If you live in NSW and you have electricity at your home (that’s a lot of you), you might know that there are some changes planned for your meter. Right now, it’s likely you have a ‘basic’ meter, which keeps track of your energy usage and is read by your distributor every three months or so. However, thanks to some regulatory changes, you’ll soon have the opportunity to replace your basic meter with a ‘smart meter’.
What’s a smart meter?
Smart meters differ from basic meters in a couple of ways. For starters, they measure your consumption with greater accuracy. But more importantly, smart meters track your consumption across very small periods of time and are read remotely without your distributor having to come out to your property to take a manual reading.
What are the benefits of a smart meter?
Well, apart from the increased accuracy and the ability to be remotely read, if you’re a Powershop customer, a smart meter allows you to get even more out of our usage tools through the Powershop App and Online Account.
As info about your usage will be continuously measured, it means you’ll have access to almost live info about the electricity you’re using. That means you’ll be able to better manage your usage and make every day decisions to use less and save money.
Our customers in NSW already have access to a lot of great features in the App and Online Account, but have had to manually enter their own meter reads to get a better picture of their usage between distributor reads. With a smart meter, you won’t have to do this anymore.
What are the changes that are allowing smart meters in NSW?
In March 2014, the NSW Government decided that smart meters would be made available to electricity customers across the State through a voluntary, market-led rollout. That basically means retailers (like us), are able to provide metering services to NSW consumers once all the regulatory rules have been ironed out.
We think this is great news for NSW residents. Smart meters have been in use in Victoria for a few years now.
What’s the catch?
Since the regulations have changed, a lot of energy retailers have decided they’re going to start offering NSW residents the chance to get a smart meter, but there are a couple of things to be wary of.
Firstly, we don’t think you should have to pay exorbitant fees to get a smart meter installed, because these could run up to a couple of hundred dollars. But more importantly, if a retailer installs a smart meter for you, we don’t think you should have to enter into a long-term contract with them – for either electricity or the meter – especially if there are nasty exit fees involved.
What’s Powershop doing?
Right now, we’re working hard to find the best way to replace basic meters with new smart meters at no upfront cost for Powershop customers, and we’ll never have lock-in contracts.