Cost of electricity meters passed on to homebuyers
NEW homebuyers will be slugged hundreds of dollars more as they now have to pay upfront for electricity meters to be installed.
In the past the cost of providing meters has been absorbed into ongoing network charges spread across all customers but under a new rule, which came into effect on August 1, meter connection will be a stand-alone charge.
The cost will range from $259 to $492, depending on the type of meter and where people live. More than 40,000 new dwelling owners each year will be affected.
Government-owned power companies Energex and Ergon say the decision was made by the Australian Energy Regulator and they won’t gain from it as their revenue is capped.
The construction industry is not happy about the plan.
Master Builders Association deputy executive director Paul Bidwell said: “This comes straight off the builders’ margin so it’s another cost the consumer will be forced to wear.’’ Energex said information forums were held in the lead-up, delaying the introduction by a month. DARYL PASSMORE