The Australian Energy Regulator publishes proposed 2015 Advanced Metering Infrastructure Charges Applications

The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) has received proposals from the five Victorian electricity distributors for charges to apply to smart meters in 2015. The AER is responsible for insuring that the metering service charges of each Victorian distributor allow for recovery from retailers of actual rollout expenditure which is within ‘scope‘ and ‘prudent‘.

The original Cost Recovery Order in Council, which set up the frame work for distributors to recover advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) costs from retailers, was gazetted on 28 August 2007, and subsequently amended in further Orders in Council (OIC). A ‘cost through’ model applies, under which budgets for the rollout are established at the beginning of each period and then annual charges are adjusted based on actual expenditure. The current proposals from the five Victorian electricity distributors relate to revised charges for AMI services for the year commencing 1 January 2015. The original budget for these charges was set by the AER in its Final Determination, Victorian Advanced Metering Infrastructure Review 2012–15 budget and charges applications.

Recoverable expenses, which are reputed to amount to 2.3 billion dollars for the program and are ultimately paid for by consumers, include a return on capital (as determined by the AER), depreciation, maintenance and operating expenditure. This means that all the AMI costs of the rollout, from the cost of smart meters and installation of smart meters through to the costs of AMI communications infrastructure and AMI Information Technology systems, providing expenditure reasonably reflects ‘efficient costs‘, are recoverable by the power distributors. The distributors’ current applications seek to recover charges which are in excess of their regulatory budgets for 2015 by demonstrating that these additional costs are both ‘in scope’ and ‘prudent’.

Four of the five power distributors, being Jemena, United Energy, CitiPower and Powercor, pursuant to the Order in Council gazetted on 5 August 2014, propose to apply manual meter reading fees to some customers. According to the amendments in this Order in Council, manual meter reading fees, commencing 1 April 2015, are directly payable by the customer to the distributor where an account holder has refused a smart meter and also where there is an inability to install a smart meter due to a defect (and the customer does not hold a Pensioner Concession card or specified Health Care or Department of Veterans’ Affairs Gold card). If the retailer has agreed, the manual reading fee will alternatively be paid by the retailer to the power distributor.

The AER is inviting submissions on the power distributors’ proposed fees until 30 September 2014. Details of the invitation and the Victorian power distributors’ applications can be accessed here: AER Invitation

Relevant background material can be found here:  Relevant background material-1

Comparison of proposed 2015 annual AMI charges and actual 2014 AMI charges

                                     Service charge                           2015 manual meter read fee

                                    (Single phase smart meter)

                                         2015             2014 (Ex GST)

Jemena                       $231.28         ($193.82*)       $10.83 per read ($2015)

United Energy          $160.44         ($141.33)         $11.05* per read ($2014 ex GST)

AusNet Services       $208.87        ($160.21)         No manual read fee

Powercor                    $108.96         ($115.27**)     $31.07 per read ($2014 ex GST)

CitiPower                    $115.49          ($116.55***)   $19.44 per read ($2014 ex GST)

Note: Jemena, United Energy and AusNet Services’ 2015 service charge is expressed in nominal dollars, whereas Powercor and CitiPower’s service charge is expressed in 2014 dollars.* $12.28 ($2014 ex GST) for interval meter.

* Sourced from Jemena’s Schedule of Service Charges.

** Sourced from Powercor’s 2014 General Service Charge Pricing Schedule.

*** Sourced from CitiPower’s 2014 General Service Charge Pricing Schedule.

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23 Responses to The Australian Energy Regulator publishes proposed 2015 Advanced Metering Infrastructure Charges Applications

  1. Reynolds says:

    Does the NBN rely on electricity ?

    In other words if I switch my telephone service from copper where I can use my landline phone just plugged into the phone line without electricity, can I do the same if I switch my landline telephone service to the NBN or will I be forced to become reliant on an electricity supply ?

    If that’s the case then the NBN can get nicked.

    • Altered Meek says:

      Yes, NBN relies on the electricity supply.
      NBN connections do not carry power in the line like the old fashion phone lines.
      You will need to get your own UPS (Un-interruptible Power Supply) to supply power to the NBN equipment during grid power failure (the UPS is a battery backup).

