AEMC Rule Changes
Members in Queensland are reporting a blow out in timeframes for meters again. It appears that some Retailers and DNSP have altered their process to ensure as much time as possible to install meters. A system which in some cases being reported some months away from a installation. We have included a summary of the rule change however as highlighted in the below paragraphs if there is no agreement between the parties the Retailer and DNSP have either 6 or 15 business days to complete the work.
Whilst this seems ridiculous our advice to members is to tell consumers and contractors to simply refuse the dates they are given unless they are within either 6 or 15 business days. We are currently writing to Ergon to inform them that we are taking and recommending this action as the current scheduling of work is unacceptable to consumers and is placing our members and you the contractor in a unacceptable consumer position
- The Australian Energy Market Commission (Commission) has made a final rule that amends the National Electricity Rules (NER) and National Energy Retail Rules (NERR).
- Retailers will be required to provide a meter installation for a new connection or a simple meter exchange by a date agreed with the customer. If no timing can be agreed, then the retailer will need to install the meter within six business days at a new connection, or within 15 business days if the customer has requested a simple meter exchange.
- For a meter exchange that requires a connection alteration to be completed by a distribution network service provider (DNSP), the retailer will be required to install the meter by a date agreed with the customer and the DNSP.
This is because, in the majority of cases, the connection services must be completed at the same time as the meter installation. If no timing is agreed, the final rule requires the retailer to install the meter within 15 business days. It also specifies that the DNSP must coordinate with the retailer in order to allow the retailer to meet its timeframe obligations.
- The final rule also includes a range of additional measures that will assist in reducing meter installation delays and increase consumer confidence in the industry. These measures include:
- obligations on the retailer to inform small customers of the meter installation timeframes for customer-initiated works
- a recommendation to the COAG Energy Council to extend the current civil penalty provisions on timeframes for malfunctioning meters to the new timeframes for other types of metering arrangements
- providing more flexible notification requirements for retailer and distributor planned interruptions
- a recommendation to the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) that they streamline the appointment process for metering parties in certain circumstances.
- In addition, the final rule harmonises the existing timeframes in the NER for metering coordinators to repair or replace a small customer’s faulty meter with the timeframes for customer-initiated meter exchanges. This reflects that the installation process is similar in both scenarios and requires coordination between several parties.
- The final rule was made in relation to two rule change requests that were consolidated under the National Energy Retail Law (NERL) and the National Electricity Law (NEL). The requests, which were submitted by the Australian Government and the Australian Energy Council, primarily relate to delays in the installation of advanced meters for electricity supply.