back to me when there was any errors.

    If it wasn’t for Origin feed in credit and pretty graphs – I would be long gone. A new offer has just come out from Energy Australia….so looks like good bye Origin.

    • Strewth! Similar to my experiences in SA.

      • Hi Phil S – I’m in SA and about to embark on the “great solar switch” myself and am navigating the maze of information/misinformation out there. May I ask what your experiences were? I’m currently with Origin but seriously considering swapping “pre solar”. Cheers KB

    • Dick Postmus says

      Hi Phil, I am in SA and I applied to have my meter changed on the 11 of December last year. Now it is February 20 and they still have not been. this is Origin. I am on the phone every day and I still do not know what is the delay.
      They told me I am on top of the list

  4. Steve Charles says

    I too would like a smart meter so I can get reliable data on power used and power exported. Diamond Energy is my retailer, and they said, sure, we can put one in for you, but we can’t provide a portal for you to access your data!!! There is no timescale for providing one.

    • Greg Hudson says

      You can usually still access your data by downloading it from your distributor (commonly a CSV file).

      • OldCynic says

        Greg, which retailers provide a CSV? I asked Origin and they had no idea what I was talking about !

        • Hi,

          Go here and Register: https://customermeterdata.portal.powercor.com.au/customermeterdata/CADAccountPage?startURL=%2Fcustomermeterdata%2FCADEnergyDashboard

          I guess it depends whether you’re in their area.

          CSV data is the same (or very close), as my Origin Energy Meter. I’m with Globird now, but both still give usage/export data.

          dRdoS7

          • OldCynic says

            dRdoS7, thanks for the tip, but – as you suspected – it is limited to Victorian meters.

            From their T &C: “If you move premises and your new location is outside the CitiPower Pty Ltd or Powercor Australia Ltd distribution network you will no longer be able to use this Service to access your current metering data – you’ll need to use the service provided by your retailer or the relevant distribution network service provider.”

            Anyway, now knowing that these distributors provide that service, I’ll chase up Ausgrid and see if they do the same for Sydney. If I get any joy, I’ll update this post.

  5. Richard Baker says

    We requested a meter change from Simply Energy on the 26th of February, we live in SA postcode 5118, our Solar system was installed on the 27th of March, because our two year old house had the wrong type of meter installed by SA power networks when it was built we were told not to turn the system on until the smart meter was installed, after numerous calls to Simply Energy and Intellihub we eventually had our meter change on the 26th of April, Even though we have had the system turned on since the 26th of April I still can’t get confirmation that we are now getting the feed in tariff, PATHETIC isn’t it!

  6. Catherine says

    Ha ha! That’s an amusing article. Sounds like it was almost as good as calling Telstra.

    I hope the nice Origin Energy media officer is busy monitoring your work and adding this press coverage to their list of achievements when it comes time for their annual performance review.

  7. Chris Stiles says

    Dont the new Smart meters emit high doses of EMF radiation that is harmful to life, I live in the country and have one of these already and i’m working on ways to try and stop the radiation, we still have to have our meter manually read so it is pointless anyway

    • Ronald Brakels says

      If you are happy with mobile phone being used within a few meters of you then you don’t have anything to worry about from smart meters.

      This article on solar panels and EMF goes into how no one has found harmful effects from permitted levels of EMF:

      https://www.solarquotes.com.au/blog/electromagnetic-radiation/

      • I was thinking that, if you are worried about radiation from a smart meter or solar panels, you probably a) should not go out in the sun ever) b) not eat any bananas c) get rid of your mobile phone d) sell your microwave oven …..

        the list goes on.

    • Greg Hudson says

      Your could always build a Faraday Cage around the meter.

  8. Jackson says

    SMART METERS! ~ another exceptionally GOOD reason to go off-grid.
    …..UNistallation is quicker and more certain than INstallation. —>

    1. Get a pair of bolt-cutters………

  9. Jackson says

    ps:- “Footnotes
    Working for Origin must be pretty scary. This is why I think everybody should work for my boss, Finn, who has sacked me 3 times and nothing has happened. ”

    Does that include getting p[aid?

    • Ronald Brakels says

      Paid?

      • Jackson says

        lol…See what happens when you get away from the tried and proven methodology. It’s wise ~ if not essential ~ to retain personal control of every aspect of your life instead of leaving it to others. …….. incidentally did you see this:-
        Solar battery electricity can be cheaper than grid power: Choice
        April 23, 2018
        Battery electricity can be cheaper for households than grid power, Choice says.
        Using solar battery electricity from your home energy storage system can be cheaper per kilowatt-hour than using grid power, according to Choice.