      • Reynolds says:

        Thanks for reply AM. As I said the NBN can get nicked. I will stick with copper while I can and the electricity distributor can go to hell. I will do everything I possibly can to have no reliance whatsoever on electricity utilities who have shown themselves to use energy as a weapon against customers and holding them to ransom in the same way that the bastard Putin would threaten to “freeze Europe” by withholding gas in order to force the hand of the west to ease sanctions upon his nation.

  2. William Strobert says:

    See here people visiting the Royal Melbourne Show being absolutely bathed in RF microwave radiation at levels described as being consistently up to 10,000 microwatts/m2. This is sheer criminality having all the potential of turning into delayed genocide.

  3. Eric says:

    Question : How is “meter reading” related to “cost recovery” ?

    Answer: By Fraudulent Misrepresentation

    • Paul says:

      It’s like staff appraisals – a complete waste of time and money. AKA a ‘catch 22’ where they put a charge on to recoup the cost of charging you in the first place.

      We already pay for the meter reader – it’s in our daily standing charge.

  4. Tez says:

    Everyone reading this forum and who is not a Member of PPV, (People Power Victoria), i suggest you consider joining now and vote PPV in the upcoming Victoria State election. Remember is was the Liberal National Party under kennet that sold our Public Owned Utilities. Time we paid them back.

  5. Damaged says:

    Who is going to pay us for the damage to health, appliances, finances, fires moving costs and loss of homes?

    • Jan says:

      Well said.

      And even the touted cost of $2.3 billion (which we all pay for, whether or not we have a smart meter!) for the rollout is a pretty flaky figure. That was the figure that Deloitte came up with in 2011, when they did the AMI cost benefit analysis for the Department of Treasury and Finance. Deloitte looked at the period between 2008 and 2028, and used 2008 dollars to come up with a net present value. Obviously, that figure would be a lot higher now!

      And what about the cost overruns since then? Plus, in the 2009-11 period, the distributors didn’t even have to justify the extra costs that they could recover (aka fleecing customers), provided the extra costs didn’t exceed 120 percent of their approved budgets.

  6. Steve Fimmel says:

    I must admit, maybe it’s a bit early in the day, but I am a bit confused by the table of figures above. Are the figures on the left the AMI fees for the smart meters? If so, will the Power distributors be attempting to pass that on – even to those of us that have refused the smart meter? It looks like the figures to the right of the table represent the charges the individual companies want to charge per quarter for reading our analogue meters. Can someone clarify that.
    If they attempt to charge us twice (once for the smart meter – which we have refused, and once for reading the manual meter) it’s extortion – and I for one won’t be paying it!

    • Jan says:

      We have ALL been paying for the smart meter rollout, whether or not we have a smart meter, since 1 January 2010. That means that every Victorian residential customer and small business owner is paying for them. So yes, with the additional charge for reading meters, it’s flagrant double-dipping.

      And although the AMI program required the AER to segment the distributors’ annual AMI metering charges until 2016, that doesn’t mean that we all will suddenly stop paying for smart meters and smart meter infrastructure in 2016. Simply the AMI charges will then be lumped in with the other electricity service fees (such as the cost of poles and wires, which we also pay for in our quarterly statements!) which the AER makes determinations on.

      • Access denied says:

        Paying for the SM rollout, paying for the De-Sal Plant, paying for Eastlink, paying for East-West Link, Envestra Gas hikes… paying, paying all the way. Lining some big, fat pockets in government and industry, that’s for sure 😦

    • Hammer Mann says:

      Hi Steve Fimmel,
      I won’t be paying any fees that are the proposed double fees, as double fees would be extortion, that’s for sure. Just who the HELL gave these people the right to act as modern-day Dick Turpins, or highway robbers, that’s what I want to know ? Was it these seemingly as I allege to be crawling Lick-Spittle’s of both the past Premiers of Victoria, starting with Mr John Brumby and then the later Victorian Liberal Party Premier Ted Baillieu and then Mr Dennis Napthine aided and abetted by their, as I also allege to be complicit and sly Victorian Ministers for Energy and Resources, all acting in as I again allege to be, the C.E.O’s of the five foreign owned Electric Power Companies also in collusion with the C.E.O of the Department of Primary Industry who tried to twist my arm to accept a dopy and deadly and health wrecking and now proving to be Incendiary and far from Smart Meter ?

