Power of Choice for contractors
Power of Choice (PoC) is a suite of reforms and changes to the Australian electricity regulatory framework. It’s a part of a national emphasis on encouraging energy consumers to better understand their energy usage and how it directly impacts the electricity network.
PoC aims to provide customers with more options to manage and control their electricity consumption and associated bills.
These changes will also allow ourselves and associated energy companies to better respond to electricity industry changes, market changes and technological changes.
The PoC reforms will be introduced from 1 December 2017 and are designed to:
- Assist consumers in making more informed decisions about electricity usage
- Expand competition in metering and related services
- Provide more efficient and flexible energy pricing offers for residential and small customers
- Introduce new products and services into the Electricity Market.
What are the key changes?
- From 1 December 2017 all new electricity meters for residential and small business customers will need to be Type 4 digital (advanced) meters. This means that older-style meters (Type 6 basic) will be phased out and replaced over time until all meters are digital
- All Type 4 digital meters will be installed by a competitive Meter Provider
- The introduction of a new role in the market called the Metering Coordinator. The Metering Coordinator will responsible for coordinating the meter installation at a premises by the Meter Provider
- A customer’s Electricity Retailer and the associated Meter Provider will become the primary contact for work relating to Type 4 metering.
What does this mean for you?
- Electrical Contractors and Solar Installers will notice changes in the way that work is completed on site, such as the order the work is completed in and who is responsible for what tasks. There's also a change to the type of work that can be performed by our field crews. Read more in the information pack below
- The customer’s Electricity Retailer will become the primary point of contact for Electrical Contractors to understand the status and/or progress of metering work
- The way a job is tracked within the Electrical Partners Portal will change, to accommodate the new roles within the market.
What does this mean for us?
- Our field crews will no longer be responsible for installing or replacing meters at a premises from 1 December 2017, as this will now be completed by the Meter Provider. There are however some areas within regional Queensland that will be exempt from this reform
- In ‘exempt’ areas, ourselves, Electricity Retailers and Electrical Contractors will continue to follow the same practices followed today
- We will continue to be responsible for the supply and maintenance of electricity and its associated network and services to a customer’s premises within regional Queensland
- We will remain responsible for all Type 6 metering until they are ‘churned’ (replaced by a new Type 4 digital meter) and will continue to be responsible for Type 7 metering (un-metered supply).
How do you get more information?
Power of Choice information pack
Read more about the PoC reforms in the following information pack documents:
- PoC Electrical Contractor Information Pack (PDF 602.2 kb)
- PoC Electrical Contractor Information Pack 2 (PDF 564.8 kb)
- 10 Facts About Power of Choice (PDF 69.7 kb)
- Questions you may be asked by customers (PDF 165.1 kb)
If you have any questions about the information pack, please email us.
Frequently asked questions
What is a Type 4 digital meter?
Type 4 digital meters, also known as Advanced and Communications Enabled Meters, have the ability to take half hourly electricity consumption readings. These metering types also allow two–way communication and can be accessed remotely.
What if a customer doesn't want a Type 4 meter?
A customer can opt out of having a Type 4 digital meter with communications, in which case, the communications capability is disabled. This meter is known as a Type 4A. The Type 4A meters are not recommended as many of the benefits of having a digital meter are lost.
How much will the new meters cost and will customers be charged?
There will be a cost associated with a new Type 4 digital meter. The customer’s nominated Electricity Retailer is responsible for determining the cost of the new Type 4 meters and the billing associated with it.
Will it take longer for a customer's electricity to be connected?
Electricity Retailers will coordinate requests for all new connections, replacement meters and service upgrades and will work closely with Electrical Contractors to reduce the likelihood of new connections taking longer.
Are digital meters a health concern?
Digital meters are not dangerous. All digital meters are regulated by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). The ACMA’s regulatory arrangements require wireless devices, including digital meters, to comply with the exposure limits in the ARPANSA RF Standard.
For further information visit:
Where can you find out more about Power of Choice?
The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), Australia’s independent energy markets and power systems operator and the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC), which sets the rules that govern the electricity and natural gas markets, both offer information on the PoC reforms and the resulting rule changes on their websites: