From February 1 electricity retailers will have up to six business days to install new meters and a maximum of 15 business days to replace existing meters or face fines, unless a customer has agreed to a later date.
The new rule determination was made by the Australian Energy Market Commission following meeting between MP Barnaby Joyce and electrical contractors from across the New England, and subsequent representation to then-Minister for Environment and Energy Josh Frydenberg.
The new rule addresses excessive meter installation delays which have had a severe impact on local customers and electrical contractors resulting in no access to electricity or higher bills than necessary.
It extends the set timeframe beyond replacement of malfunctioning meters, to customers wishing to replace their existing meter with a smart meter, for newly-built houses or after a customer has solar panels installed.
“Businesses and residents throughout my New England electorate have been caught up in this mess by the big electricity retailers, and are understandably outraged these companies can get away with this,” Mr Joyce said.
“So I went into bat for them, with meetings and representations to the Minister to achieve this great result. This is real grassroots delivery for people in the New England, offering financial certainty and peace of mind when these meters are installed.”
The new measures should significantly improve productivity, reducing wait times from months to a matter of days.
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