NSW gov't closer to smart meter rollout

The New South Wales government looks like it will introduce the controversial smart meters across the state.

State energy minister Chris Hartcher today (November 27) released a discussion paper regarding the rollout of smart meters, which will allow electricity companies to directly cut power usage by households during peak times which affect electricity prices.

The federal government is keen to see the meters installed across the country by state jurisdictions, with Victoria currently rolling out the meters at a cost of $2.3 billion, while it was originally costed at $800 million.

Minister Hartcher's paper has warned against the rollout that Victoria experienced - citing the massive costs - saying that a market based introduction would be less expensive.

Mr Hartcher commented: "Not all households will benefit equally from smart meters - different households will have different consumption patterns - and the NSW Government is keen to ensure that low income households and vulnerable customers are not impacted adversely by any potential introduction of smart meters."

However, the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal has told the federal government through a submission that individual households should be the ones to say when adopting a smart meter is the right choice.