        The consumer advocate says a large enough solar array and battery storage system can be a cheaper option, depending on time of day and the feed-in tariff (FiT) you get from your energy supplier.
        Interestingly, Choice concludes that battery storage makes more financial sense for households with a lower feed-in tariff. And, need one add:- LEAD-ACID ‘battery-storage-systems. The arithmetic’s clear: store 10kw in suitable LA batteries costing about $2 per kw for about $1600. Install two for DOD purposes and you’re STILL only paying $3200, AND have the benefit of on-site back-up power if one bank fails for whatever reason…….AND there are other good uses for them when they finally cark it. Did I tell you about my heat-storing greenhouse?

  10. Robyn Pogmore says

    Ha! I moved into a house with solar panels and asked Origin Energy if I could please have a smart meter and a net tariff. No way! Impossible! 18 month waiting list! I spoke to 4 different people at Origin who were unyieldingly unhelpful . so, being a person who thinks laterally,I rang Malcolm Turnbull’s office. They sent my message to Craig Laundry,who sent it to Jodi Mackay, who asked Josh Frydenberg what Origin’s responsibilities were towards it’s customers. And suddenly I was in contact with three (3) helpful people,who told me-wait for this- that I already had a smart meter and a net tariff!!!!
    So I am using my electricity differently now. I don’t think I could have been expected to know. The previous owner had gone back to China. Or so they said.

    This is my question: why did I have to ring the Prime Minister to get a straight and honest answer from Origin Energy?

    • Greg Hudson says

      Maybe you had to ring Mal because he’s possibly on the donation list of FF polluting companies (including Origin).
      BTW, I seriously doubt you are on a Nett tariff… They are usually only in America, or is that where your solar panels are (with a long extension lead) 😉

      Here (Australia) we have what they call a FIT (Feed In Tariff) which can be bugger all, to as much as 10 times that, depending on when and where the panels were installed.
      My previous house (Melbourne Vic) for example had PFIT (Premium FIT) which was 66c/kWh. This rate stays with the house until 2025, so the new owner receives all the credit 🙁
      I’m just about to install 8kW of panels on my new house, and all I’ll get is 11.3c FIT (at least until the 29c rate starts on 1st July).

  11. olfella says

    I just received notification that my meter is to be upgraded so shot off a mail asking why. Because you have signed up for solar and under the new NER rules I get one – so thats fine but getting other information is not as easy.
    Eventually I discovered it would cost $100 per meter read if I had the communication disabled.
    I asked what situation would additional work be involved where I could be charged up to $150 – well the answer is if rewiring is involved.
    Still waiting on the process to follow to get my off peak night and day programmed in.
    The most frustrating part in all this is constantly getting referred to an oonline info sheet that does not contain this information.
    Finally, when is it going to happen??? Well that is scheduled shortly.

  12. Origin in Qld charged me an up-front fee for the new meter and an ongoing fee of 6c/day to read it remotely. I should have kept my old whirly-wheel meter and simply let my PV wind it back at my import tariff! Now I have to export 1kW just to cover the daily meter reading charge before I even offset my import charges. Why does Qld have to pay but NSW (and other states?) doesn’t? It’s all Origin, after all…

    • Jackson says

      HA! There’s a catch. I can’t even believe you got a straight and honest answer from the Prime Minister and/or his minions. How do YOU know who you were talking to ~ and who said what to whom?
      And if you think that’s oversuspicious, simply look at the record; I remember once a PM actually claimed to be a ‘real person’ (as distinct from a politician).

  13. I have a Solar Company in the Western Suburbs of Sydney and often refer customers to liaise with their retailers to have their meter installed, which should take around three weeks it takes us to have the system installed.

    Origin Energy, upon receiving the call from MY customer, proceeded to tell them that that they can beat my price and I should go with them!

    This new system is a joke and to think that up until the 1st of December last year I used to install the metering as part of the Solar installation.

  14. Origin is a joke: finally got my replacement smart meter installed in mid March but then told it will take them another 8 weeks before I can access power consumption figures in 15 minute blocks. Meanwhile the most recent bill was an estimate, indicating not even they can access consumption figures. Still waiting…

    • Jackson says

      hehehehe…. they tried that on the people in my street back when they were FORCING the bloody thing son people.
      We just “estimated” what our bills should be and offered them THAT! We managed the response with dobermans and pitbulls borrowed from the local animal shelter.

  15. “And they were able to confirm there are no fees or charges, either upfront or ongoing.”

    Really? I’ve seen retailers charge around $0.50 per day ‘data fee’ for having a smart meter.

    • Yep, Momentum have a COMMS daily metering charge of $0.451c on top of the $0.89c supply charge.

      BTW this company of which I was a long term customer with two accounts just put up my supply charges 38% in one hit – just a heads up so you know which direction that fee will go.

