Sydney, Australia --- (METERING.COM) --- September 17, 2007 – More than 1.5 million homes and businesses in New South Wales can now get new electronic smart meters installed for free under an annual $20 million program that gives them more control over their electricity bills. The move comes after an investigation by EnergyAustralia of 10,300 household electricity accounts already using the smart meters and timed based pricing revealed that households were saving an average $45 a year on their electricity costs compared to EnergyAustralia’s standard domestic rate.

Managing Director George Maltabarow said all homes and businesses across the EnergyAustralia network could now get a new smart meter installed free of charge.

“These new smart meters are giving households more control over their electricity costs,” Maltabarow said. “They allow households to pay less for electricity outside peak times – that’s 82% of the time. At the same time these customers will help make the electricity network more efficient by evening out electricity use throughout the day.

“We expect that households with air conditioning, a pool and with three or more people will be the most likely to benefit, but there are more ways to take advantage. It’s a new and smarter way of paying for electricity and now any household or business on our network can access it.

“For example, a household would only have to use their dishwasher before they go to bed rather than after dinner – and they could save $30 a year on the electricity costs. Using clothes dryers after 8 pm or early in the morning can also help families save. If you have a pool it is as simple as setting your pool pump to run at a different time and you could save more than $200 a year.”

Analysis of smart meters across the EnergyAustralia network shows that:

  • 71% of people thought that time-based pricing was a fairer system.
  • 83% said they were more aware of their electricity consumption.
  • 72% said they were actively making changes to their electricity usage.
  • Homes with smart meters were saving on average $45 a year compared to standard domestic rates.
  • 85% of customers were better off under time based pricing compared to the standard domestic tariff.

The smart meters measure how much electricity is used every 30 minutes, compared to older style meters which measure electricity use every three months. Customers pay different amounts for electricity, based on when they use it. There are now more than 100,000 homes and businesses with smart meters that pay for their electricity this way.