$20 smart meter slug blows fuses

POWER distributors will reap an extra $20 million from smart meter  customers next year after yet another budget blowout.

The hike, which is over and above costs already approved, will add up to $20  to the annual charge householders with the controversial devices must pay.

The Baillieu Government blamed its predecessor for the problem, vowing it  would be tougher for electricity giants to slug customers from now on.

St Vincent de Paul Society manager of policy and research Gavin Dufty said it  was time customers saw benefits in the face of spiralling smart meter  charges.

“Enough is enough,” Mr Dufty said.

“It’s up to the industry and Government to start handing back the benefits.  Victorian households are paying for this infrastructure and almost four years in  it’s just been costs.”

Customers in CitiPower’s distribution area will be hardest hit, with the  annual meter charge rising 18.1 per cent to $127 excluding GST.

Powercor’s fee rises $16, SP AusNet’s about $8 and United Energy’s only $1.  Jemena’s fee is unchanged.

Rachel Obradovic, spokeswoman for Energy Minister Michael O’Brien, said the  Australian Energy Regulator was obliged to automatically approve the hikes  because they traced back to when the former Labor government allowed rises of up  to 20 per cent to avoid scrutiny.

The threshold has since been abolished.

“This is the last time these rules will apply,” Ms Obradovic said.

“Labor’s energy spokesperson should apologise to Victorian energy  customers.”

But Opposition energy spokeswoman Lily D’Ambrosio said the minister had  endorsed the smart meter program and would have known the price hike was  coming.

“Instead of looking at reducing cost pressures this Government is again  playing politics,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.

Distributors argued they needed more money because of higher-than-expected  information technology, communications and traditional meter costs.

Meanwhile, gas distributor Envestra threatened to defer its proposed  investment program in Victoria over a disagreement with the industry  regulator.

wes.hosking@news.com.au

Source: http://www.news.com.au/money/cost-of-living/smart-meter-slug-blows-fuses/story-fnagkbpv-1226507848375#ixzz2AwXYhhnY

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3 Responses to $20 smart meter slug blows fuses

  1. Robert Scott says:

    The only way forward is to go off grid and be independent as a few smart people are doing, yes the initial cost can be high, in my case about $15,000 for equipment I provided the labour.
    From then on in though the power is free from the sun. When I switch my air conditioning on and watch my analogue kilowatt hour meter go wizing round it’s nice to know it’s all paid for in advance. I have generated almost 6 megawatts in the last 3 years from the sun and no I didn’t get any government payout to offset the costs of installation.

  2. Pam says:

    Everyone is blaming everyone. It is time they all got their act together and stopped ripping everyone off. Thanks SSMA for keeping us all informed. It is the Charities like “Vinnies” and “Salvation Army” who are seeing how the high
    cost of Electricity is HURTING EVERYONE. These Charities are handing out thousands of Dollars helping Families who are doing it tough. The Government needs sacking right now, no questions asked……End of story…………………………Pam

  3. Terry says:

    Who is going to vote for either the Liberal Co-alition or the labor party at the next state election??
    I wont be they are all a bunch of lieing, thieving toe rags.
    Rumuors abound that Federal labor stand to cop a $4billion + handout from the power generators for their involvement in pushing smart meters. How much is the Victorian state government getting?

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