  16. OldCynic says

    NOTE: “30 days” is 30 business days, ie six weeks, not a month.

    Anyway, you missed out the juicy question: “How can I get access to the 30 minute usage data generated by my smart meter?”

    I’ll tell you the answer – with Origin you can’t.
    All you can do is log onto the Origin we site originenergy.com.au/my-account.html and look at a screen called “My Usage”

    This can show usage by quarter, month, day and – at its most granular – by hour.
    The problems are:
    a) it’s by hour, not by half hour
    b) the most recent data is from TWO DAYS ago
    c) there is no consistent scale on each day’s graph
    d) there is no way to download usage data. The best you can do is to hover your mouse over one hour’s graph bar – the screen will display how much you used and how much you generated – then you write it down.

    My requests to Origin for advice on their plans to improve this “portal”, to provide real-time access to the half hourly data, have not been answered

    • don firth says

      Powershop show half hour in out meter reads from your smart meter but info is only up to previous day. Better than nothing. And no data transmit fee- but that is no doubt in its daily standing charge fee.

      I recommend anyone with an origin account move to any other provider. Origin have an abysmal record of environmental non compliance. When they get caught they simply pay the fine as it is cheaper than doing the morally correct thing of complying with the law in the first place.

    • Brian Bycroft says

      not only with Origin; we’re with Red Energy in northern NSW. A similar wait period for installation of a smart meter; no easy access to the data it generates

  17. Stephen says

    Our solar (Brisbane) was installed in Mid december, and it wasn’t util mid March that Origin managed it. Yes we rang them several times…

  18. Hi Ronald, Origin and AGL all have no idea, I am a level two service provider, and it is taking more than 30 days for a smart meter, we were promised, we would receive meters, within two days, we do not even receive an acknowledgement when we submit, an application for a meter. The entire system of metering now, is an absolute fiasco, and Im sure, there will be a lot of consumers out there, that have their meters running, in an anti clockwise direction, due to solar being installed, and No smart meter. Regards Ray

  19. Yes Origin and this whole meter changeover are a big joke! I was told that I couldn’t submit the application for the meter changeover until the panels were on the roof. This occurred on 19th March, 2018. Eventually I received an email saying i hadn’t completed the form correctly. (This was after hanging on hold for 1 hour 20 minutes and giving up, then another 30 minutes, give up, a message on their Facebook page and two further emails….)
    I resubmitted my form, then after a follow up email, I have been advised that a “Service order has been raised” and the timeframe is 30 business days. So my solar is still doing nothing (the installer said to leave it off until I get the meter changed over…maybe I should turn it on anyway?) I am so disgusted with Origin.

  20. Paperwork requesting smart meter emailed to Origin 30th March 2018, Panels installed on 12th April, have been given a date for smart meter installation of 28th May. Maybe things are slower in rural NSW, but really frustrating looking at all those panels and not using them.

  21. My understanding:
    – an old analogue meter can actually run backwards with solar and inverter attached and turned on (essentially, winding back your electricity use).
    Given this, the rate at which you pay for your electricity, say 30c kWh is being TAKEN OFF your bill each kWh produced by the solar.
    With a smart meter, you only receive the measly approx 10c/kWh as FIT to the grid.
    So……in this case, is it better to keep your old analogue meter for as long as possible?

    • Ronald Brakels says

      Having an old electricity meter run backwards for a short period of time while waiting for it to be replaced is usually doesn’t result in a drama, but unfortunately it can. These days, as far as I am aware, it is uniform across Australia that solar systems are not supposed to be turned on until the old meter is replaced. Unfortunately, this results in lost solar production for the household and higher fossil fuel emissions and at the moment some people are experiencing long delays in getting meters replaced. Tell you what, I’ll quickly whip up an article on it for you.

  22. Origin Energy were a total nightmare to deal with getting new smart meter. Installed new solar system, Sydney area, submitted application form for new meter. Received email would be installed within 30 days. After 3 weeks rang to see if I could get estimate of install date, no answer, sent query by email, was told I missed max ampage on form so not processed. Asked why I wasn’t notified of error as soon as submitted instead of waiting three weeks (doing this by email, so talking to machine really). Resubmitted form, was told would be installed within 30 days, they wouldn’t bring it forward considering their tardiness. Finally installed (no charge) approx 60 days after my original application. At no time did a human from Origin ever speak to me. Will be dumping them as soon as I’m sure I’m not tied up in any contract.

  23. Bob Howard says

    Can’t speak about Origin, but can warn readers about Energy Australia. Installed solar in early December. I have been fobbed off, incorrectly advised about installation dates of the meter. Installation dates have been delayed. When advised by email that the installation will finally take place, I have waited around all day waiting for an installer – who did not turn up. The a new date was arranged almost a month later. I am still waiting – and I can’t use my solar.

