Melbourne, Australia --- (METERING.COM) --- October 1, 2012 - More Victorian electricity customers with smart meters will be offered a choice between flat tariffs and new flexible pricing from the middle of 2013.

In its latest newsletter Victoria’s Department of Primary Industries says the move to flexible pricing is entirely optional. Households and small businesses will be able to select a flexible pricing plan or continue on a flat tariff, depending upon what best suits their energy use patterns and individual circumstances.

Households that switch to flexible pricing can switch back to their previous (flat) tariff structure with the same retailer without incurring an administration fee until March 31, 2015.

Flexible pricing has the potential to save money but will not be right for everyone – especially those who have high usage at peak times.

According to a recent study that was completed for the DPI by Deloitte, the majority of customers, including vulnerable customers, are likely to be better off or to face very little changes to their electricity bills with time-of-use pricing. The average changes expected are from a 6.1 percent reduction to 1.8 percent increase. However, there is significant variation around these figures from a greater than 24 percent decrease to a more than 12 percent increase.

To assist customers the DPI has provided information on flexible pricing on the switchon.vic.gov.au website.