About 2.5% of the time, our meter readers are unable to read a meter.
This is usually because we can’t access the meter or it is too dangerous (for instance, if the meter is behind a locked gate or dogs prevent access).
If we can’t read a meter, a substituted meter read is sent to your retailer and they send you an estimated bill. Retailers must ensure your bill indicates when it has been estimated.
To estimate energy use for a period, Ausgrid may use data from the same billing period from the year before. This information is sent to your retailer, who then calculates and sends your final bill.
Estimated meter reads are reconciled when we get access to the meter and the correct data – which is usually at the next scheduled meter read. Your retailer then reconciles your bill. If you used less electricity than estimated, your retailer will adjust your account. At this stage you can contact your retailer to confirm their policy regarding bill reconciliation.
If we can’t read a meter after two visits, we write to the customer asking them to help us find a solution.
Special locks can be installed so our meter readers can get access through locked gates. There are about 23,000 of these across our network.
Ausgrid follows the rules and guidelines for estimating data as set out by both the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) and the National Electricity Retail Rules.
Looking after your pets
You can help us read your meters safely by taking any of the following steps with dogs and other animals that may pose a risk. Where possible:
- keep the animal in a safe and secure place inside the house or other building.
- keep the animal securely in a yard or area separate from your meter box.
- keep the animal securely restrained by chain or rope at least five metres clear from your meter box and not on the access route to the meter box location.