    I have always had to chase them, even when they fail to deliver their promises. Frankly one part of Energy Australia does not know what the other parts are doing.

    One tip, every time you have to ring them insist on compensation. They will pay. I have got $200 so far – although not sufficient to cover my lost savings on my solar.

    Is there anyone I can complain to that will actually do anything?

    • Ronald Brakels says

      You could contact the energy ombudsman in your state. My mother hasn’t had any luck in getting help from ombudsman in Queensland but I guess there is a chance things will be different for you. Even if just the sheer weight of complaints results in something being done.

      PS: I’m impressed you were able to get some compensation.

      • Energy Ombudsman in Victoria seems to have some clout with Powercor at least…they were very responsive when I complained about grid instability which has now been rectified. It seems however the retailers….all umpteen of them… know little of either Customer Service or genuine competition.

  24. Philip Lee says

    We had another 5kw added to our existing 5 kw system and a 10 kw battery installed early March. It took Origin Energy until 24 April to notify us that we had been booked for a smart meter installation ” in the next 30 days”. Origin instructed us to switch off our solar system until that visit- we did not.
    Today we were notified that the Origin team would be coming in 2 weeks giving us a specific date and 4 hour time frame. Will be interesting to see the outcome from that visit.

  25. Russell Maddalena says

    After my installer took 4.5 weeks to inform me it was my responsibility after all previous correspondence / discussions indicating they would look after it I started the process with Origin:
    1. 2hours on hold to get onto the new connections team.
    2. Fill out their (rather technical) form and submit.
    3 . 23 days later get an email requesting additional information.
    4. 7 days later resubmit the form after getting back from a work trip and consulting an electrician to understand information required.
    5. 18 days later get an email stating that the job has been passed to a meter install company that will complete the task in 30 days.

    Bottom line is 30 day clock does not start until they process the form. In my case processing has taken 41 days……..

    • I’m glad I’m not the only one who thought the application form was not easy to fill in…. It’s a mess.

    • We have had a similar experience- delayed responses to our application and requests for information already provided and not relevant or applicable- eg whether or not we wanted underground or overground d power. Despite writing on the form that we had existing underground power, and again notifying this by email, we were eventually told to complete the application form again, answering all questions as if they applied to us. Origin admitted to the confusing nature of its application form. It took 103 days ( yes, seriously) between submission of original notification to Origin Energy and the actual installation of our smart meter. We have been offered the equivalent of just under 20 days average usage cost by way of compensation. In the meantime we have a quarterly bill, for almost entirely coinciding with the period of delay, when our 14kw system was operating,, based on our usage at the same time last year, when we had no solar. We are in the process of challenging this bill, and expect to have to do the same for the next one also, as we were one,onto into the next billing quarter before the new meter was installed

  26. My Solar was installed on Jan 25, 2018. I received a text from AGL a few days later telling me my meter would be changed within 27 working days. This put the change to happen at the end of Feb or early March. Heaven knows why on a brand new house they would not just install a smart meter in the first place!! Anyway, it got to mid February and I contacted them to see if they could provide a date…all I got was within 27 working days..blah blah blah. I called them again the day before the 27 working days was to expire, noone could tell me what was happening. I got put onto an external contractor who was to do the work (Active Stream). Guy there told me he would call back the next day with information. No return call. To cut the story short I called numerous times during March to try to find out what was going on and got nowhere…had someone tell me point blank they would come back to me the next day with information on the meter change. I think this was now getting towards the end of March. No return call again, despite me warning the lady on the phone that I was going to contact the ombudsman next. Well of course I contacted the ombudsman and it turns out all they can do is contact someone at senior resolution management within the energy company and request they contact me. Well, finally, on April 14, had some contact from the energy company and they told me that the install would happen on April 30. One would have thought with all the time gone past they would install the next day, but no you need to wait 2 weeks. Install has happened. I have demanded they reimburse me for 2 months worth of un-accrued feed-in tariff – I know it won’t be much but hey why should they get away with sort of crap!!

  27. Sergs Mesina says

    Hi,
    I am getting my 6Kwh Solar Panel to be installed this week. My existing panel meter is EDMI ATLAS Mk10D.
    Is this a smart meter?

    Thanks.
    Sergs

    • Ronald Brakels says

      That is a three phase smart meter and, after a quick look online, appears to be suitable for use with rooftop solar but I am afraid I don’t know any details about it.

