While meters are the responsibility of the energy retailer as a result of the 2017 ‘Power of Choice’ rule change, we provide a number of services to retailers in relation to electricity metering.
Special Meter Reading and Testing
There are several situations where an energy retailer will request a meter read or meter testing service from Essential energy. These services typically take place where a retailer’s engagement with a customer is beginning, ending, or the accuracy of their meter is in question. These services include:
- Move In / Move Out meter reads – to obtain a start or final meter read for the customer’s tenancy.
- Special Meter Reads (incl wasted visit) – to verify the accuracy of a scheduled meter read.
- Special Meter Test - undertaken to validate meters are operating satisfactorily.
If an unplanned outage is reported and Essential Energy staff attend site, where the direct cause is determined to be a fault/responsibility of the retailer, we will charge the retailer a fee to cover the cost of attending site and resolving the immediate issue. Some examples of these types of outages can include:
- Unplanned Electrical or Hot Water outage caused by failure or incorrect installation of metering equipment not owned by Essential Energy
- Outage caused by a metering contractor incorrectly isolating customer
- Customer were not suitably notified of the planned outage
- Remote disconnection of the meter where Essential Energy were not notified by the retailer.
In these situations, Essential Energy may elect to temporarily alter the electricity supply to restore power to customers and notify the retailer to rectify at a later date.
Retailer Requested Outages
In some circumstances, energy retailers will request an outage by Essential Energy in order to replace metering equipment, particularly where customers are configured on a shared fuse arrangement. For this service, we will
- Determine customers affected
- Notify customer of pending outage
- Attend site to isolate
Retailer Requested Reconnect / Disconnect Services
There a several scenarios where energy retailers will request Essential Energy attend a customer premises to disconnect or reconnect the electricity supply. A retailer may request a disconnect where:
- The premises is vacant
- The customer is in breach of retail contract
- A customer has illegally reconnected their connection or modified the connection
- A customer requests disconnection
- A customer move-in where power is de-energised.
The method of disconnection / reconnection is at the discretion of Essential Energy and the retailer or customer will be charged depending on the nature of the disconnect/reconnect. See item 4.1-4.7 in the ‘Price Schedule for Ancillary Network Services’ for more information and associated fees.
Planned Interruptions – Customer Requested
If a customer considers that a planned outage by Essential Energy will adversely affect them or their business, customers can request we change the time of the planned interruption.
Each circumstance is unique, however in some cases an outage can be altered if the customer agrees to fund the additional cost of performing the work outside normal business hours.
Attendance at Customers Premises – Statutory Right
Where a customer unreasonably dissents to Essential Energy’s attempts to gain access to the customer’s premises to carry out necessary functions, we will seek to recover costs associated with gaining access to the premises under statutory law.
This task typically involves a return visit to the premises and incurs a per hour fee applicable to the customer. See item 12.1 in the ‘Price Schedule for Ancillary Network Services’ for more information and associated fees.
Your Electric Hot Water: ‘Off-Peak’ Conversion
Electric hot water systems make up a significant portion of household electricity consumption. Generally, electric hot water systems are configured in one of two ways:
- Instantaneous: heats water on demand, no matter the time of day.
- Off-peak: Only heats water during ‘off peak’ tariff periods when electricity is cheaper, storing hot water for use throughout the day. If all hot water is used, the system won’t operate until the next off-peak heating period.
If you are regularly running out of hot water, it may be possible to adjust your metering equipment to an optimised ‘off peak’ configuration.
Your energy retailer is best placed to advise you on which tariff structure is optimal – Essential Energy metering contractors will execute the meter adjustment on behalf of the retailer.