Old-fashioned electricity meters are on the way out as new technology allows remote reading of smart meters.
Old-fashioned electricity meters are on the way out as new technology allows remote reading of smart meters. Mike Knott

Electricity cost savings predicted from smart meter rollout

KEEPING track of electricity bills could be easier for mum and dad users from July 1 next year after the NSW Government committed support to a voluntary, market-led rollout of smart meters.

The Nationals Member for Coffs Harbour, Andrew Fraser, said customers would be able to take advantage of competitive offers from electricity retailers, giving them better control of their usage and helping to drive down bills.

"This is not a mandatory requirement for households," Mr Fraser said.

"Electricity customers are free to decide whether or not they want to use a smart meter to measure their electricity consumption.

"Competition in the market is encouraged by allowing metering providers, such as electricity retailers or other new entrants, to offer smart meters to customers as part of energy deals.

"It is important to note that medium to big NSW businesses have been using this type of technology since the 1990's."

Under the guidelines, customers can remotely access meters to control household appliances, such as air-conditioning.

Retailers can also read the meter remotely, saving the cost of manual reading and eliminating estimates.

Electricity networks can more easily monitor supply conditions with blackouts and other problems detected and fixed more quickly.

"A smart digital meter measures the amount of electricity used at any point, giving customers a greater understanding of where and how they are using," Mr Fraser added.

"Metering service providers will be free to offer a range of meters that cater to every customer.

"These meters will range from basic, real-time services to more advanced systems that utilise smart-phone applications to remotely control consumption.

"The Government understands each household's circumstances are unique and all customers maintain the right to retain their existing meter if they don't feel the need for a new one."



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