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Home owners to benefit from successful industry summit on Smart Meter issue

Master Electricians Australia (MEA) has today hailed the success of a South Australian industry summit aimed at tackling lengthy delays in having electrical meters installed.

Chief Executive Officer Malcolm Richards said South Australian home builders and owners were currently being forced to wait up to 16 weeks to have a meter installed, due to the recently introduced national Power of Choice laws.

“Under Power of Choice, managing the meter is the responsibility of the retailer, but still involves the network provider, an official metering provider and the electrical contractor at various points in the process,” Mr Richards said.

“This has led to significant bureaucracy and lengthy delays, and is adding several thousand dollars to the cost of a new home build and driving up the price of power.

“We are very hopeful that today’s meeting will help all the various players in the industry to work through some of the delays, and we should see the process speeding up and those timeframes coming down in the next few months.”

Mr Richards said a number of states, including South Australia, Tasmania and Queensland, were still overly bureaucratic in their approach to metering, and could benefit from adopting the New South Wales model.

“In New South Wales, an electrical contractor with the appropriate training and licence is able to install the meter while he or she is wiring the house.  That condenses this process into a single day, and completely cuts out the waiting time.

“We will see some improvements in South Australia after today’s industry summit, but the best outcome will be achieved when the contractor can simply do the job and cut out the middle man.

“Master Electricians Australia will continue to fight for this outcome, and we look forward to working with the State Government to get the best result for SA home owners.”

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