NSW Minister for Industry, Resources and Energy, Anthony Roberts, has introduced legislation that makes NSW the first state in Australia to support a voluntary, market-led rollout of smart meters.

Mr Roberts said the Electricity Supply (Advanced Meters) Bill 2016 supports the rollout, which will lead to innovation in product development and improved services for customers.

“Around 40,000 smart meters have already been installed in NSW and this will continue to grow under the government’s policy to support a voluntary, market-led rollout of smart meters,” Mr Roberts said.

“Smart meters allow customers to monitor exactly how much electricity they’re using and adapt their use to ensure their costs are as low as possible.

“This new technology removes the need to manually read a meter and the associated costs that are passed onto customers.

“The Bill also allows retailers and meter providers to compete for customers. This increase in competition will place downward pressure on prices.”

The effect of the amendments will see the pool of available meter installers increase significantly from 2,000 to potentially around 35,000 qualified electricians.

Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation, Victor Dominello, said that strict installation safety standards, which already exist in NSW, continue to apply.

“We are bringing the responsibility for metering safety and compliance under the single umbrella of NSW Fair Trading, which already oversees solar panel and storage device installations,” Mr Dominello said.

“The Bill carefully balances the need to open competition in metering while ensuring that the community’s expectations regarding safety standards continue to be met.”

The Bill and rollout of smart meters will also assist more than 130,000 Solar Bonus Scheme customers transition to a more appropriate tariff arrangement with their retailer when the scheme closes at the end of 2016. 

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