A digital meter measures how much electricity you've used and when. The meter sends this information back to your energy retailer remotely, so no one needs to visit your property to read the electricity meter.
This type of meter is already in use throughout Victoria and is being rolled out in NSW, ACT, SA and QLD. It's a great solution for customers with meters that are difficult to access.
Remotely read digital meters are different to other meters. There are a range of older meters - some have dials and others have digital displays - but these can't be read remotely.
The remotely read digital meter provides us with your usage data daily without the need for a person to visit your property and read the meter.
Digital meters that are being installed in Australia meet strict safety standards. You can find out more at the Australian Energy Regulator’s website or view the results of the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) study into digital meters and health.
You can keep your existing meter for as long as you wish, however, if that meter becomes faulty or aged or if you’re building a new property, a new digital meter will need to be installed. This is a requirement under national electricity market regulations and you’re not able to refuse a digital meter completely.
If you’re offered a digital meter as part of a product or marketing campaign, you can choose not to take up a digital meter at that time. You can also choose a non-communicating meter, which is a digital meter with the communications functions disabled – however this will come with additional costs to cover manual meter readers visiting your property and you’ll miss out on the advantages of having a digital meter.
These regulations started on 4 December 2017 for all states in Australia except Victoria (because Victoria already has digital meters). It’s called Power of Choice and you can find out more at the Australian Energy Regulator’s website.
There are many benefits to having a digital meter including no longer having meter readers visit your property, more frequent data so you can monitor your electricity usage more easily, and access to products and services. You can choose to have a digital meter without communication enabled, but this will come with additional costs to cover manual meter readers visiting your property and other services which can’t be used without your meter having communications. You can find out more at the Australian Energy Regulator’s website.
A meter provider or accredited electrician will install the digital meter. There are a couple of different providers that can do this work on our behalf. They'll identify themselves when they arrive to install a meter.
If your meter’s outside and accessible, then we should be able to do the installation without you. Just make sure:
- the area around your meter is clean – check that there’s no debris, household items or obstacles in the way.
- pets or other animals are kept away from the meter.
- any gates that we’ll need to pass are unlocked.
- you'll let us know if you use a utility lock – or your own combination lock – as we'll need the code.
If your existing meter’s inside and hard to get to, you may need to be home to help us access it.
For a straight-forward meter exchange, the installation may take up to 1 hour with the power turned off for up to 30 minutes. If your meter setup is more complex, the installation may take up to 3 hours with the power turned off for up to 1.5 hours.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was used in the manufacturing of building materials prior to 1988. It was banned from all uses in 2003 because the inhalation of airborne fibres may cause asbestosis, lung cancer or mesothelioma. If your home was built before 1988, then your electrical meter board may contain asbestos-containing materials.
If there's asbestos in your meter board, the technician who will come to replace your meter will place a "Caution" sticker on the switchboard, talk to you about the condition of your meter board and make a recommendation on the next steps.
If you're not home, they'll leave a card and a fact sheet with a recommendation on the next step.
The owner of the premises is responsible for the meter board, so they'll need to arrange to have it replaced to upgrade your meter. This includes any specialist work that may be required to take care of asbestos risks.
The owner of the premises is responsible for the meter board, so they'll need to arrange to have it replaced to upgrade your meter.
You should employ a licensed asbestos remover. Some links to help you are as follows:
- Queensland listed businesses
- NSW listed businesses
- Victorian listed businesses
- SA listed businesses.
If you’re using an electrical contractor, you should talk to them about what’s required and ask how they plan to manage the potential risk of asbestos exposure. Make sure you’re satisfied with the safety control measures they’re putting in place before they start work.
Your energy usage data is secure. Only your energy retailer and meter reader have access to it.
Absolutely - nothing changes after installing a digital meter and your energy usage data is secure. Your energy retailer, meter provider and others (such as distribution networks and organisations involved in the collection and delivery of your data) are governed by strict regulatory rules around who needs to get it and what it can be used for.
Your electricity charges won’t change as a result of installing a digital meter.
Once you’ve had a digital meter installed at your property, you won’t be able to reinstall an older style meter.
No, as the customer of electricity at the property, you're authorised to allow us to install a digital meter.
If our technician finds any pre-existing problems with your wiring, they’ll let you know, and you might need to contact your landlord so they can organise an electrician to fix the issues.
Digital meters work with solar. If you'd like more information, just give us a call and we'll be able to discuss any queries.
Digital meters use 3G technology, the same way your mobile phone does. The meter contains a SIM card and uses the existing mobile network in your area to send meter reads back to your retailer.
No. If you wish to move your meter panel you will need to engage your own electrician to do the work.
Routine checks of electricity meters are carried out regularly to make sure they’re working as they should. We’ll always let you know when we’ve been past and what we’ve done.
If you’ve received a card that tells you we’ll need to do some work on your meter in the future, then it’s not a safety issue but we may have to do some modifications or repairs. We’ll be in touch to let you know when this will happen.
No, installing a digital meter does not affect your rates. We usually adjust our electricity charges in January for Victoria and in July for all other states, and we’ll get in touch with you separately to let you know about any changes..