Smart Meters.com reports that the Victorian government doesn't have the courage to rollout smart meters for water, following resistance to their electricity smart metering program - Victoria Government Rules Out Water Smart Meters, Despite Test.
Victoria, Australia will not be introducing water smart meters for household use after receiving a voter backlash against smart electricity meters, even though it conducted a test program in the southeastern suburbs. "Our Government will not be rolling our smart water meters for households in Victoria," stated Water Minister Tim Holding.
The State Government was looking to expand the bungled smart electricity meter system to cover water use as well, even though there were concerns that the system is useful for retail companies but causes household bills to rise.
Before ruling out the meter deployment, the Government conducted a trial by offering South East Water’s residential customers a $50 Myer voucher to participate, according to the Herald Sun.
Before the scrapping of this plan, there were revelations that residential smart electricity consumers will have to pay up to $285 per year just for having the meter. Electricity distributors have permission to recover smart meter installation costs directly from residential consumers.
To counter the customer concerns about bills, the Government-hired consultants gave the cynical suggestion of having a monthly billing period instead of a quarterly.
According to the Marchment Hill Consulting report for the Government, implementation of the water smart meter system will help water companies to reduce costs but it may not be able to reduce water price.
The smart meter system will give more control to households regarding water use management, however, it may cause "bill shock," says the report.
The water bill that an average household pays annually is already expected to reach $1000 this year with recovery process starting for the $3.5 billion Wonthaggi Desalination Plant.