(EnergyAsia, September 1, Tuesday) — Households and small businesses in Australia’s Victoria state may see a A$150 increase in their power bills following the four-year implementation of smart meters. (US$1 = A$1.2).

Smart meter technology will allow retailers to monitor electricity usage every 30 minutes instead of the current four times a year when someone is sent to read the metre. However, the rollout will require retailers to invest in IT systems and trained personnel to handle more complicated and larger amounts of data.

Electricity retailers said they will have to hike prices to recover the costs of investing in smart meters and the supporting IT infrastructure.

The Australian government, however, has argued that the benefits of smart meter technology, such as the ability to determine when power has been lost, outweigh its costs.