Types of meters

Accumulation Meters

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 electromechanical or electronic, the latter being the variety presently available for new and upgraded installations which meet certain criteria and for meters replaced under Ausgrid’s meter replacement or maintenance programs. Currently, electromechanical accumulation meters are not able to be purchased in Australia for use in the National Electricity Market. Electromechanical accumulation meters have two different types of displays – a dial display or a cyclometer display. Electronic accumulation meters have a digital display that shows the total kWh.

To read an accumulation meter, these 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.

types of meter

Left: Cyclometer Display, Middle: Dial Display, Right: Digital Display

Interval Meters

Interval meters record how much electricity is used every 30 minutes. This means that you can have different electricity rates for usage at different times of the day, depending on you retail electricity tariff.

Some of the benefits of interval meters include more detailed information on your energy use and the opportunity for new 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.

For Ausgrid to read an interval meter, the 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 so that they can produce your final bill.

Interval meters are all electronic. Ausgrid always programs the display of the interval meter to show the date and time (in Eastern Standard Time as required by the National Electricity Rules) as well as the total kWh. This also helps to identify if you have an interval meter. Below are some examples of interval meters: 

Meter types

Left: E1 (Single Phase), Middle: E2 (Single Phase Dual Element, Right: E3 (Three Phase)

 
Smart Meters

Ausgrid has about 24,000 Smart Meters installed across the network. 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.

two smart meters

Left: Smart meter from AMI trial (concluded 2013), Right: Smart Meter from the AMI Trail (concluded in 2009)