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New Smart Electricity Meters first in Victoria

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New Smart Electricity Meters first in Victoria

Megan Macpherson

New smart meters will be able to monitor electricity use, and replace old meters in Victoria from 2008, the first state in Australia to launch such an initiative. On July 10, 2006 Acting Premier for Victoria John Thwaites announced new smart electricity meters to cut power bills and reduce greenhouse gas emissions would be trialled and rolled out across the state.

Mr Thwaites, and Minister for Energy Industries and Resources, Theo Theophanous, said Victorian households and small businesses would receive the new meters from 2008.

“Victoria will be the first state in Australia to install smart meters to give people more information and control over their energy use,” Mr Thwaites said.

“These digital meters will replace the existing 100-year old mechanical meters and will help families save money and reduce impact on the environment at the same time.

“The meters will allow customers to take advantage of pricing systems that would have cheaper power prices at off peak times.”

Mr Theophanous said he would shortly introduce legislation to commence a trial of the technology among 1000 households at the end of the year.

“The trial will test a range of meters to determine the best option,” Mr Theophanous said.

“From 2008, Victorian families will be able to use the most advanced household energy management system in the world.

“Households will be able to see how much they are paying for electricity at different times of the day - meaning they can turn on their washing machines or dishwashers, for example, during times of cheap power.”

The smart meter program is part of the Bracks Government’s Environmental Sustainability Action Statement to be released later in July.

Other benefits of smart meters include rapid detection of outages, enhanced monitoring of quality of supply, detection of meter tampering, remote connection of electricity services, information on more suitable electricity pricing plans and a point in time display of your greenhouse gas emissions.

Member for Richmond, Richard Wynne, said the initiative was one of a wide range of measures the Government was embracing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“These include the Government’s ‘You have the Power. Save Energy.’ efficiency program that encourages Victorians to use energy more wisely in response to the increasing threat of climate change,” Mr Wynne said.

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