The Power of Choice reforms coming in December are already expected to drive a sharp rise in smart meters at a lower price point, but it is improved access to data resulting from these reforms that will really help businesses optimise energy usage.
Major reforms to the National Electricity Market (NEM) are now underway with substantial benefits and energy cost savings becoming available to businesses as a result of the changes.
The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) is currently working with the energy industry to implement a number of recommendations from the Australian Energy Market Commission’s (AEMC) Power of Choice review, with the reforms slated to be in full effect by 1 December this year.
One of the major shifts – the ‘Competition in Metering Rule Change’ – relates to developing a more competitive framework in the Australian metering market that will underpin significant new investment into smart meters. This change will align value-added services and innovation with better metering rates for energy users.
Energy Action anticipates the introduction of thousands of new smart meters as a result of the new rules. This presents an opportunity for businesses to benefit from significantly better pricing as the number of smart meters increases while also gaining access to additional data provided by advanced metering.
Ultimately, these reforms are expected to lead to better access to services enabled by smart metering, better visibility and data related to electricity consumption, as well as the ability to take more control of costs associated with usage.
While the Power of Choice rules are well known to industry players, with retailers and smart metering providers all jockeying for a position to capitalise on the changes, businesses may not be aware of the step change in the discussion around pricing and the related impact.
With a large anticipated spike in smart meter volumes, Energy Action has been part of ongoing negotiations with metering providers and retailers to secure better rates that can be passed on to businesses looking to renew their existing metering contracts.
While there has been a step-change in the discussion around potential cost savings from increased competitive tension, the ongoing proliferation of advanced metering also offers additional benefits through leveraging the increase in volume and precision of usage data.
The potential for value added data services from smart metering will continue to increase, allowing businesses to tap into data and analytics to inform decisions about energy usage and costs. Given today’s volatile and strongly increasing energy pricing environment, this is becoming even more critical as businesses seek to drive down energy consumption and reduce wastage to assist in reducing cost impacts.
Energy Action has recently announced upgrades to its online energy management portal, where the Platinum Energy Metrics service includes alerts that notify a customer if their usage spikes to avoid costs associated with ‘peak demand’.
The launch of the Energy Action mobile app also provides round-the-clock access to key energy usage data so that businesses can take timely steps towards managing their usage and costs.
With even better quality data feeding in from the new smart meter roll-out, these online and mobile portals have even greater potential to deliver actionable insights for business users. However, in order to do that, metering and data access needs to be enabled to allow delivery of insights in a form that’s easily understood by businesses.