How To Read An Electricity Meter
There are different types of electricity meters in Australia including flat-rate, interval, smart and solar meters. Learn how you can read your electricity meter and where to find it in your home.
Electricity Meter Types In Australia
These days there are several types of electricity meters that each display readings differently. The types of electricity meters in Australia can include:
- electricity flat-rate meter (also known as accumulation meters)
- electricity interval meter
- smart electricity meter
- smart solar meter.
An electricity flat-rate meter measures how much electricity is consumed within a billing period. The flat-rate meter is unable to dissect when the electricity has been used. That means the billing period is the same rate every cycle-which is why is it's called a flat-rate meter. Flat-rate meters require a meter reader to come to the property every three months to check how much electricity has been used. This is done by calculating the difference between your current and your previous meter reads.
An electricity interval meter records your electricity usage in 15-minute intervals. That data is saved on the meter. So, when the data is downloaded, the retailer can use it for billing purposes.
Smart Electricity Meter
A smart electricity meter offers the most insight into your electricity consumption and breaks down exactly when you use it. This is an effective way to reduce your next bill by noting the peak times of when electricity is being consumed, what appliances consume the most electricity and adjusting your usage. Usually, smart electricity meters are linked to an app so you can actively see in real time just how much electricity is being imported. Electricity providers can also retrieve your usage data remotely so there is no need for a reader to come to your home.
If you have solar panels installed, solar meters need to be configured so you can accurately your usage. Solar meters are bi-directional, meaning that it can measure how much electricity your home exports back to the grid, as opposed to traditional electricity and analog meters, which only measure how much electricity is being imported from the grid to your home. You can start earning credits with a feed-in-tariff to help reduce your electricity bill once you have your solar meter installed.
Where Is My Electricity Meter?
Depending on when your home was built, the electricity meter location will vary. Generally, they are located on the side or front of a home that offers easy access for meter readers to see. If the home is older and has an analog reader, it might be inside the house-in which case, you will need to be home to let the person taking readings in to measure it. There may also be an option to submit to your electricity provider a self-read,so you can track how much your household uses.
What Is an Electricity Meter Reading?
An electricity meter reading determines how much electricity the household has consumed over a certain period. This information is imperative for electricity providers in order to issue your bill with as much accuracy as possible. If you are tracking usage yourself, it will also give you an indication on where you can save your money in your next bill depending on what appliances you use.
How To Read A Digital Electricity Meter in Australia
If you have an analogue or "clock face" electricity meter, there will be several dials that each refer to a single digit (which must be read from left to right). If a clock face points in between two digits, refer to the lower number. Digital meters show exactly the kilowatts that your household consumes per hour.