Before 31 December 2016 (Scheme end date) is a good time to consider the most appropriate metering and billing solution that is best for you.

Shop around link to find out what competing retailers have to offer. Most electricity retailers will provide metering options to help you maximise the financial benefits of your renewable energy system when the changes come into effect on 1 January 2017.

There are also many new and emerging energy products and services on the market that allow customers greater control and choice over how they use and consume energy.

The closure of the Solar Bonus Scheme (the Scheme) may also be a good time for you to consider new technologies such as:

  • smart meters
  • energy management software
  • battery storage.

Smart meters

Smart meters, also known as advanced meters, are digital meters that measure the amount of electricity used at any given time. They are controlled remotely, removing the need for manual meter reading. Advanced meters enable energy service providers to offer new energy services.

Smart meters can be switched over remotely from gross to net metering on 31 December 2016. Changing to a smart meter before the end of the Scheme will not impact the tariff rate that is received, however you should request that the smart meter act as a ‘gross meter’ until 31 December 2016 to ensure you receive the subsidised rate until that time.

Smart meters offer:

  • access to new and innovative electricity pricing to save on bills
  • accurate and up-to-date information on your energy consumption and costs
  • the ability to respond to and manage your electricity use, such as moving from ‘peak’ to outside 'peak' periods
  • remote access to meters to
    • monitor and control household appliance consumption, such as air-conditioning
    • read meters, which might offer cost savings by removing the need for manual meter reading and eliminating estimated readings
    • monitor electricity supply conditions (including problem detection, fixing blackouts and other supply problems)
  • improved management of supply by retailers and suppliers, which reduces the need for further investment in new infrastructure.

Energy management systems and displays

Some retailers may offer options that allow you to have more visibility of how much your renewable energy system is generating and when you are using electricity. Shop around to ensure you get the best option for your situation.

You can also speak to your solar installer or inverter manufacturer, they may offer a display which allows you to monitor how much electricity your solar panels are producing.

Battery storage

For information on battery storage please visit the Office and Environment and Heritage website External link.