Smart meters are power-monitoring devices that provide you and your electricity provider with greater insights into your electricity usage. They can record and send information about your usage in regular blocks to your provider so you both understand how you’re consuming electricity. Depending on the type of smart meter you have, you may be able to save electricity by changing your electricity habits or using power differently (known as a demand response). Read more about how changing habits could reduce electricity bills in our electricity tariff guide.
Smart devices allow you to adjust appliances to improve energy efficiency remotely. In some cases, these types of devices can be set so they only operate in off-peak times, when electricity can cost less and there’s a lower demand on the electricity grid. For example, a smart fridge may be able to increase its temperature on cold days, smart lights may automatically switch off when it’s light, or heating appliances may only operate when it hits a certain temperature. Smart devices can work alongside smart meters.
Installing solar power panels on your roof allows you to harness power from the sun and convert it into electricity. You’re able to use this electricity, send it back to the grid (to receive credit on your electricity bill through solar feed-in tariffs) or store it in batteries for later use. However, it should be noted that solar feed-in tariffs are reducing as more people take up solar.
Some solar owners are also opposed to a reform by the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) that will see demand-based pricing introduced for solar panel owners who export electricity back to the grid. This change has been labelled as a “sun tax”, as solar owners could be paid differently for the power they export, based on electricity demand.
1. Victorian Government Library Service – ‘Victoria’s Energy Future – Smart grids’ – Accessed 09/11/2021
2. Australian Energy Regulator – ‘Smart meters’ – Accessed 09/11/2021
3. Australian Energy Market Commission and Smart Grid Australia – ‘Submission for the Review of Demand-Side Participation Stage 3 review In response to the Issues Paper (page two)’ – Accessed 09/11/2021
4. Australian Trade and Investment Commission – ‘Microgrids, smart grids and energy storage solutions (page 10)’ – Accessed 09/11/2021
5. Australian Energy Market Commission and Smart Grid Australia – ‘Submission for the Review of Demand-Side Participation Stage 3 review In response to the Issues Paper (page three)’ – Accessed 09/11/2021
6. Australian Trade and Investment Commission – ‘Microgrids, smart grids and energy storage solutions (page 14)’ – Accessed 09/11/2021
7. Parliament of Australia – ‘Renewable energy policy: retreat, renewal and revitalisation?’ – Accessed 10/11/2021
8. Victoria State Government – ‘Electricity – Executive Summary’ – Accessed 10/11/2021
9. Australian Trade and Investment Commission – ‘Microgrids, smart grids and energy storage solutions (page 6)’ – Accessed 09/11/2021
10. Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources – ‘Summer’ – Accessed 09/11/2021