What a Smart Meter is
A smart meter is a more technologically advanced version of the existing electricity meter most Australians have at their home. The new meters measure and record how much electricity a household uses in every half hour interval and can be read remotely.
Smart meters are increasingly common worldwide. They measure and record how much electricity a household uses every 30 minutes and can be read remotely. Smart meters are designed to give customers and energy companies more detailed and accurate information about household energy consumption.
The meters increase customers understanding of their energy use. Also the information is fed back to the energy companies who can use the data to charge 'time-of-use' price rates. This 'time-of-use' rates allow companies to create price incentives for customers to use energy outside of peak times. This may be accompanied for increased rates during peak usage periods.
Smart Meters in Victoria
Smart Meters were rolled out in Victoria between 2009 and 2013. The Victorian government made the roll-out mandatory.
The Victorian smart meters roll-out was managed by Victoria's electricity distributors who manage the infrastructure (e.g. poles, wires, equipment, etc) that deliver electricity in the State. The Australian Energy Regulator has determined all Victorian electricity customers will begin paying for the new smart metering system from 1 January 2010, regardless of when their smart meter is actually installed. The meter cost is part of normal service charges. On average, smart meters cost $53 in 2010 and a further $25 in 2011, over the year.
Smart Meters in New South Wales
The NSW Solar Bonus Scheme was introduced by the NSW Government in January 2010. It offers a subsidised feed-in tariff to eligible customers who installed either small-scale solar or wind-generation systems.
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