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AMI & SMART METERING Australia’s new energy market makes way for AGL’s Active Stream By: Jason Clark General Manager, Active Stream (an AGL Energy Limited subsidiary) In a consultation paper to the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) responding to its proposed draft rule determination to amend National Electricity Rules and National Energy Rules in favour of expanding competition in metering and related services, AGL Energy expressed its support of AMEC’s draft ruling reinforcing the Commission’s Power of Choice review, which recommended that the National Electricity Market (NEM) incentivise greater demand-side participation, by focusing on increasing competition, fostering innovation and empowering customers to take greater control of their energy use. In a summary of the draft determination, the COAG Energy Council said it had identified in its rule change request a number of issues with the National Electricity Rules (NER) and National Energy Retail Rules (NERR) that limit competition and may inhibit investment in the provision of digital metering services. The council also identified that certain exit fees and the structure of metering charges create a disincentive for retailers to invest in digital meters. as minimum requirements for new and replacement meters for small customers. The customer’s retailer has the responsibility to ensure that a meter is installed and that a metering coordinator (MC) is assigned to the site. The MC, in turn, maintains liability for the overall metrology services (data security and integrity) and is responsible for assigning a metering provider (MP, installation and maintenance) and a meter data provider (MDP, data collection and management). Commencement dates for Active Stream offers customers’ innovative digital meter supported products.” Under the draft rule, the AEMC requires energy retailers to appoint a metering coordinator for their customers, except where a large customer has appointed its own metering coordinator. It stipulates that appointed metering coordinators will support the competitive framework for the provision of metering services, such 28 the new rules has moved from an initial target of mid-2016 to mid-2017. As a result of these reforms which seek to enhance metering competition in the NEM, AGL launched its new standalone digital metering business “Active Stream” – an accredited meter provider and meter data provider, offering digital metering devices and data services to energy retailers, distributors and other businesses across the NEM. In an interview with Metering & Smart Energy International, Jason Clark, General Manager, Active Stream (an AGL Energy Limited subsidiary), touched on the establishment, purpose and future plans of its new digital metering business: How did the concept for ‘Active Stream’ come about? What services does Active Stream provide and who are its customers? Active Stream is a business to business (B2B) company and our customers are National Electricity Market participants including retailers, utilities and distributors. AGL Energy Markets is our first customer presenting a great opportunity for end-use consumers nationally. Initially, the digital metering business will supply digital meters to AGL customers beginning in South Australia and New South Wales. Active Stream will also provide metering data to the customer’s retailer, the relevant network operator and Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO). The plan is to partner with other retailers and utilities to provide them with metering and data services. What does Active Steam’s organisational structure look like? Active Stream is an accredited meter provider and meter data provider, which provides digital metering devices and data services to energy retailers, distributors and other businesses in the National Electricity Market. Established in 2014, Active Stream Pty Ltd (Active Stream), a wholly-owned subsidiary of AGL Energy Limited, delivers a complete end-to-end digital meter solution that includes meter supply, deployment, maintenance, data METERING INTERNATIONAL ISSUE – 5 | 2015