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Calls to assess Victoria's smart meter rollout

Consumer groups are calling for a review of Victoria's smart meter rollout to really assess their benefits.

ABC reports that Victoria has experienced the rollout over a number of years and has been riddled with problems. Chief among which is the expense, with the project having cost three times what was promised.

The meters have been guaranteed by the federal government as the answer to rising electricity costs as these meters can monitor energy consumption at all times.

Matt Levy from consumer group Choice said there are lessons to be learned from the Victoria experiment.

He observed: "Some of that has had to do with underestimates and blowouts in the actual price of the technology.

"The key learning out of Victoria from a consumer point of view is don't put the technology or the industry first, put the consumer first."

The major benefit of these smart meters, advocates claim, is that consumers can monitor their usage and can adjust their consumption during peak times when electricity prices are higher.

Bruce Robertson of Manning Alliance, who represents energy consumers on the New South Wales mid north coast, said to the ABC that there should not be any more rollouts until the benefits of the Victorian scheme have been proven.

Posted by Charlie Moore