On 1 December 2017, a new National Electricity Rule came into effect, intended to encourage competition in the provision of metering services. From this date, all new and replacement meters installed in homes will be smart meters (sometimes called ‘advanced digital meters’) – a digital meter that can be read remotely. The rulemaker AEMC (Australian Energy Market Commission) insists changes will enable customers to access new services provided by smart meter technology. This means customers may choose new tariff structures if they wish, such as demand tariffs, and have access to retail plans linked to smart metering.
Until recently, SA Power Networks owned, maintained and operated all the electricity meters in South Australia. Now, whenever a meter needs to be newly installed or replaced due to malfunction or upgrade, this will be organised by the retailer instead of by SA Power Networks, and the new meter will be a smart meter. While SA Power Networks will continue to read their meters, over time those old meters will be replaced and will become the responsibility of metering coordinators appointed by the retailer.