Smart Meters Between Innovation Promise and Consumer Protection
Smart infrastructure, such as smart meters, provide the platform for the introduction of innovative, information-based energy technologies designed to promote systemic energy efficiency and to transition energy markets toward more sustainable and cost effective outcomes. Smart meters in particular carry the promise of innovation in electricity markets - as an enabler of demand-side services and a more distributed energy system.
At the same time, they present enormous challenges for policy makers. Legal frameworks have to navigate between an increasing number of potentially contestable roles and at the same time realise consumer protection as well as consumer participation.
This seminar will present three case studies of legal reform supporting smart meter introduction - two from Australia and one from Germany.
Recurrent themes that emerge from the case studies show that the innovation promise of smart meters requires the underpinning legal system to address the wider social and economic implications of these changes. Key factors requiring attention are a consideration of who bears the cost for the implementation of the technologies, and the use and security of consumer energy information.
Dr Anne Kallies is a law lecturer at RMIT. The emphasis of her research is on energy and environmental law, with a special focus on the law of energy transitions. Her research draws on her study and work experience in Australia and Germany. She holds a German law degree, as well as a LLM and a PhD, both completed at Melbourne Law School. Anne is on of the researchers invovled in the new German-Australian bilateral research collaboration - the Energy Transition Hub.
This seminar is based on a book chapter co-written with Prof Lee Godden, and forthcoming in 2018.