All you need to know about energy meters

Posted on 20 December 2019

All you need to know about energy meters

The energy meter at your home or business tracks your energy usage across a set period of time. This information is collected and given to your energy provider in order to charge you accurately for your usage.

Types of energy meters available

General energy meters

Standard or general energy meters are historically what has been available across most homes in South Australia. In order to assess your home or business’ energy usage, an energy distributor will have to attend to check your meter. They will do so at least once a year.

Energy distributors are not the same as your energy provider or retailer, they specifically look after your energy meter.

Occasionally, energy providers will bill you with an estimated cost, based on your previous usage, if they cannot access the meter for an accurate reading.

Smart energy meters

Smart energy meters are the newer meters on the market are also known as interval meters. They utilise smart technology to continuously provide data about how much electricity you use and when.

Who is responsible for meters and allowing access?

It is the business or home owner’s responsibility to ensure their energy meter is accessible to the energy distributors. If for some reason the meter is not easily accessible, you must contact and notify your retailer company to allow for a time it is safe and accessible for the distributor to get to the meter.

If you live in South Australia you can contact SA Power Networks General Enquiries team on 13 12 61.

Can you provide your own meter reading?

Energy companies cannot accept self-readings from customers. However, by contacting your energy retailer they should be able to provide you with solutions as to how to best communicate your energy reading if having an energy distributor read your meter is challenging.

How do I find out when my next meter reading is?

The approximate date and time for your next meter reading should be printed on your previous energy bill. Though meter readers visit properties year-round, the date provided may not always be exact.

Benefits of smart meters

A smart meter provides consistently accurate readings to your energy provider, as it can collect data in real-time a send this on directly. Some smart meters have in-home display units and web portals to access all this data too.

This removes the element of in-person meter readings. No one has to come to your home, which in some cases can be difficult or inconvenient.

When you can constantly access your energy usage in real-time, you can begin to assess when your usage is highest and make adjustments to your home, business and lifestyle that can save you money.

With smart meters you have a wider choice of energy plans, meaning you can find something that is suitable for your usage and lifestyle. Ordinarily, a general energy meter will only allow for a single rate electricity plan; whereas with a smart meter you also have ‘time of use’ energy plans available. Electricity has different costs throughout the day and being able to minimise your usage or cost in peak, off-peak and shoulder times is more efficient for the environment and your wallet.

Where can I find out more about smart meters?

Contact Solar Power Direct today to discuss your options for a smart meter with our friendly staff.

Solar Power Direct is a proud member of the Smart Energy Council, working towards a safe climate and a strong renewable economy.