In August 2023, the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) — expert energy policy advisor to government — set a target for 100% of Australian energy consumers to have smart meters installed by 2030. This new target significantly accelerates existing smart meter adoption rates.

Currently, according to the Australian Energy Council, only around 30% of NEM (National Electricity Market) connected customers are using smart meters. It is predicted that if this rate of adoption continues, a full deployment of smart meters may not occur until 2040.

“Smart meters are a key enabler in the transition to net zero. They are also an important tool that supports the decarbonisation of the energy market and other related sectors of the economy,” the AEMC said in its recommendations.

“With the right frameworks in place, an accelerated smart meter rollout will help to ensure all customers see the benefits of a more efficient, lower-cost and decarbonised energy system sooner,” said Anna Collyer, Chair of the AEMC.

What is a smart meter?
A smart meter is a device that measures when you use electricity and how much. It also transmits the information to your retailer daily, and your retailer can read the information remotely, rather than needing to travel to your premises. As the information is captured in near real-time, it enables a far more granular view of energy consumption, which can help you more effectively track and control your usage.

What are the benefits for you?

  • Cost savings—a smart meter can help you more effectively track your energy use, helping you reduce your electricity bill.
  • Greater visibility—your energy provider will be obligated to provide you with access to the data about your energy consumption, in near real-time. This means you can clearly see where and when you are using the most energy. Yurika metering customers can get a subscription to the InfoDynamics portal which offers businesses on-demand access to 5-minute interval data, reports and data visualisation,
  • Minimise your carbon footprint—by using energy in smarter ways, you can proactively reduce your emissions and help Australia reach its goal of net zero emissions by 2050. Smart meters are key to enabling better balance of energy consumption patterns, ensuring the electricity grid can evolve to support Australian’s Energy Transition.
  • Community benefits – smart meters are capable of transmitting power quality data to the electricity distributor, giving them more information to proactively identify potential customer safety issues (for example, broken neutrals) ensuring faster repairs and better network planning.

How will the roll out happen?
The AEMC proposes that to meet this 2030 target, energy retailers themselves will be responsible for the roll-out. Only licensed and qualified subsidiaries like Yurika are authorised to install new meters.

Yurika is what’s known as an AEMO accredited Metering Coordinator (MC), Meter Provider (MP) and Meter Data Provider (MDP) for Type 1-4 metering services for business and residential customers. The role of the Metering Coordinator is independent of both the network business and the electricity retailer. As a MC, Yurika is responsible for appointing the Metering Provider who installs and maintains the meter and the MDP who will collect the customer energy usage data and provide it to the NEM, electricity retailer and other customer nominated parties.

Are you eligible for a smart meter?
The AEMC’s goal is that smart meters will be rolled out to all Australian homes by 2030. This means that all legacy accumulation meters and manually-read meters will need to be retired. Energy retailers will be responsible for this process.

Priority will be given to homes and business which:

  • are setting up a new connection (e.g. if you’re building a new premise)
  • have a faulty or dated meter
  • are installing a new energy product or service (e.g. a solar power system or other renewable energy solution)

Eventually all working meters will be replaced as part of the roll-out program.

Why is this roll-out so important?
All Australian homes and businesses play a key role in helping Australia achieve its goal of net zero emissions by 2050.

In Queensland, the energy system is already transforming to deliver cleaner, more reliable, and more affordable energy. Smart meters will play a key role in enabling us to achieve this goal.

The roll-out of smart meters will also provide more opportunities for employment —as the renewable energy sector will be looking for technically skilled workers  who can design, install, and operate renewable energy systems. For example, in 2024-2025 Yurika is undertaking one of the largest smart meter rollouts in Queensland and currently looking to hire an additional 50-60 Electrical Fitter Mechanics, mostly in regional areas.

According to the Queensland Government, “energy workers have been the backbone of Queensland’s secure and reliable energy system…Highly skilled regional jobs continue to be needed and the expertise of these workers is essential for Queensland’s energy transformation.”

Retailers will also play an important role in educating customers about their smart meter, how it works, and how it can deliver benefits.

“Going from an old accumulation meter to a smart meter can be like going from a landline to a smart phone, and people deserve transparency and timely information about how they can make the device best work for them,” Ms Collyer said.

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