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AGL submission to Victorian Gov metering competition transition options paper

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AGL Energy
14 November 2016

The Victorian Government is reviewing their approach to metering competition in Victoria and have issued an options paper seeking submissions from Industry and providing a preference to Option 2- adoption metering competition for all customers with the Victorian meter specification.

Option 1 - Full adoption of the new framework for all customers with the national minimum services specification;

Option 2 - Adoption for all customers with the Victorian meter specification;

Option 3 - Adoption for new connections only with the Victorian meter specification; and

Option 4 - Defer adoption of metering competition for now.

AGL has reviewed all options considered in the paper and strongly supports implementation of option 1, being the wholesale adoption of the competition in metering reforms, including the meter specification. Full adoption of metering competition with the national minimum services specification is critical to the transformation of a customer-led energy market.

AGL notes that the Victorian approach and metering specification was originally developed back in 2005, when there was very limited solar PV on household rooftops, no energy storage behind the meter and home energy management was only a concept. Since this time, technology has evolved rapidly resulting in the emergence of new business models to support customer preferences in the uptake of these new products and services.   As a result, some of the additional functionality in the Victorian meter specification has become either obsolete or has been superseded by other smarter and cheaper ways of realising network and customer benefits. Accordingly, preserving the Victorian meter specification does not appear to be sufficient rationale to defer a move to the full national framework and its associated competitive benefits and economies of scale.

The effect of adopting options 2, 3 or 4 would, as acknowledged in the Options Paper, result in a further deferral of the decision on whether and when to transition Victoria to full metering competition. This would prolong associated investment uncertainty and regulatory overhead for entities seeking to enable the benefits of digital metering across their national customer base. Ultimately it will be Victorian consumers that miss out on the benefits of choice, delivered through a competitive market.  Further, we believe that the value of digital meters installed by Distribution Businesses pursuant to the Victorian mandate will be sufficiently protected under both the AEMC metering competition rule and the AMI Order in Council.

Our submission attached provides further detail on AGL's position, rationale and supporting information. View our submission here.