Power of Choice

What is Power of Choice?

Power of Choice (PoC) is a government-led, industry wide reform program, which seeks to provide consumers with more opportunities to make informed choices regarding how they use electricity.

The new rules which come into effect on the 1st December 2017, are designed to open up competition in the provision of advanced metering and encourage new and innovative metering services, providing consumers with further opportunities to better understand and gain increased control over their energy usage.

What changes are occurring under Power of Choice?

The Power of Choice regulatory changes effectively shift responsibility for the ownership and reading of electricity meters away from distributors (other than in Victoria) and open up the provision of these services to competition so electricity retailers (and large customers) have increased choice of who provides, installs and reads meters on behalf of customers.

One of the key new roles created will be the role of the ‘metering co-ordinator’. The metering co-ordinator is independent to your distributor and energy retailer and will be responsible for arranging meter installation, maintenance, testing, repairs and meter data collection. Note your distributor will continue to be responsible for installing the connection between your premises and the electricity network.

In addition, under the Power of Choice reforms, advanced or digital meters that meet a minimum standard, must be installed whenever a new or replacement meter is needed. Until now, the provision of a basic meter has been the minimum requirement for most customers located outside Victoria.

Digital Meters – What are the benefits?

Digital meters with remote communication capabilities support a range of new functionality and service innovations including:

  • remote meter reading – avoiding site access issues for meter reads and estimated bills;
  • remote connection/disconnection services – making it easier, quicker and cheaper to have power connected or disconnected at your premises; and
  • increased, more detailed and more frequent access to your electricity metering data to help you better manage your energy use and take advantage of innovative new products and services.

What happens if I need a Digital Meter?

If you need a new or replacement meter or to make other changes to your electricity supply that require a new or replacement meter, we will arrange the installation of a digital meter for you (other than for sites in Victoria, which already have digital meters).

If any changes in relation to the meter at your premises is required, we will contact you in advance. You may refuse a meter replacement in certain circumstances, but may be liable for additional costs that may be incurred as a result.

Customers with Direct Metering Agreement’s (DMA)

Large customers with direct metering agreements (DMA’s) should take steps to appoint a metering coordinator by 1 December 2017 or your retailer may do this for you. Most current metering providers intend to offer metering coordinator services. Customers with current DMA arrangements should contact their current metering provider to find out more.

Transition to Power of Choice

Industry wide transition arrangements are being implemented as a result of the introduction of Power of Choice on 1 December 2017. As a result there may be delays in the provision of new supply and supply alterations and/or metering services works over the coming November to January period. If you anticipate the need for any such services please do not hesitate to call us to discuss your needs as soon as possible.

Otherwise, there is expected to be no immediate impact to your premises from the changes from the introduction of the Power of Choice changes that come into effect on 1st December 2017.

What if I have any questions?

If you are a customer, and have any concerns or questions about Power of Choice, or if you’ve received an approach about changing your current metering arrangements and would like more information, please contact your account manager who will be happy to answer any questions you might have, or contact us on 13 23 76 or [email protected].

Further information

The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) set the rules, which govern energy markets. Further information regarding the Power of Choice regulatory reforms can be found on the AEMC website here: https://www.aemc.gov.au/Major-Pages/Power-of-choice

Other websites, which provide useful information about digital meters, are:

South Australia: https://www.sa.gov.au/topics/energy-and-environment/meters-and-bills/smart-meters

Victoria: https://victorianenergysaver.vic.gov.au/bills-pricing-and-meters/smart-meters-and-how-they-work