To address consumer concerns with the new smart meters retailers are required to install they are asking the AEMC for permission to deactivate the communications. Deactivating the communications turns the expensive new smart meter back into the dumb meter it replaced.
The rule change request only considers deactivation of smart meter communications. It does not consider giving consumers the right to refuse a smart meter. Further even with the communications deactivated the AEMC smart meter continues to invade consumer privacy through the collection of 5 minute measurements of their electricity use. Once the communications is deactivated it costs retailers considerably more to collect the invasive measurements which are passed onto consumers through higher electricity bills.
The rule change request highlights a more fundamental issue. The AEMC smart meter rollout does not allow consumers to refuse the installation of smart meters and supports retailer rights to invade consumer privacy. All rules made by the AEMC must align with Australia’s National Energy Objective (NEO). Hence the AEMC blames the NEO for these poor consumer outcomes because it fails to allow them to consider consumer rights or consumer privacy.
As Australian consumers increasingly choose to install solar systems, battery systems and home energy management systems it suggests there is an urgent need to revise the NEO. The revised NEO should consider consumer rights and protect consumer privacy.