Accumulation meters keep track only of the total accumulated electricity usage. If you have one of these meters, you are charged the same amount for the electricity you use, regardless of when you use it. For this reason these meters are also known as Flat Rate Meters.
Accumulation meters can be electronic or electromechanical. Electronic accumulation meters have a digital display. Electromechanical accumulation meters have two different types of displays – a dial display or a cyclometer display.
Accumulation meter displays are read by our meter readers and entered into their hand held devices. This data is then processed and validated by our metering systems and sent to your electricity retailer to produce your final bill.
Interval meters record how much electricity is used every 30 minutes. This means you can have different electricity rates for usage at different times of the day, depending on your retail electricity tariff. Some of the benefits of interval meters include more detailed information on your energy use and the opportunity for pricing plans that provide incentives to reduce your demand for electricity during peak times. For this reason, these meters are also known as Time of use meters.
To read an interval meter an Ausgrid meter reader attaches an optical probe to the communications port on the meter. The meter then downloads its 30-minute kWh interval data into the meter reader’s handheld device. This data is then processed and validated by our metering and billing systems and sent to your electricity retailer to produce your final bill. There are up to 10 separate checks of your electricity use data before it reaches your retailer.
Interval meters are all electronic. The display of the interval meter is programmed to show the date and time (in Eastern Standard Time as required by the National Electricity Rules) as well as the total kWh. Below are some examples of interval meters:
Ausgrid has about 24,000 smart meters installed across the network. Only some of these are still operating as smart meters, meaning that the meter readings are collected via remote communications systems. These smart meters are part of various technology trials that have been conducted by Ausgrid in past years. Apart from the aspect of remote reading, these meters record your energy in the same way as interval meters, that is, recording how much electricity is used every 30 minutes. The other functions in the smart meters are not being used.
Left and right: Two types of smart meter