Australia's AusNet Services - one of the largest energy companies in the state of Victoria - has coughed up US$21 million in compensation to customers who have a smart meter installed but can't access real-time electricity usage data.
AusNet attributes the delay in transmitting smart meter data to an "unstable" IT system, which it says won't be fixed until at least the end of the year.
The government of Victoria is pulling the purse strings of the electricity transmission company by insisting that since customers are missing out on smart meter benefits such as time of use tariffs, they should be recompensed to the tune of US$96 each.
The story does sound a warning bell particularly for the UK smart meter rollout, which might be pleased to have an unstable IT system over a barely-existent one.
The idea that British Gas, which has led the deployment charge with more than 1 million installations, will have to rebate customers for still manually reading their meters, is not an appealing one.
So one thing has become clear - forget the government committees, and opinions of heads of industry (Institute of Director joins smart meters sceptics), it's the IT boffins who will really make or break the success of smart metering rollouts.
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Metering.com is the sister news portal to Engerati focusing on smart metering.