      Or should we give these stinking and God-forsaken pieces of Electronic Junk their real name, which is ‘Microwave broadcasting and receiving meters, now proving to be deadly to Human Life and as well to all life in general, steadily making more and more of Earth’s people ever sicker and that of many animals and benign insects such as the much needed honey bees and lady-birds we need to fight other pests and fungi and aphids etc.

      Talking of aphids I see these C.E.O’s of the five foreign Electric Power Companies and the C.E.O of the Department of Primary Industry and the past and present Premiers of Victoria and their Lick-Spittle Ministers for Energy and Resources now for what they truly seem to be to me, which is as I further allege to be “A Ravening pack of Aphides sucking the very live-blood out of their Victorian Electricity Customers.”

  7. John Wilson says:

    It would be good if the regulator understood the Constitution and the law and applied it. Kennett sold off the public utilities and this was outside of the authority of parliament. Many utilities were built raising public funds and donations. Now these authorities are proposing to allow private companies to make mandatory charges for products and services not wanted or requested by the public and regardless of public health issues. These private companies are not transparent nor accountable to the public for their operation, therefore the public is denied scrutiny of their actions. Charges are being duplicated and other charges are being made where customers have refused to accept smart metres. The ACAC committee is alleged to state NSW is the most corrupt government in Australia. Let them investigate Victoria and it may be found that it is worse or close to it. When it doesn’t get its own way then it makes new laws so it can.

    • Hammer Mann says:

      Dear Mr John Wilson,
      Is it actually new Laws it makes or Statutes ?; as Laws, that is proper Laws to properly govern the Country, have to be passed by both houses of Parliament, Upper and Lower here in Melbourne and the Governor General. Similarly as in the House of Commons and also in the House of Lords as in my old home England.

      Seems to me these I allege to be Corrupt five foreign owned Electric Power Companies C.E.O’s and their minions have been joined at the HIP with an I allege to have been, an equally Corrupt past John Brumby Labor Victorian Government and later when Labour was chucked out of office, by I also allege to have been, equally corrupt Ted Baillieu Victorian Liberal Party Government aided and abetted by Mr Ted Baillieu’s then seemingly to be I allege, a Turn-Coat and a Quisling and a Lick-Spittle.

      Mr Michael O’Brien literally railed against Labor when he Mr Michael O’ Brien was In Opposition as attested to by his report in Hansard on Thursday the tenth (10) of June 2010. The Headline read……. ” UPPER HOUSE DEMANDS HALT TO BRUMBY’S SMART METER MESS.” The ravings and sheer Vitriol of Mr Michael O’Brien further down in this Hansard report go on and on as if he were a prize Thespian, “Strutting upon the Stage’s boards for all the World to hear,” as spake William Shakespeare that great English Bard.

      What you need to remember dear readers is what I allege to have been Mr Michael O’Brien’s Sheer Bloody Hypocrisy, of this supposed to be (Maritime = same as Mercantile Lawyer) who, when he came into power as the Victorian Minister for Energy and Resources then reckoned that these So-Called Microwave A.M.I broadcasting and receiving and Spying and Incendiary machines were “The best things since sliced bread,” which I allege to be Bloody Hypocrisy. Don’t forget that Mr Russell Northe the Member for Morwell even earlier on Thursday the 25th of March 2010 had his Headlines in the
      N. P.
      This report I have placed below Mr Michael O’Brien’s Hansard Report.

      Victorian liberal Nationals Coalition Media Release

      Thursday 10th June 2010

      The Legislative Council last night passed a resolution condemning the Brumby Labor Government over its incompetent roll out of smart metres into every home and small business across Victoria.

      All political parties other than Labor in the Upper House joined forces to vote for the motion proposed by the Victorian Liberal Nationals Coalition, the text of which is attached.

      The motion supported the Victorian Coalitions policy which “calls on the Brumby Government to immediately freeze the roll out of the smart meter program until a full and independent cost-benefit analysis can be undertaken to ensure that consumers will not be worse off as a result. ”

      ” Every non-government party in the Victorian Parliament has united to condemn John Brumby ‘ s smart meter disaster,” Shadow Minister for Energy and Resources Michael O ‘ Brien said today.

