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    Are your hot water bills individual or collective?  Do you pay depending on how often you shower or your unit’s size and number of rooms?

    Could you, for instance, be charged as much for your hot water as a holiday let apartment crammed with tourists who can’t stay out of the shower?

    This is the dilemma facing a …


    I can sympathise with the electricity and hot water situation. There is nothing good about an inequitable allocation of charges among unit owners that is other than user-pays. If this change has anything to do with introducing smart meters for electricity, my view is that those meters are designed to actually increase electricity charges . Unless people are going to live their waking lives in the 10pm to 7am timeslot, electricity consumers are going to be paying more with smart meters.

    One thing that Flat Chat may wish to check-out, simply because it is not publicized, is whether there is a choice to maintain single tariff metering even though a smart meter is installed. A few years ago, an electricity supplier installed a smart meter in an elderly neighbour’s home. I contacted the electricity supplier and they agreed to allow the person to stay on single tariff billing. Maybe this option is available to all electricity consumers, however, none of the energy regulators seem to promote it. I wonder why!

    A similar group billing situation is happening with Sydney Water, which is just as inequitable as the strata electricity and hot water situation. Let me know if you want details.

    Sir HumphreySir Humphrey

    I am not sure about hot water but the supply of electricity to premises/units behind an owners corporation meter amounts to an embedded network, for which there are rules administered by the Australian Energy Regulator.


    The link above has now cropped up for us  and a decision has to be made shortly . Has anyone seen  just what the costings are  for the various options open to us to ensure it’s user pays as it should be?

    Sir HumphreySir Humphrey

    I am in townhouse so we don’t have this sort of arrangement but I understand from friends in apartments that it is usual for hot waters to be record each unit’s consumption. Then the total energy consumption (usually gas) is measured and a conversion factor is calculated to convert litres of water into MJ of gas. The conversion factor varies a bit for various reasons including that it takes more gas to heat the water when it is colder in winter.

    If the retailer is not reading the meters, then the OC could. If the OC did this, then I would have thought that the gas or electricity used in each unit behind the single meter of the OC would be regarded as an embedded network. The Australian Energy Regulator has strict rules about energy supply to ‘premises’. The OC might be able to take over the meters, even if it is required to install smart meters that enable peak demand or time of use tariffs. Then the OC might negotiate a cheaper deal with the retail who only has to read one meter. The OC could read the individual meters and charge people according to their usage including their varying peak and off peak consumptions. That would enable some to respond to the price signal and avoid peak demand while others who can’t be bothered to run the dishwasher a bit later can wear the cost personally without imposing it on everyone else.


    BTW. Electric vehicles are not regarded as premises so the rules are not as strict.

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