Power of Choice will change the way you get electricity connected

From 4 December 2017, all new electricity meters for residential and small business customers in NSW, ACT, SA and QLD will need to be digital meters.

This change is part of the Power of Choice reforms that aim to give customers more information to make better choices about their electricity use. (Note that Power of Choice doesn't apply to Victoria yet.) 

Here are some frequently asked questions from builders about Power of Choice. If you have a question that isn't covered here, just complete the form at the bottom of the page and we'll add it.

 


Frequently asked questions

As a builder, you don’t need to do anything differently. Power of Choice will bring significant changes to the way the industry currently installs and manages meters, but don’t worry – we have everything in place to make this easy for you. We’ve been working hard to make our installation processes easy and efficient, so you can get on with business.

Currently electricity distributors arrange your new connections. From 4 December, all new connections will be performed by Meter Providers on behalf of retailers. We can arrange this for you – we have everything in place to arrange your electricity installations quickly and easily.

A Meter Provider is a contractor who’ll install, operate and maintain meters on behalf of retailers and their customers. 

Origin will process your order and arrange for our Meter Provider to install the meter. In NSW, if your ASP is accredited by our Meter Provider, they may be able to hang the meter themselves (see the NSW ASPs tab).

You can easily keep track of all the jobs you’ve logged with Connect Assist, as well as the ones submitted by your electrician. You just need to be registered - you can do this here.

With our Connect Assist portal, you can submit new connection requests for electricity, natural gas and LPG – and you can also track the progress of each connection, ask questions, complete account closures and request final reads. It’s a complete connection management tool and it’s easy to register.

We’ll review every request for upgrade or alteration we receive and if there’s a basic meter onsite, we’ll exchange it for a new digital meter.

The process for any metering works, including replacing an existing meter, starts with contacting us and providing the details we need on the application form. We’ll then arrange for a meter provider to get in touch with you, and they’ll let you know who can carry out the work.

Depending on the complexity of the job and which state you’re in, this could be a combination of the meter provider (meter works), the distributor (service works) and/or the electrician/ASP (electrical works). Accredited Service Providers in NSW who have been accredited to work with us may be able to do the work – the meter provider will advise you on this.

In terms of timeframes, additions and alterations are managed by appointment and can take up to 20 business days. With costs, we’ll absorb the meter provider fees but we’ll need to pass on any network costs that may apply.

No. In fact, we’ve lowered the cost. We’ve removed the upfront charges you currently pay. In most states, this means you'll no longer pay the meter capital charge and the NMI allocation fee – this amount varies by state but can save you up to $700. 

You’ll pay $0 upfront new connection charges. 

No, the new process shouldn't take any longer and in some situations it will even be quicker. Plus, you'll get updates as your new connection progresses.

If you need to change the date of your scheduled new connection, just let us know by lodging a query via Connect Assist or giving us a call.

Power of Choice reforms had a start date of Friday 1 December 2017 - however in late 2017 it was decided that Monday 4 December would be a better start date to allow the industry to transition important market systems and processes over that weekend, and be ready for Monday 4 December.

Power of Choice will not introduce any new costs to builders. In some cases the costs will actually decrease – like upfront fees for new connections, which will reduce to $0.

For alterations, additions and abolishments, network charges still apply. At this stage, the meter provider fees are yet to be determined – we’ll make this available as soon as we know.

With replacement meters, we won’t charge you for the meter and we’ll absorb the meter provider fees. However, we will need to pass on any network costs that may apply.

New connection requests that are submitted on or before 30 November 2017 will be completed by the local distributor. These are the exceptions:

  • In South Australia, SAPN will install the supply and Origin will arrange for a meter provider to install the meter.
  • In NSW, if an ASP doesn’t have a meter in stock they’ll need to contact the customer’s retailer and arrange for a meter to be installed.
  • In NSW, electricians working in Endeavour Energy’s area will need to submit their ‘NMI Allocation’ and ‘Permission to connect’ before 20 November to ensure a meter is allocated. Any connection requests received after 20 November will be raised with a meter provider.

New connection requests that are submitted after this date will be arranged by retailers in line with Power of Choice reforms that come into effect on 4 December 2017.

The Christmas cut-off dates are a little earlier this year due to Power of Choice. To make sure your electricity new connections and additions/alterations works are finalised before Christmas, you’ll need to submit applications by 5pm on 24 November 2017. The exceptions are:

  • In NSW, any Endeavour NMI applications received after 20 November 2017 will be raised with a meter provider. An ASP will not be able to install a network meter on these sites.
  • In SA, all solar alterations received after 1 November 2017 won’t be processed until 4 December 2017.

If you submit your requests before the cut-off dates above, the distributor in your area will complete the new connections requests under current energy market rules. 

If you're an Accredited Service Provider (ASP) working in NSW, the new connections process will change significantly. From 4 December 2017, you'll need to arrange new digital meter installations with a meter provider.

We’ve already been in touch with ASPs to discuss training requirements and the accreditation process, so if you’ve missed this, you can complete this online form.

If your ASP is accredited by our Meter Provider (MP), it’s possible that they can hang meters themselves without having someone else do it for them. All new connections will still need to be submitted to us, and we’ll arrange for your ASP to install the meter. You just need to make sure you give us your ASP's details.

Yes, a permission to connect is still required in NSW. For Ausgrid customers, the permission to connect will need to be completed before the NMI can be allocated. For Endeavour Energy and Essential Energy customers, the NMI will need to be allocated before the permission to connect can be done.

From 4 December 2017, if a meter needs replacing (due to defects or similar issues) or you need a new meter for any other reason, then your replacement meter will need to be a digital meter. We’ll sort out the installation for you.

With replacement meters, we won’t charge you for the meter and we’ll absorb the meter provider fees. However, we will need to pass on any network costs that may apply.

If a customer is installing solar panels, you’ll need to notify us so we can arrange for the Meter Provider to either exchange the meter or reconfigure it for net metering.

This really depends on a range of factors including the location of the meters in the high-rise, wiring and configuration, number of meter technicians deployed by the meter providers, building layout, and more. If you’d like to chat about a specific high-rise you’re building, it’s best to call us so we can discuss this with you.

There will be no changes to site requirements under Power of Choice – current rules still apply. A meter technician or accredited service provider will need to have appropriate documentation and safety equipment when on site and will need to comply with site rules, including inductions. They are also permitted to walk away from undertaking works if a site is not safe to work in. 

Yes, if the customer is installing solar panels later, you’ll need to contact us so we can arrange for a meter provider to either change the meter or reconfigure it for net metering.

For alterations, additions and abolishments, network charges still apply. At this stage, the meter provider fees are yet to be determined – we’ll make this available as soon as we know.

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