  28. With Energy Australia, I submitted the form on 22/3/18 and had the meter installed on 7/5/18, around 7 weeks. Our panels were installed on 22/3 and the installer gave me completed form. I thought Energy Australia was clueless because in between they kept sending me emails that I need to submit the form. Even the confirm installation text came on Fri 4 and in between the left hand did not know if they had another hand or what it might be up to.
    Even now EA has to send me a email so I can login to check my power flow to the grid.

  29. Rob Smith says

    My changeover was not fast either! Panels installed late November, checked all paperwork had been delivered by 12 December ( correctly – SPAusnet had changed a form so needed a revision though I could not see that the information gathered was any different).
    Later I was informed I would need a new meter – 2 smart meters replaced by one as there was to be no separate metering of dedicated circuit now.
    New meter installed February 1.
    Of course we used the solar for 3 months without any feed-in tariff for the energy we supplied, but I have not asked for any refund. Maybe that would be too cheeky?

    • Ronald Brakels says

      Others have had success asking for compensation. Regrettably, it might be necessary to spur them into installing meters in a timely manner.

      • Rob Smith says

        Maybe worth pursuing – at least I have all my records of consumption and generation.

  30. Dean Williams says

    My 10 kw system was installed on 29 December 2017 and my meter was installed on 8 March 2018. It took at least 13 points of contact with Click Energy to educate them and demand they have it installed. On the day of installation I was left with no Gas hot water because they didn’t connect the power to the gas hot water unit. After 2 hours on the phone they still refused to rectify the problem and I had to get a contractor out. I am still trying to sort out my bill.

    The customer service level is zero and the lack of knowledge with the customer service officers is very obvious.

    Note: I have had recent contact with Origin Energy and it appears they could all be using the same overseas call centre. Maybe all the retailers are doing the same thing.

  31. I live in Victoria and my solar panels were installed on April 17th and switched on when the certificate of electrical safety was made out on April 30th. So since then I’ve been using the energy produced. I already have a smart meter but according to Powercor it has to be reconfigured and I’ve been given a date of June 6th for that despite the fact it will be done electronically. So why the delay? And why the one off cost of $60? My electricity company is AGL but they don’t seem to be involved.

    • See my earlier response….the reconfiguration cost is a distributor cost eg Powercor but will appear on your retailer bill eg Origin.

      • Another curious aspect was, on acknowledgement from Origin that I indeed had Solar, they requested by email that I turn the system off until they advised otherwise. Powercor had already advised it was ok to operate and I saved 40 per cent over 43 days.

      • WOW! Someone must have read this! Just got an email to say my meter was reconfigured this morning. Is this an Australian record?

  32. Richard Snell says

    I am having the same problems with Red Energy and Essential Energy. My solar was installed on 11 Jan 18 and the Compliance forms were forwarded to Essential Energy on 8 Feb (Installer checked to ensure that he was submitting the proper paperwork to the correct people).
    On 17 April Red Energy did a meter read. According to my bill the meter read 63925. I read the meter just after the meter-reader and my reading was 61997
    On 26 April I received a bill from Red Energy which was basically the same as my last bill (prior to connecting solar)! I immediately rang Red Energy to be told that “I have an illegal connection”. 1. I should have had the meter changed to a “smart meter” before my solar system was connected to the grid. 2. I will not get any credit for solar until the smart meter is fitted and and I have correctly applied to Red Energy for a solar connection.
    Hawkings Solar and I have been trying to sort this out with Red Energy but it is like talking to a brick wall and each person that we speak to gives different information. Hawkings emailed a second application and compliance to Red Energy on Thursday last week however when I contacted Red Energy this morning I was told that there was no record of the application and I was told to have the installer re-submit another application to 2 different Red Energy addresses!
    This situation is appalling. I personally am going to make formal complaints to the Energy and Water Ombudsman and to my local members. It appears that the system implemented by the Government and Power Companies on 4 December 2017 is a complete and utter failure.

  33. John Kentish says

    Lumo is my retailer, and my solar installation is in SA. Lumo were notified on 19 Feb 2018 that a change of meter was required. It is known that they took a full week to notify their meter contractor, Intellihub, of the required change. Lumo told me that their contractor was required to install the meter within 20 working days of being notified – let’s call that 4 weeks. The meter was installed today, 9 May, over 11 weeks from the start of the process! As far as I can tell there is no sanction to discourage such disgustingly pathetic service, and as far as I can work out the ombudsman and other authorities either lack powers or choose not to use them. What an absolute stuff-up our governments have made of the electricity industry in every way.

  34. You poor people. Try living in regional Queensland where the only retailer is Ergon. I believe they discourage solar as they charge about $ 400 to install a new meter for solar.

  35. Queenslander here…
    Solar installed on the 28th Feb 2018.
    6hrs to date spent on the phone to Origin across multiple phone calls.
    Masses of misinformation between people in their own teams.
    Two lost Electronic Work Requests in their system…

    Meter replacement date now “expedited” to be installed on the 18th May….

    Let’s see if they can get it done in under 90 days.

  36. SOUTH AUS 5118
    Had solar installed by origin last year, they wanted energy aus to pay for meter upgrade, so stayed with them for electricity.
    After origin not submitting the proper paperwork, and energy aus delays.
    Meter upgrade was meant to happen 09/05/2018 (finally)
    They may have only reprogrammed the meter, as the solar installer mentioned they could do. i’m not sure if it happened.
    I haven’t been able to find out from energy aus if the upgrade happened.

  37. Zoran Strajnic says

    I enquired regarding change an electricity meter to net mettering.
    After very long wait Origin informed me that they cant do it. Full response from Origin is bellow.

    From: “AdvancedMeters” [email protected]
    ….
    Sent: Tue, 6 Feb 2018 03:14:04 +0000
    Subject: RE Digital Meter – ….

    Hi Zoran,

    Thanks for your digital meter enquiry, and apologies for the delay in getting back to you.

    As per the email attached, we attempted your digital meter upgrade on 25.07.2017. Your meter exchange cannot currently be completed, due to insufficient mobile phone coverage in your area. A number of meter installations are unable to be completed because of this. Origin’s digital meters use 3G technology, the same way a mobile phone does. The signal may be good enough for you to make a phone call, but it needs to be strong enough for the meter to consistently & reliably communicate meter read data daily to Origin Energy. We have specific agreements in place with particular telecommunications carriers to use their network (Vodafone & Telstra) and both signal strength tests conducted by the technician on 25.07.2017 failed. This may be because your property is located in a gully, causing the signal to be intermittent. The signal issues identified onsite are not able to be mitigated in the short-term, and, unfortunately, we still cannot provide you with an estimated timeframe as to when this will be resolved.

    It is possible, and you may think it more time and cost-effective (in comparison to waiting for us to reattend), for you to discuss “net metering” options privately with a Level 2 electrician/Accredited Service Provider (ASP). If you did decide to do this (at your own expense), they may be able to reconfigure your existing basic ‘gross’ meter to a basic ‘net’ meter & quote you for the work. You can find a list of Level 2 electricians/ASPs here: http://www.resourcesandenergy.nsw.gov.au – just type in ‘ASP’ in the search box and click ‘Accredited Service Provider (ASP) Scheme and contestable works’. Please look at those categorised as ‘Level 2’.
    In relation to the Power of Choice industry reforms that took effect from 04.12.2017, all brand-new meter installations for residential and small business customers will be digital meters. If an existing basic (network) meter is found to be faulty or aged, it will need to be replaced with a digital meter but, at this stage, you don’t need to change meters immediately.
    Should you have any further enquiries or concerns, please let us know via return email.

    Kind regards,
    Sarah M
    New Connections Specialist
    Digital Metering Consultant

    Origin
    GPO Box 186, Melbourne VIC 3001
    t 1300 132 480 f 1300 132 465
    e [email protected]

    I contacted number of electricians about reconfiguring my existing basic ‘gross’ meter to a basic ‘net’ meter. They all told me that this is not possible.

    I don’t know where to go now. I would put extra solar panels but in current situation there is no point doing it.

    • Ronald Brakels says

      Personal details edited out to protect from potential spammers.

    • Philip Lee says

      Origin’s digital meter installer has just attended our Sydney metropolitan residence to install a new smart meter, 2 months after our solar upgrade. Unable to install a smart meter because the 3G signal was too weak , here in the geographical centre if the Sydney basin !!
      Logic suggests that before sending out an installer subcontractor Origin themselves could very quickly visit the site to test the 3G signal and sort out the meter requirements before wasting time and money with a contractor visit.
      Back to Origin to wait yet again for the next appointment and maybe a solution, perhaps some time this year.

  38. OldCynic says

    Finn, Michael etc. Do the decent thing and redact Zoran’s message. Get rid of his email address or he’ll get all sorts of idiots and spammers mailing him.
    Thanks

  39. I read this article but unfortunately my meter is taking longer than those 30 days with Origin. It seems to take well over a week to get any indication that they had received my email with the change in meter form and just to get the form to be accepted was a ridiculous process and took 3 or 4 submissions, each submission takes a minimum of one week to be seen. AGL seems to be quicker but I am not using them so I can not speak for them.

    The 30 day rule is not true at all. I have now been given a date but it was given to me after the last form submission which took two weeks to be cleared and than the period was 30 days down the track.

