The Australian Energy Market Operator has announced a package of reforms that will enhance competition and help energy consumers to better manage their electricity usage.

From 1 December 2017, Power of Choice reforms enable competition in metering services, creating a platform for retailers to offer new and more innovative products and services.

In the past, responsibility for installing and maintaining smart meters sat with distribution businesses. Under Power of Choice, however, this now shifts to electricity retailers, who will contract a metering coordinator to maintain and install meters. Customers are free to choose whether they want a smart meter installed or not.

“Simply put, Power of Choice gives you the option of managing your electricity services and usage in a manner that suits you best,” said AEMO’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Audrey Zibelman.

“These reforms are a great leap forward for consumer choice, and will help transition electricity users into the future of energy consumption,” she said.

How it all works…

  • Smart meters will allow you to better manage your energy usage through a digital interface such as a website or an app. This functionality will vary depending on the services that the retailer chooses to offer.
  • To access the best from these changes, you should talk to your retailer to see what services they offer once a smart meter has been installed.
  • Power of Choice is not a compulsory program, so it’s up to you whether to install a smart meter or not. Your retailer will give you this choice.
  • While there won’t be significant changes overnight, expect that over time you will see more and smart meters being rolled out.
  • Note that nothing will change in Victoria as deferred metering competition is in place until at least 2020.

Power of Choice reforms are the outcome of a review initiated by the Australian Energy Market Commission in 2015.

Further details on the Power of Choice reforms can be found here on AEMO's website.