There has been a lot of publicity recently about free meter upgrades to modern electronic meters. Much has been made of the benefits of being able to see your usage and predict your future bill. This is indeed usefull.
What has not been said is after remote meter reading is installed reducing your costs by not needing a person to physically visit the premises to read the meter how much of that saving will be passed back to the consumer? How much will the metering charges introduced on our accounts last year be reduced?
All your answers are no, no and lots of nos!! If it ain't broke don't try to fix it, particularly in this case. If you would like to read your meter yourself via the AGL IQ app on the pc or smart phone etc. then it's the best thing since sliced bread and it is brilliant, being able to see yesterday’s cost and all the stats that come with their software is so excellent.
I'm not sure how the payment is spread out on a meter read, in say SA were I am, SAPN do the meter reads and I would presume they pass on some or all of the cost to the retailer, having a smart meter negates that cost but in say the case of AGL or should I say Active Stream, a subsidiary of AGL, there is a cost to them to purchase and install that meter.
So, what's in it for AGL, time will tell but in my case it stopped me in my tracks moving to Simply Energy as SI did not have the facility to remote read the AGL meter so I had to go back to a meter installed by SAPN and manually read by them each quarter.
So, there are pros and cons for installing a smart meter. SAPN may one day roll out smart meters but I am quite sure the consumer will be forced to pay a contribution, again, time will tell.
So, no charge to the consumer for a new smart meter installed and owned by AGL, trade off is no rebates, no discounts, no nothing back to the consumer and I have to agree that seems fair.
The debate will probably go on for years to come.