.. to get a bi-directional electricity meter installed. After two years and a some complaints, it all came to a head the other day. Now that the feed-in tariff has been legislated, I am loosing money (not that it was my motivation to get the solar PV system installed two and a half years ago).
Just when I thought it was in the bag, yet another delay. I rang up my energy retailer to get my meter changed out so that I could sign a feed-in agreement with them, but after a long and interesting conversation about why they would roll over all credits and not wipe them, I was told to call my installer because it is their responsibility to send them a Certificate of Electrical Safety and an Electrical Work Request. I told them that I already had a Network Connection Agreement with my electricity distributor, and they said it would not be an issue. They checked their records and they had no record of my installer asking for the meter to be swapped over!
So, I rang my installer, who was supposed to sort all of this out two and a half bloody years ago. I managed to get hold of the original project manager after 3 calls and multiple messages. I think it was when I told their call centre staff that I was going to hit them for lost earnings that the ball started rolling. A day later, the project manager called and informed me that my energy retailer would not install a new meter because the Certificate of Electrical Safety and an Electrical Work Request were not current. They were more than 12 months old. No shit Sherlock! It was about this time I put on my angry hat and began to instruct the PM to get his act together, get me another certificate and independent electrical inspection within the week for free, or I would take my case to consumer affairs and the media. Apparently, this worked. I have never seen so much action in such a short space of time.
My demand was on Tuesday, the safety certificate was issued on the Friday, and the independent inspection occurred on the Sunday! Confirmation from my energy retailer that they had passed my request to the distributor was received on Monday! It took only 6 days after coming down heavy to get as far as I did in the previous 27 months. It is amazing where a bit of aggravation gets you.
Normally, I am a straight forward sort of guy who is quite patient, but expects decent customer service, especially when that service comes at a cost of $20500! I had reached my own renewable energy tipping point and blew my stack in the nicest possible way of course.
Now all I have to do is wait until the 23rd of December which is 21 days stipulated by the distributor before my meter gets installed. I have already tried to contact the solar specialist at the energy retailer who I talked to in the first instance, but she hasn’t returned my calls. What happened to good old customer service, especially now that I am loosing 60 cents per kWh that I export into the power grid? It is not like I am not offering to pay the $300 odd for the meter and installation. I don’t feel jaded, I just wanted action.
I bet the shoe would be on the other foot and a lot quicker I might add if I had have owed any of them money, that is for sure!