Electricity Digital Meter Conversion: New Age Billing!

By Georgina Pickers, NCWQ Adviser

The Queensland Government is planning to introduce digital metering across Queensland on 01 December 2017.

The technology will eventually replace the old ‘disk type’ meters that have been in use since the 1930’s   The new meters will be installed in all new homes or in existing dwellings as the old style meter breaks down.  In Queensland meters will be installed at the retailers and networks expense.  They should deliver savings to principals as meters are remotely read, meaning that physical visits to the property unnecessary. As well, they offer more accurate and timely billings (no estimates), provision for shorter billings periods e.g. monthly, data streams for individual appliances e.g. pool pumps and air conditioning to identify where savings may be made as well as alleviating billing disputes.

The new technology will depend on the reliability of the communication networks so properties and businesses not well served by existing Telcos or NBN coverage may not be well served as customers in high density urban areas and may be problematic for those communities especially in the most remote regions of the state.

Exiting customers will also have to request the new meters which is surprising given the cost savings in human resources for the energy suppliers.

The Consumer and Industry Reference Group NCWQ representative reported that the Group recommended that the State government undertake a public information campaign to allay public suspicion that ‘new technology’ will increase energy costs’, explain the benefits of the new smart metering technology and that the networks and retailers be urged to pass on their cost efficiencies to the consumer.  The group also suggested that a register be established for those wishing to convert to the new technology.

More information about digital meters is available at:

www.dews.qld.gov.au/digital-meters

 

Bright Sparks – Helping people with Disability how to save on electricity bills.  

Seminars “Bright Sparks – Helping people with Disability to learn how to save on electricity bills”, jointly run by the Queenslanders with Disability Network (QDN) and the Queensland Government have been a practical and successful initiative aimed to assist those consumers who have 24/7 medical needs or disabilities.  Generally they are, by necessity, high energy users so basic information about how to read their electricity / gas bill and save money is important.  For further information go on-line at: www.qdn.org.au or by phoning 1300 363 783 or email qdn@qdn.org.au.

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