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Electricity prices have been continuously rising in Australia, and it’s all over the news. Many families & businesses are struggling with these expensive power prices. Electricity Monster is a broker that compares rates from our partners.
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No matter where you use electricity within your home or business, all that power is measured in one location – your electricity meter. This is how power companies collect all the information they need to calculate your power bill.
Do you find yourself becoming anxious as your electricity bill payment draws closer? Do you twiddle your thumbs or gnaw on your nails as you worry about what the amount will be this time around?
Identifying electricity meter types
There are three common electricity meter types currently prominent in Australia – The typical Dial Type Meter, the streamlined Digital Meter or the new Advanced Digital Meter. If you currently have an advanced digital meter, then you may want to find out more about how to understand your advanced digital meter.
Well, you don’t have to wait for your bill to arrive to figure out how much energy your home or business uses! We can show you how to read your own meter. That way you can just make some simple calculations and estimate what your bill might be.
Having the ability to read your electricity meter helps you plan your finances better and not be shocked with a disastrously large amount to pay for your home or business! Observing your meter over the course of a month or week can provide you with serious knowledge on how to cut electricity consumption and help identify what exactly is driving your electricity spend.
Serial Numbers and the NMI
Each and every meter has a unique serial number on the front that you can quote to your electricity company if you have an inquiry! There also exists a National Meter Identifier (NMI), which is a unique code designated to your property, for identification purposes, in case your meters are replaced for any reason. Look over your last electricity bill to figure out your NMI as this will not be visible on your meter.
Reading a Dial Type Meter or Analog Meter
Looking at your electricity meter, you’ll find it has five dials on it. These look like little pointers that alternatively rotate clockwise and anticlockwise and may leave you scratching your head. No need to worry, it’s really easy to understand if you just follow these simple steps:
STEP 01 – Understanding your dials
Read your dials from left to right. The number that each pointer in each dial is pointing to is the value for that particular dial. Starting from the dial on the right side, work yourself back to the left side to get an accurate value.
STEP 02 – Understanding your pointers
If the pointer on a dial you are looking at is between two numbers, then write down the lower number. If the pointer on a dial you are looking at is directly on a number, then look towards the dial immediately to its right.
If the dial to the right has a pointer that has crossed 0, then go back to the original dial and record the number that the left-side pointer initially rested on. If, however, the dial to the right has a pointer that has not yet crossed 0, then go back to the original dial and write down the number lower to what the left-side pointer initially rested on.
STEP 03 – Understanding the value
Your electricity meter measures power in watts. 1000 watts make up 1 kilowatt. So your meter measures how many kilowatts of electricity you are using in an hour – the kilowatt-hour. The value you have determined shows the amount of kilowatt-hour usage of power in your home or business as of that date.
STEP 04 – Calculating a bill
Simply take a reading at the beginning of your billing and subtract this from your reading at the end of your billing period. You could also multiply this kilowatt-hour amount by the standing electricity rates in your region to get an idea about the dollar amount of your incoming electricity bill.
To get an estimation of your monthly bill, take a reading at a particular time of the day and take another reading at the same time the next day. Subtract the latest reading from the older reading in order to get an idea of the kilowatt-hour usage for a single day. Multiply this amount by 30 to get an estimation for the month or by 90 to get an estimation for the quarter.
Reading a Digital Electricity Meter
If you have a digital electricity meter, reading your electricity is easier than downing duck soup! Just look at the digits on your digital meter and read it as you would your car’s odometer. Do keep in mind that most digital electricity meters have multiple displays that show peak usage, off-peak usage as well as the solar generation numbers if applicable. Make sure you are looking at the right numbers or get help from your electricity retailer to guide you!
What do I do after reading my electricity meter?
Take a look at your meter at the same time every day to get an idea over what your average daily usage is. Go back at your meter on a day when the pool pump has been running to understand how much your electricity bill may be affected. Try again when you have jacked up the thermostat during a cold week or have been running air-conditioners all day during a particularly sweltering Australian summer. Stay on top of your electricity usage to save more! Be wary of weather changes, however, that would have caused you to use more of your swimming pool, air-conditioners or thermostats.
Installing a new electricity meter in New South Wales (NSW)
From the 1st of December 2017, all brand-new electricity meters for household and small enterprise consumers will need to be advanced digital meters. This implies that older-style meters will be phased out and substituted over time until all meters are digital. To know more about how they are installed in NSW, check out Electricity Monster’s specific explanation of Advanced Digital Meters.
How much does installing an electricity meter cost in NSW?
Your charges will be determined by your NSW electricity retailer, who oversees the installation or upgrading of meters according to the Power of Choice legislation introduced.
of Choice legislation introduced. If, however, the meter is to be installed in a new property, your NSW-based distributor may charge you an allocation fee for setting up a National Metering Identifier (NMI) number.
Installing a new electricity meter in Qld
Since the Power of Choice reforms of December 1, 2017, advanced digital meters are currently being installed as older-style meters are phased out for households and small businesses.
To understand further about how they are placed in Queensland, review Electricity Monster’s page on Advanced Digital Meters.
How much does installing an electricity meter cost in QLD?
Unfortunately for Queenslanders, there’s really no way to tell. If you are on the Energex network and your electricity network has been deregulated then it will be up to your provider. One thing to keep an eye out for though is if you’re moving into a new home. If this is the case you may receive an allocation fee from your distributor to get a new NMI number.
Installing a new electricity meter in Victoria (VIC)
Advanced digital meters are currently the norm in Victoria, with 2.75 million electricity meters installed in Victorian homes or businesses.
To know more about how they are installed in Victoria, check out Electricity Monster’s specific explanation of Advanced Digital Meters.
How much does installing an electricity meter cost in VIC?
This will be up to whichever retailer you are currently with. Should you move home, however, there may be an allocation fee levied by your distributor in order to set up an NMI number.
Installing a new electricity meter in South Australia (SA)
From the 1st of December 2017, all brand-new electricity meters for household and small enterprise consumers will need to be advanced digital meters. This implies that older-style meters will be phased out and substituted over time until all meters are digital.
To know more about how they are installed in SA, check out Electricity Monster’s specific explanation of Advanced Digital Meters.
How much does installing an electricity meter cost in SA?
However much it costs to get an electricity meter installed in South Australia will be up to the discretion of your retailer. In the even in which you are moving home, you may be charged an additional allocation fee in order to set up a new NMI number.
Don’t want to go through the trouble of figuring out your meter?
Electricity Monster can put you in touch with retailers that have mobile apps that read your meter for you!
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If for any reason, after 6 months you are not happy with the retailer we switched you to, then we will set you up with any other retailer of your choosing from our panel and reimburse your exit fees where applicable up to $75 for your electricity and $25 for your gas.
So now you can get a better deal on your electricity & gas with 100% peace of mind. Electricity Monster is 100% FREE SERVICE! Up to $100 protection peace of mind guarantee.