  40. Kenneth & Audrey Williams says

    I have one for you to puzzle out. We have been waiting for our smart meter for nearly 5 months now and origin still wont give us a time for connection..How long does a person have to wait for answers.

  41. Dear Kenneth, I am an authorised meter installer with both AGL & Origin, I would have to say that getting meters out of Origin, is worse than pulling teeth, it takes me an average of 45 days just to get meter out of Origin which is an absolute joke, I feel your pain, perhaps a complaint to the EWON Ombudsman may put a rocket up them, otherwise its just a waiting game. Since the retailers have had the metering from December 1st last year, to say its a a fiasco, would be an absolute under statement. Good luck with your future endeavours, Kind Regards Ray

  42. Scott Phillips says

    It took 3 MONTHS for AGL to reconfigure my smart meter for flexible pricing from a flat tariff. And I already had the smart meter. 3 MONTHS!! And it was only after I went to the ombudsman that they finally sorted it out. Then they tried the same trick again when I got my solar installed, they reconfigured the meter but ‘overlooked the feed in tarrif.

  43. Upgraded solar system including battery installed in March. Took Origin 0ver a month to send out Smart Meter installer. When he arrived and tested mobile signal strength, informed could not install smart meter, signal too weak. Origin would be back in contact. It took them 2 months, now July, to email me that installer would contact me “within 30 days”. Early August installer arrives and instals Smart Meter without any issues. Could not explain why first installer could not do the job.
    Time taken? Over 5 months!

  44. Peter Neilsen says

    And I thought I was being hard done by. Townsville residence, booked for 6.6kW.

    Because we need space in the existing board, we need to remove the old off peak meter (tariff 33, Ergon) to gain extra poles. There is a booking fee of $250 for this. A further fee of $350 for the new “smart” meter.

    But at least we get a date 3/4 December, 2018. So hopefully the new system will be up and running on the 4th. That is 6 weeks from signing the contract. Apparently could be worse.

  45. I am waiting since Dec.18 to have my meter changed. That is 44 days.
    Acumen that does it for Origin gave me a date and they did not even bother to show up. Not even a sms
    Service very poor

    • Ronald Brakels says

      Hi Benedict

      People have obtained compensation for lost solar generation for late meter changes, so that’s an option you may want to consider. It might speed them up.

  46. Hi people, be aware that Origin Energy ? Accumen metering have today 31/1/19 decided to abolish, most of the ASPs ( Authorised Service Providers ) like myself here in New South Wales. None of us know, what is behind their madness, but if you think it took a long time before, stay tuned, as the wait times will now only become longer. A bit of friendly advice, if you want a meter supplied, and installed quickly, change to AGL, they are getting on with business, and supplying and installing meters, in a timely fashion. Origin energy can go to hell in my books, and ever since the metering, was handed to the retailers, Origin have done nothing but stand in the way, of meter roll outs, and made our jobs, as ASP’s, as difficult, as they possible could have. The sooner Origin Energy, disappears, the better off we will all be. Good luck with your new meter installations.

  47. Benedict, Accumen / Origin Energy, would be, by fa,r the worst companies that I have ever had to deal with. Change to AGL Im sure, things will progress a lot faster, than having to deal with that other lot of idiots.

  48. Ray Meeuwisse says

    In regards to meter changes especially here in NSW, Origin Energy / Accumen metering have seen fit to dispense with the majority of ASPs ( Authorised Service Providers ) so now the wait will be even longer. My advice is to everybody, CHANGE YOUR PROVIDER TO AGL a lot less hassle than trying to get anything done with Origin. I can ONLY say, I cant wait for the day, that Origin Energy has gone from NSW.
    Good riddens ORIGIN ENERGY

  49. We had Origin change our smart meter in 10 working days after our solar install, and while our installer couldn’t do the meter thanks to the new rules, they did fill out Origin’s New Connection form that everyone seems to hate and we only had to sign it and email it in.

    (Although we did need to SIGN it, which meant printing it out (we no longer have a printer having gone paperless at home, so that meant Officeworks), scanning it back in, and emailing it, only to get an acknowledgement email from Origin saying that they’d got it, with a footer piously asking us to consider the environment and whether we really needed to print out emails.)

    That all went pretty smoothly, and now a week later we’ve got an email saying we’re now on time-of-use tariffs which are 40% higher than our old tariffs, so I’m about to go through my own 11 step “calling Origin” process. Surely this is not normal?

    • Ronald Brakels says

      Fortunately, things have improved since the article was written.

    • Seems that Origin’s TOU peak tariffs are really 30+% higher than the flat peak tariff we were on with the old meter. In return we get a lower rate at night when we hardly use anything. At this rate, we may end up with batteries sooner than we planned, because grid power is getting less and less affordable.