      This project has become the Myki of metering. It is outrageous that families are being asked to pay higher electricity bills for a cost blow out on smart meters they do not have and do not work as the Government has claimed they would,” Mr O ‘ Brien said.

      The Auditor- General has condemned the Brumby Government’s mismanagement of the smart meter program and said there is a real risk that it will unfairly transfer economic benefits from consumers to industry.”

      The Minister for Energy and Recourses Peter Batchelor recently conceded that the current cost of the smart meter project to be paid for by electricity users had blown out to at least $1.6 billion, despite the Auditor-General noting that the Government had commenced the program on the basis off an $800 million costing.

      The Legislative Council has now demanded that the Brumby Government freeze its smart meter roll out until an independent cost-benefit analysis can determine if Victorian families are asked to throw good money after bad by continuing this program under its current regime,” Mr O ‘ Brien said.

      Labor ‘s so called smart meters are late,dumb and expensive. John Brumby should listen to the Legislative Council and call an immediate halt to this folly until all the facts can be put on the table.”

      Media: Michael O ‘ Brien (03) 9576 1850 or 0417 206 972.

      Don’t forget that Mr Russell Northe the Member for Morwell even earlier on Thursday the 25th of March 2010 had his Headlines in the

      Thursday, March 25, 2010

      Nationals Member for Morwell Russell Northe has blasted the Brumby Government over the bungling of the roll-out of electricity smart meters.

      Mr Northe said consumers should not be paying for these meters while there were no immediate or future benefits in their use. Mr Northe’s criticism comes following the Government’s latest decision to defer the implementation of “time-of-use” pricing.

      “I want to convey to the Government the ire of many of my constituents about being charged for the so-called electricity smart meters, meters that many of them do not yet have and for meters, which will have no practical benefit for some time, possibly years to come.” Mr Northe said.

      The Victorian Government has mandated that every Victorian household and business will be compelled to have a smart meter installed. Mr Northe said it appeared that at this stage the meters would deliver nothing apart from extra charges on every electricity bill.

      “If there was some benefit to consumers in terms of cost reductions or even convenience, then perhaps you could mount an argument that they be paid for by the consumer.

      “But there are no benefits and according to a newspaper report this morning, it seems there will be no benefits for some time to come.”

      Despite the announced moratorium on time-of-use pricing, the Government is persisting with its roll out of smart meters into 2.5 million Victorian homes and small businesses.

      “This is another example of Victorians paying for the incompetence of this Brumby Government.” Mr Northe concluded.

      ( Richard’s Comment ) Again I allege, what Bloody Hypocrisy just like Mr Michael O’Brien’s when he too was in opposition and John Brumby of the past Labor Party was in power before Mr Ted Baillieu of the Victorian Liberal Party Came to power.

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      There you have it Folks as a “Clear Expose of the Truth of these two I allege to be Turn-Coats and Quislings and men without Any Honour At All, who are not fit to be Politicians or even States Men, as they change their minds like the WIND, just to suit themselves when in POWER.

  8. Halcyon Ford says:

    Power Distributers will shortly have a Smart Grid to attach it’s metering products to. It is called the Ericsson Fixed Wireless Project and is the major contract with NBN Co.

    Ericsson Smart Grid’s boast 800 million end users and very shortly will have 20 million more: YOU.

    Ericsson Fixed Wireless – building Towers in the middle of every town and villlage in Australia is a Smart Grid where each tower is available for lease and it will be too late once it is finished, it is time to act now.

