What is a Smart Meter?
A Smart Meter is a digital device that measures and records how much electricity is being used by a household or a business. It uses new technology that communicates your meter readings every 30 minutes directly to your electricity distributor.
Are Smart Meters compulsory?
The Victorian Government, have mandated that all households and small businesses have electricity meters upgraded before the end of 2013 to Smart Meters. You will not be able to opt-out of having a Smart Meter installed.
Why are electricity meters being upgraded?
New Smart Meter technology provides households with real-time information on their electricity usage. This in turn provides you with greater control. With growing energy demand and rising electricity prices, there is a need to give consumers greater control over their energy consumption.
How could a Smart Meter benefit me?
Smart Meters come with several advantages over the old meter technology, including:
- providing you with more accurate and up-to-date information about your electricity usage so you can identify ways to save electricity and reduce your energy costs;
- being able to remotely read your electricity usage means you will no longer need to be at home when you have your meter read and there is less chance of estimated meter reads
- your electricity may be connected or disconnected remotely which makes connections and disconnections more efficient to carry out and
- making it easier for your electricity distributor to detect and repair power outages.
When will my Smart Meter be installed?
Smart Meters will be progressively rolled out by electricity distributors between September 2009 and December 2013. You will be notified prior to your Smart Meter installation by your electricity distributor. They will inform you when your new meter will be installed and any requirements for installation. In most cases Smart Meters will be installed on a weekday between 8am to 5pm. You will also need to ensure there is clear and safe access to your meter box on the advised day of installation.
Who owns the Smart Meter?
Your Smart Meter, like your existing electricity meter, is owned by your electricity distributor.
Do I have to pay for my Smart Meter?
Yes. You will have to pay for your Smart Meter in the same way you are paying for your current meter and electricity infrastructure (electricity poles and wires). The cost of your Smart Meter is recovered through your Supply Charge on your Alinta Energy electricity account. These charges cover the installation and maintenance of your Smart Meter and will be recovered over a number of years.
Who receives extra money I pay for the Smart Meter?
Alinta Energy collects the Smart Meter charges, however we then pass this money onto your electricity distributor.
How will Smart Meters work with rooftop solar panels?
Smart Meters are compatible with rooftop solar panels. They can measure the electricity you send to the grid to ensure you are reimbursed for any applicable feed-in tariffs.
Want more information?
For more information please visit the Victorian Government’s Department of Primary Industry website at www.dpi.vic.gov.au/smartmeters. While Alinta Energy, as your electricity retailer, does not have control over the installation or the charges relating to Smart Meters we are available to help answer any questions you may have. To find out more please call us on 133 702.