      I’m not surprised they’re quick with the meter change when it allows them to switch you to a worse-value set of tariffs after the changeover.

  50. Ray Meeuwisse says

    Hi John this is normal, to be changed to T.O.U. power, once your meter is changed, but under the AER rules you do not have to accept the T.O.U. tariff. if Origin give you any grief, just inform them that you will be going to the EWON ( Ombudsman ) I had a friend of mine out here that had the same thing happen to them, and they got changed back to the standard flat rate. Regards Ray

    • Thanks Ray, that’s great to know. The flat rate will be much better for us, I think. I’m just going to run some numbers, then give Origin a call if it works out that way.

  51. Des Scahill says

    Slightly ‘tongue in cheek’ –

    ‘Join SLA Rebellion Today!’
    The first 1000 new members get our ‘free starter kit’

    1) ‘Brakel’ bolt cutters with triple insulated handles. Unique Finnish design using recycled steel from coal power station remnants.

    2) 50 metres of cyclone rated weather proof insulated cable, with unique ‘super clutch’ giant alligator clips already attached. Rated to 1 MegaWatt capacity. Power where you need it, when you want it.

    3) Bonus ‘I’ve cut the circuit’ letter box sticker

    4) Our recommended list of Reconditioned SLA Battery suppliers. Deep discounts available for batches of 50. ‘

    Just dreaming, don’t take any of the above seriously

  52. Ray Meeuwisse says

    If anyone is having problems with the metering fiasco ESPECIALLY with the imbeciles at ORIGIN ENERGY, just call RED ENERGY, 100% AUSTRALIAN OWNED, speak to someone her in either Cooma, Tweed Heads or Melbourne, NO OVERSEAS CALL CENTRES.

    RED ENERGY, 131806, Regards Ray

  53. If anyone is thinking of getting solar and are currently an Origin customer but are using another solar company seriously consider changing electricity suppliers first. They originally denied receiving the request from our solar installer then they canceled our install of new meter twice the third time they finally came out and requested meter box alterations by our electrician. Then they came back and requested more alterations (why they didn’t request both alterations the first time I don’t know) This has been dragged out over quite a few months as you go back to the 15-30 days each time. Changing to Red Energy now

    • We’re with Origin, and the meter install went as smoothly as you could hope for: 10 working days from request to all done and running. Our installers had pre-filled Origin’s New Connection form with details of our system, and we just had to sign it, scan it, and send it. Origin kept us in the loop, scheduled the meter install within a week, and the install happened quickly and on time. I’m not a great fan of Origin, and have had some issues with repeatedly being given wrong plan information by their customer service people, but the solar meter team seemed on the ball on our install.

  54. Grrrrr . . . Complain to EnergyAustralia!

    On Aug 1st, 2019, I had a 5.1KWh solar array installed. I waited six weeks for a technician to come to exchange the meter, losing out on at least $100 per month of rebate for the FIT, etc during that wait. Today, the technician came and said the meter box will not fit the new meter. He said he had no idea how long it will take to find a solution to this problem. Meanwhile, I continue to lose money. This is not acceptable. I am upset to be losing money after paying so much to have solar installed in full expectation that the FIT (and reduced charges on the new plan which only begins after meter exchange) would be coming to help pay for it. Meanwile, EnergyAustralia is taking my solar for free and continues charging the higher fees of my old non-solar plan.

    • Ronald Brakels says

      People have claimed compensation for slow meter installs. (Consumer affairs in your state may be able to help you with this.) If you pursue this and let EnergyAustralia know, it might speed things up.

  55. I have an 11.8 KW solar system installed October 2018 (last year). Took 2 months until Origin could organise a smart meter replacement. This was tried 10 Jan 2019 – which failed for some reason. I’ve had three bills using actual meter readings and then Origin and Endeavour decided to “estimate” my usage because my meter is “broken”.

    A couple of calls to Origin to no effect. Latest bill is simply based on last years usage (good estimate, huh?). Now another attempt is being made on Thursday to replace the meter to a smart meter. Which may fail again. And Origin are going to re-estimate my last 3 bills. Retrospectively. In there favour I’m sure.

    The Ombudsman claims this is legal. The ownus is on me (apparently) to wait until a smart meter is installed before using my $8,000 solar system I’ve had for 11 months. My installer “broke” the meter by hooking up the system. Even though Endeavour approved the installation!

    Useless Ombudsman and useless laws. Origin or Endeavour have to approve everything my have no incentive (or stick) to get off there arse. There is no Power of Choice – distributors are monopolies so none off us have any choice nor any power.

Speak Your Mind

*

GET THE SOLARQUOTES WEEKLY NEWSLETTER
%d bloggers like this: