AEMC recommends 100 per cent uptake of smart meters by 2030
The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) has recommended a 100 per cent uptake of smart meters by 2030 in a draft report, detailing the acceleration of smart meter deployment.
The draft report for the Review of the Regulatory Framework for Metering Services outlines 20 key recommendations for accelerating the rollout of smart meters and shows a 100 per cent uptake would deliver net benefits to the tune of $507 million dollars for all National Energy Market (NEM) regions, including New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, Queensland and South Australia.
The AEMC is working with stakeholders to accelerate a smart meter rollout in the National Electricity Market (NEM), to support the energy transition and build a smarter grid for the future.
Smart meters are a key enabler of a smart grid. We can’t run a 21st century grid with 19th century meter technology.
Smart meters Australian Energy Regulator
Smart meter installation
What if I do not consent to having a smart meter installed at my property?
Retailers are required to install smart meters for new connections (for example, a new house build) and if your meter is faulty or has reached the end of its life and needs replacing. If your meter needs replacing you can ask your retailer to disable the communications functions. There may be additional costs associated with the retailer having to do manual reads of your meter if you choose to have the telecommunications disabled.
If your current meter is working properly and a retailer wants to replace it with a smart meter, you can opt out of the smart meter installation. You can only opt out if you haven’t waived your right to opt out when you signed up to your current electricity contract.
Retailers are required to provide you at least 4 business days’ notice of any planned interruptions to your electricity supply to install the meter.
Review of the regulatory framework for metering services AEMC
The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) has published its draft report, which sets out 20 recommendations and options to accelerate the deployment of smart meters in the National Electricity Market. Smart meters are foundational to a more connected, modern, and efficient energy system that supports future technologies, services and innovations. A faster replacement of legacy meters will enable consumers to access the benefits that smart meters can provide.
The draft recommendations and options in this report reflect the many stakeholder ideas and suggestions put forward to the Commission in submissions and at the Review’s forums and reference groups.
The Commission welcomes stakeholder feedback on the draft report. Submissions close 02 February 2023.
Using smart meters NSW Climate and Energy Action
Concerns about smart meters
There have been claims that the electromagnetic field emissions (EMFs) from smart meters can cause health problems. Many common devices, such as mobile phones, also emit EMFs. There is no established scientific evidence that the low levels of EMFs from smart meters cause any health effects. More information: Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency.
If you have concerns about EMFs from smart meters, you can ask your retailer for a smart meter with the communications feature turned off so that it does not transmit data remotely. These are commonly known as a Type 4A meter. However, a technician will need to turn off the communication feature if the smart meter has been installed, and do regular meter readings at your premises.
Your retailer will let you know the upfront costs to turn off the communications feature and the ongoing costs of meter reads which you will need to pay each time someone comes to your premises. These costs depend on your location.
Your energy data and personal information is classified as confidential information under the National Electricity Rules and the Privacy Act 1988.
There are safeguards in place to protect consumers from unauthorised access to metering data and its services. For example, data showing that your meter exports solar energy during the day is protected information.
Access to metering data is limited to registered energy market participants, such as retailers and meter providers.
All new and replacement meters installed from 1 December 2017 must be smart meters.
If you don’t want a smart meter, you can ask your retailer to have the ‘smart’ or remote telecommunications function turned off either before it is installed or after it has been installed.
A smart meter that does not transmit data remotely is known as a Type 4A meter. It effectively becomes the same as an accumulation meter. It will record your electricity usage and will need to be read manually by a technician.
You could be charged for meter readings. A meter reading must occur at least once a year.
Your retailer must let you know the upfront costs to turn off the communications feature and the ongoing service charges such as meter reads). These costs vary depending on your location.
Smart meters and health ARPANSA
Do smart meters cause any health effects?
Health authorities around the world, including ARPANSA and the World Health Organization (WHO), have examined the scientific evidence regarding possible health effects from smart meters. Current research indicates that there are no established health effects from the low exposure to the RF EME from smart meters.
There have been anecdotal reports into potential health effects of exposure to RF EME from smart meters claiming of a variety of ill effects that have been generally termed ‘electromagnetic hypersensitivity’ or EHS. ARPANSA and the WHO are not aware of any EHS symptoms being confirmed as due to RF EME exposure in well conducted scientific investigations.
There is no established scientific evidence that the low level RF EME exposure from smart meters causes any health effects including symptoms of ill health communicated by some people.
ARPANSA will continue to review the research into potential health effects of RF EME emissions from smart meters and other sources in order to provide accurate and up-to-date advice.
We said no to a smart meter here’s why… – The Healthy House
Why are we refusing one?
Put simply, anecdotal evidence from current users suggests that they might cause potential health issues.
Here at The Healthy House, we are acutely aware of the potential risks of exposure to wireless radiation. Through our work with electrically sensitive customers we have seen that, for some people, the health effects of exposure to these technologies can be immediate.
Even for the vast majority of us who do not consider ourselves electrically sensitive, a growing body of evidence is suggesting potential long-term negative effects on our health as a result of exposure to these fields.
You may already have heard that the World Health Organisation has classified EMF radiation as a class 2B carcinogen. A number of studies have reported ill-effects as a result of exposure to these types of technologies, from fatigue, headache and sleep disorders to psychiatric problems.
For these reasons, we believe in taking precautions when using EMF-emitting technologies. Smart meters create another source of short bursts of radiation within our own homes. Without certainty that this technology is safe, we believe it is better to err on the side of caution.
The official advice from Public Health England (PHE) is that there isn’t any convincing evidence that exposure to radio waves within guideline levels is harmful to health. They say that mobile phone usage exposes us to more radiation than devices such as smart meters.
PHE may well be correct, but we can’t ignore the growing body of evidence that suggests that there could be a problem. Furthermore, Senior Nuclear Policy Lecturer at UCSC Daniel Hirsch says that smart meters may expose your body to as much radiation as 160 mobile phones (source: ‘Stop Smart Meters UK’).
Meter upgrades and faults – Ausgrid
All new and replacement meters installed from 1 December 2017 must be smart meters.
New advanced meters or ‘smart meters’ are installed and maintained by your retailer.
You will need to report the issue to your retailer.
Changes to responsibilities for metering – Ausgrid
From 1 December 2017 changes were made to increase competition in the electricity metering market
as the Australian Energy Market Commission’s ‘Power of Choice’ regulations came into effect.
Ausgrid is responsible for:
- Meter reading, testing and maintenance services of existing legacy Ausgrid meters
- that have not been installed by retailers under the Power of Choice rule change.*
We will continue to provide reading, testing and maintenance services for meters owned by Ausgrid. This includes all meters that were installed by Ausgrid or an agent of Ausgrid or our predecessor organisations.
If we have identified that Ausgrid metering at your premises is no longer compliant with the National Electricity Rules (for example, not accurate enough or damaged) and requires replacement, we will send a notification to your retailer who are then required to contact you and arrange for the metering to be replaced with a new smart meter.
Where a new smart meter is to be installed, under Power of Choice rules you can request that your retailer install it without the remote communication hardware. The retailer will then be responsible for arranging for the meter to be manually read.
How to Get a Smart Meter Installation & Costs – Canstar Blue
Should I get a smart meter?
In Australia, smart meters are required for all new property connections, or if an existing meter is faulty and needs to be replaced. Aside from mandatory installations, there are many benefits of switching to a smart meter, including:
- To take advantage of off-peak electricity rates on a flexible pricing tariff.
- To receive live usage information and monitor your energy consumption.
- To connect or disconnect remotely from an app (depending on your energy provider).
- To measure electricity usage being exported by solar systems.
How do smart meters work and can they save you money CHOICE
What if I don’t want one?
If your retailer is offering you a smart meter as part of a deployment in your area, but your existing meter is still functioning properly, you can opt out of getting one (except if you live in Victoria).
As long as you haven’t waived your right to opt out when signing up to a new energy contract, your retailer must give you two written notices of your ability to opt out. Your retailer is required to inform you about how you can opt out and by what date before the deployment.
But if your existing meter is faulty or has reached the end of its life, you must replace it with a smart meter.
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