NZ firm and Origin Energy partner on smart meter rollout

New Zealand electricity distribution company Vector has signed an agreement with Australia’s Origin Energy for the deployment of advanced meters to New South Wales sites.

The agreement is based on a trial deployment of smart meters.

Simon Mackenzie, group chief executive officer at Vector, said that the agreement is an exciting development especially at such a transformational period in the Australian energy market.

Mackenzie added: “This is a very positive step for Vector, Origin and their customers in preparation for the larger volume smart meter deployments that will be the result of the Power of Choice reform process which starts in December 2017.”

In a press statement, Frank Calabria, chief executive officer of Energy Markets at Origin added that smart metering improves the customer experience and helps to strengthen the relationship between the retailer and the customer.

“Customers who choose smart metering will see immediate benefits today, and access innovative products and services in the future,” said Mr Calabria.

Smart meters competition

[quote] Last year, Australia’s energy market regulator passed a ruling prepared to create more competition among suppliers and increasing consumer engagement in the country’s smart meter market. [The power of choice for Australia’s metering market]

To this end, the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) outlined a draft rule determination, which will see consumers able to select if they want a meter at all, the types and cost of the meter, and a price plan, just as they might when buying a mobile phone.

Prepared by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Energy Council, the ruling prepared in March 2015 aimed to address “the exclusivity arrangements which limit who can take responsibility for the provision of metering services, impede competition and potentially encourage the continued use of accumulation meters.”

In a summary of the draft determination, the COAG Energy Council said it has identified a number of issues with the National Electricity Rules (NER) and National Energy Retail Rules (NERR) in its rule change request that limit competition and may inhibit investment in the provision of advanced metering services.

The council also identified that certain exit fees and the structure of metering charges create a disincentive for retailers to invest in advanced meters.


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