Customer-driven advanced meter rollout proposed for Queensland


Brisbane, Australia — (METERING.COM) — September 12, 2013 – Queensland’s government has proposed a customer-driven rollout of advanced meters for the state, in which a range of different service providers can compete to offer customers advanced metering services and associated product choices, and customers can choose to adopt the technology based on their own assessment of the benefits.

Stating that the majority of Queensland’s existing electricity meters have limited functionality which restricts demand management options, opportunities to improve billing practices and tariff reform, the government says metering reform is a crucial enabler to achieve medium to long term objectives to educate and empower consumers while driving efficiency outcomes along the entire electricity supply system.

However, a mandated, distributor-led rollout is ruled out, based on the experience of Victoria.

The proposal forms part of the Queensland government’s newly released 30-year electricity strategy discussion paper, which is based on the vision that the state’s electricity supply system will be “resilient, cost effective and customer-focused…”

In addition to improving metering services, key challenges for the next 5 years the strategy addresses are to:

  • Improve competition in retail markets
  • Strengthen customer protections
  • Improve customer engagement
  • Review electricity rebates and customer assistance
  • Reform tariffs to address costs and provide greater customer control
  • Develop a demand management and energy efficiency strategy
  • Support customer-focused reliability standards
  • Improve consultation practices for network extensions
  • Improve the operation of the gas market.

In the longer term the challenges are to:

  • Facilitate the deployment of cost effective new generation alternatives
  • Attract investment in generation
  • Support structural change to the supply system
  • Engage and protect residential customers of the future
  • Maximize economic growth while transitioning to a better energy future.

“Queensland’s electricity supply system is entering a period of unprecedented change to the way electricity is made, moved, sold and consumed across our state,” said Mark McArdle, Minister for Energy and Water Supply. “To have the best electricity sector for Queenslanders, we must develop a policy framework that will meet the future needs of the community.”

The discussion paper is now open for comment until December 6, 2013.