From Canberra CityNews
June 11, 2024

Letter to the Editor

I’ve just made a submission on smart meters to the Australian Energy
Market Commission (AEMC)

AEMCis currently looking at accelerating smart meter deployment in NSW, Queensland, the ACT and SA, following a request from industry players Intellihub, SA Power Networks and Alinta Energy. 

Smart meters are promoted by industry and regulators as the best thing since sliced bread. However, the replacement of electromechanical meters with digital technology has resulted in locking consumers into a continuing cycle of higher electricity bills. Accumulation meters have a long lifespan, whereas smart meters need to be replaced over time. Smart meters also depend on sophisticated technology, requiring communication networks, data storage, software applications and technical expertise.

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Research released by The Australia Institute in 2019 showed that “time of use pricing” facilitated by smart meters drives up household energy costs. Electricity companies and regulators push for higher electricity prices at peak times, as well as higher “shoulder” periods. In theory, this encourages people to move their energy consumption to times of the day when it is cheaper for utilities to provide it.

The Australia Institute concluded that many households have now exhausted their capacity to cut electricity consumption or change their time of electricity use. In reality, electricity companies are using electricity demand peaks to push for higher consumer prices to increase their profits.

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The call to accelerate the smart meter rollout is clearly about industry interests over that of consumers. Get ready for more spin saying it’s all about the advantages for consumers. Guess who is paying?

Murray May, Cook

Source: CBRCityNews

Information of the Australia Institute 2019 research can be found here