A residential customer was concerned that his hot water service time switch did not adjust for daylight savings

Meters, poles, wires and pipes
Case Number 2017/27265
Outcome Conciliation

The Issue

Mr K was dissatisfied with his energy retailer about the billing of his hot water service. He noticed that during daylight savings his time switch for off peak came on at 12am and went off at 8am rather than the standard 11pm to 7am. He believed he was being billed for peak usage from 7am to 8am. Mr K contacted the company and it advised that he had been billed correctly on the meter read data provided by the distribution network.

Mr K contacted EWOV for assistance. We raised an Assisted Referral and requested a senior level staff member from the retailer contact him to resolve the complaint. As a result of this, Mr K received an explanation from his retailer but the matter remained unresolved. Mr K returned to EWOV and an Investigation was opened.

The Investigation

EWOV’s investigation identified Mr K’s meter operates and displays Australian Eastern Standard Time all year round, which is one hour out from Australian Eastern Daylight Time.

The National Electricity Rules states that with meter time settings, it is the distributor who must ensure that all metering installations and data logger clocks are referenced to Australian Eastern Standard Time.

The Australian Energy Market Operator also states that metering installation clocks are referenced to Australian Eastern Standard Time.

Distributors need to abide by the rules of the regulators. This means that metering equipment cannot be altered outside of Australian Eastern Standard Time settings. The retailer confirmed that the meter data, while registered to Australian Eastern Standard Time, had been adjusted to reflect the designated tariff times when the bills were generated. As such Mr K’s consumption had been billed correctly.

The Outcome

Mr K acknowledged the meter could not be altered to register usage outside Australian Eastern Standard Time. He accepted the explanation that while the meter registered usage under Australian Eastern Standard Time, the NEM 12 meter data allowed the retailer to make an adjustment for daylight savings on his billing. The retailer offered to apply a financial credit for failing to clearly explain this, and discussed with Mr K options on installing a controlled load register to monitor his usage.

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