Australian national smart metering programme

Context

Australia’s National Smart Metering Programme is one of the major international programmes to roll-out smart meters to small customers. A range of distributor, retailer and consumer stakeholder interests come together in the National Stakeholder Steering Committee.

Our approach

PwC was selected to provide programme management services based on our excellent reputation for managing complex reform programmes that require effective programme and stakeholder management with organisations that have strong competing interests.

Deliverables and client benefits

Five work streams are moving forward covering business requirements, business procedures, regulation, pilots and trials and NEM procedures testing framework. Key deliverables so far include a regulatory architecture for smart metering, a draft smart metering infrastructure minimum functional specification, draft changes to the National Electricity Rules, draft terms of reference for a cost recovery review by the Australian Energy Markets Commission, advice to the government on the impacts of smart meter services on the new National Energy Consumer Framework, and initial process maps for changes to NEM Procedures to support interactions between distributors and retailers.

The multi-stakeholder context is producing different views on who will control the provision of smart metering services, infrastructure performance levels (e.g. data communications), and whether the rollout of meters should be market driven by retailers rather than imposed by regulation through a distributor led rollout. A recent independent survey conducted by AEMO (the contracting body) of programme participants found that a complex programme was being well managed particularly in view of the strong tensions between distributors and retailers.