Do you remember when smart meters began their roll out in 2011? And we were bombarded with statements like ‘smart meters will rip you off’, ‘smart meters will over-charge you’ and even ‘smart meters will end up costing you more’? And ‘are dangerous for our health?’.
Truth be told, none of those things are issues with smart meters.
What are the real issues?
Well, in the past, smart meters have been essentially forced onto people without explanation, most notably in Victoria and the UK.
The biggest issue in our opinion was that the roll-out was not communicated well, leading to a negative experience. People were quite frankly, frightened. They questioned why the roll-out was happening. The mentality being that if it is ‘forced’ then it must be a bad thing. The concept of change being hard wasn’t taken into consideration enough.
Smart meters were (perhaps still are) a bit of an enigma to many people. This view coupled with an introduction of complex tariffs just made it seem that your electricity bill was even more complicated to understand than it was before smart meters were introduced.
An additional issue was misunderstanding around who actually owned the meter – hint – not you. Even if you pay for the installation in some way, a standard meter belongs to the network and a smart meter remains the property of your electricity retailer or metering service provider.
Electricity Network – the poles and wires – you can’t choose your electricity network provider – this is regulated and determined by where you live
Electricity Retailers – the utility like Mojo Power that bills you – this you can choose.
In 2017 the responsibility for smart meters changed (under ‘Power of Choice’ reforms) from the electricity network to the retailer. Now, your retailer is responsible for the installation of smart meter equipment, the reading of smart meters, and the replacement of any non-compliant smart meters. This has led to something quite exciting in the industry – competition – this will mean more cost-effective metering options and leaps in innovation on how you can use that information.
What about the myths that smart meters will actually cost more?
Not true – smart meter can actually help to save you money.
Don’t believe us – fair enough. For an example – in NSW for smart meters, the peak tariff is much more expensive than the old rates. However, the peak tariff is only in place for less than 20% of the time. The shoulder and off-peak rates with a smart meter are cheaper than the old rates. This all adds up to a potential big saving on your electricity bill.
Then some fuel was added to the flame – Time of Use (ToU) rates changed around the same time in Victoria. So, the tariffs changed, and the perception was that the smart meter was to blame. Not true. It was the peak rates changing, complex bills and communication failure that were to blame.
Think of it a bit like comparing apples with oranges, ToU with a Single Rate – you don’t really know if you are better off one way or the other. This is where visibility comes into its own – at Mojo Power we’re only offering a single rate at the moment, with a very low rate and you have the ability to measure your energy consumption on an hourly basis on our app or portal.
Are smart meters safe?
Dr Azadeh Peyman, principal radiation protection scientist at Public Health England confirms, “Smart meters do not pose a risk to health”.
Smart meters transmit radio waves infrequently so they can send information back to the Australian Energy Market Operator’s (AEMO) Market Settlement and Transfer Solution (MSATS) system. Smart meters use very little power and are considered one of the safest pieces of technology in the home.
At Mojo Power – this isn’t how we roll.
Mojo Power is leading with a new way for a new day. Our new electricity product – All Day Breakfast is a single rate, so a simple plan, doing away with the need to understand complex billing such as Time of Use (ToU) rates. While we acknowledge that smart meters have the ability to assist customers in saving money by giving you the power to track your usage; we also won’t be forcing them onto anyone – it’s not how we roll.
If you’re still unsure about smart meters and whether or not it’s right for you we’re happy to have to chat, give you the low down about the possible benefits – so you can decide for yourself.