PIAC responded to the NSW government’s consultation on improving service delivery in digital metering.
We support the current NSW Government moratorium on remote de-energisation and re- energisation (de-en/re-en). We highlight the experience of Victoria in the implementation of remote de-energisation, and outline the range of potential implications for NSW households.
While agreeing that there are opportunities for some efficiencies to be gained with the rollout of smart-metering, we recommend a ‘harm-based’ framework for assessment of any changes to policy regarding electricity metering and the application of consumer protections.
We highlight the need to separate instances of remote de-energisation and re-energisation to allow the flexibility to realise potential benefits where possible, while retaining the full impact of practical protections where significant consumer harm is possible. We set out a suitable framework for addressing this need, identifying consumer harm, economic benefit, and determining an appropriately balanced response.
We recommended retention of a prohibition on remote de-energisation in circumstances of energy related debt arrears or recovery.