The ABS reports that Energy Australia have chosen to make time of use charging optional for customers with smart meters - Power customers given charging option (with the story featuring the obligatory pensioner complaining about higher power prices when they cook their lunch).
Hunter Valley electricity provider Energy Australia has decided to allow customers to opt out of controversial time-of-use charging. The introduction of 'smart meters' in all new and renovated houses made the change possible.
Energy Australia says smart meters will still be rolled-out, but now 200,000 customers who already have them can choose to be billed at a flat rate. Customers on time-of-use charging pay double the standard rate for electricity between 2:00pm (AEST) and 8:00pm, in return for cheaper off-peak charges.
The policy change comes after concerns that it has caused financial stress to low-income households, who will also face significantly higher retail charges from July. But the state-owned company says its figures show 70 per cent of customers with smart meters pay less for their electricity than those on a flat rate.