  9. Snowy says:

    As mentioned, the system node installed on many homes is not a meter. Aa meter is a real time measurement device. It measure voltage. That is ALL it does. This device is a node in a communications system to which you are not privy and which removes your personal data, not just usage. This node is a gateway, a virtual portal. It represents the end point of a legitimate energy transmission, distribution and delivery system as well as the start point of a separate wireless metadata collection system used for an entirely different purpose.
    Every smart node on ANY home can collect data from every other household, if anything in that household is RFID tagged. Essentially all items are rendered wireless. It is wireless itself which is key here. One need not have a smart node (“meter”) in order to be tracked. One need only have chipped appliances of every sort, or even just “energy saving” LED or CFL lightbulbs, Mad scientist as it sounds, even the new lightbulbs are able to have an internet server provider address assigned to the rf. frequencies emitted by the lightbulb and to become part of the smart “meter” network. Not least of these are all computer and electronic devices, all wireless phones, and up to 30 or more per household, from kettles to hair dryers to kitchen and other appliances.
    Be aware of how insidious this system is. Protect and maintain your solid old appliances and health friendly incandescent lightbulbs. New is no longer a good thing.
    Most appliances as of as early as 2008 are RFID tagged. It can be a simple matter to disable some, but not all of the radiation emitting RFID tags. Most sales people know little to nothing about this smart grid or smart energy “compliant” chip feature.
    This constitutes a change in the terms of a contract.
    Did you, as a customer, ever accept the new terms of a new contract either by implied consent, silence, signature or any other action or inaction which left the utility free to interpret such as your agreement to new terms, your acquiescence? Even if you did inadvertently acquiesce, did the utility disclose all associated physical and fire and privacy risks, all potential hazards, all associated costs, all changes in billing methodology?
    IN short at any time were you as a customer handed a new contract which expressly disclosed any and all proposed substantive changes they intended to make to the terms of your original contract with them?
    Hopefully as many customers as possible have kept track of their own expenses, the costs involved to deal with and correctly refuse new contract offers by utilities.
    It is important to keep track of all customer costs which have been precipitated by the utility at customer expense. This includes time spent creating means to protect one’s real (analogue) meter, dealing with installers, correspondence, photographs of one’s own meter, cost of ink for notices and hard copy letters, postal expenses, time spent obtaining advice, possible insurance rate increases.
    Go back over all utility associated customer actions. Then create a rate or fee schedule which will make it possible to counter bill the utility for time spent dealing with this single issue.
    Add up the time and hourly rate devoted to this sole issue.
    Attach a one’s value. Charge a respectable hourly rate for your time. Once one adds up the hours and then includes all costs and expenses and activities which customers everywhere have devoted to smart grid research, application of that research,advice give and received, and all costs associated with customer initiated or utility initiated phone calls, customer use of contract law, work time and mailing and other office expenses.
    Many customers have used contract law to send the utility notices, to VOID and return offers from the utility to re-contract or to change the terms of the existing contract
    In the case of those who do have one of these devices, there are associated costs involved for the customer including but not limited to the fact that the utility has violated the terms of contract law. The utility faces liability for failure to obtain fully informed customer consent prior to changing the nature of the contract. Every customer has an energy supply contract, written or spoken, which was initiated prior to the creation of the smart grid metadata collection system. Every hold out has refused the terms of a new contract, specifically changes such as a switch from measurement equipment to wireless transmitter data extraction devices which bill for dissipated energy and reactive power currents.
    If customers did not contract for such devices and still retains an analogue meter, then certainly it takes time for each customer to reassert the terms of their original contract and to correctly refuse all offers by utilities for new contract terms. Time is money. Counter bill the utility.

  10. Steve says:

    AER publishes proposed 2015 AMI charges applications
    Sept 24th 2014
    To whom it may concern
    This is an absolute disgrace and another greedy grab by the power suppliers because they didn’t get their own way when so many subscribers rejected the invasion and intrusion of the smart meter roll out.
    In my own situation I rejected the imposition of a radio transmitter radiating harmful RF energy within my household and paid over $2000 to relocate a new meter box and wiring to the furthest part of the house away from sleeping areas.
    I reject the notion that I may have to pay extra fees and if charged will take this matter to higher authorities.
    The greedy power sellers have caused enough grief in this matter and flown in the face of expert opinion that these meters are harmful. Now they want money to compensate them for their disaster.
    No way.

  11. Steve says:

    Some one needs to stop this crazy scam by the power firms, how can this scam against the community of Victoria be aloud to continue. We need a massive up roar by the people of Victoria to stop this scam, we all need to act now. Remind the MP’s who decides their future!! These types of scams need to be stopped. We are not cash cows for the power firms, they need to be stopped now or its going to be long term poverty for the people of Victoria for many years to come.

    • Access denied says:

      Agreed! Let’s unite for freedom from financial pain and let ’em know we are not gonna take it and our privacy, health and safety are more valuable to us than their profit margins & foreign ownership alliances.

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