I came home from work (I rent my place) today to find I had no electricity. I checked with my neighbour who had power so I went out back to the fuse box and found a technician there installing a smart meter, as apparently my meter was faulty. I had zero notification from EnergyAustralia, who is my energy supplier. What if I had life saving equipment requiring a constant power supply. Has anyone else had a lack of notice?
You would have had it registered with Energy Australia and they would have been aware special arrangements were required.
As @PhilT said, there is a process you have to go through to validate that you have life saving electrical equipment in your home. If you go through the process, you are given priority in repairs, and also additional notice of any planned power outages.
As you haven’t notified Energex, they carried out repairs to your faulty meter as they normally do.
No. Only with unplanned outages such as when there is a lightning strike or a branch falls onto power lines that blacks out the whole suburb.
I understand it was inconvenient for you, but you would have also been upset if the metering was wrong and you were overcharged due to a faulty meter.
It is standard practice that they knock on the door before doing any work on a meter/work that causes loss of power. If you weren’t home, you won’t have received the last form of notification.
According to the energy ombudsman, customers are meant to be given 4 days notice of intent to install new meter. Anyway, thanks for your comments.
Which state are you in, as each state has a different ombudsman.
It may seem like splitting hairs, but you weren’t getting a new meter. They were doing a repair to a faulty meter, so you were getting a replacement meter. It would be necessary to look up notice required for repairs in your state/territory.
Consideration must also be given to the requirement to repair any faulty meter within a set time after being notified of a fault. I am unsure if the period is different where you are, but in one state it is 15 days.
Clearly consideration has also to be given to EnergyAustralia’s ability to carry out repairs based on staffing (consider the effects of COVID), workload, climatic conditions, and any emergency work that needed to be carried out. So perhaps they were at or near the end of the time in which they were required to carry out a repair? Without making further enquiries from Energy Australia you won’t know.
There is a lot of chatter about the smart meters favouring the supplier, anyhow it is the future as mine has telementary which is read automatically, cutting out the meters readers job which is often tricky with meters inside buildings or locked with non compliant locks. I am sure authorities do their best, maybe the owner was notified who failed to notify the tennant?
We’ve had 2 properties upgraded to smart meters, SE QLD, Energex. In one instance the install was pre arranged including the date. It’s optional, but tends to have a longer lead time to fix the day. The installer on arrival made us aware before commencement to enable us to turn off all internet and other devices. For the second we accepted an agreed window for the work, and were aware it may occur when we were not present.
Are smart meters a better option?
- They are essential for grid connected solar PV households.
- Household usage and history is generally available on a daily basis (in arrears) through a suitable app.
- There is unfortunately an ongoing cost added despite there no longer being a cost for a manual meter reader.
- For anyone considering a ToU (time of use) or demand based tariff they are not provided with the functionality to export directly to the user instantaneous and cumulative power consumption. Although such data is accumulated within the meter and exported regularly to the supplier.
Yes, possibly for the reason you outlined - remote access to data to make billing more efficient.
They also benefit the consumer - by allowing time based pricing where one pays more when there is higher demand on the network. Time based pricing may allow consumers to reduce usage in high price times, reducing their power costs.
They also benefit the community/all network users if the above point is achieved. Reducing usage at times of high demand can postpone costly network upgrades, reducing network charges (which make up about half a power bill).
When Energy Australia contacted me by phone to ask why I voted them a score of one out of 10 for the smart meter installation, I said that it was due to the lack of being notified of a fault in the meter (which was raised 2 weeks before installation), and having not been given the required 4 days notice of installation (in NSW), so they credited me the full cost of my last electricity bill.