Types of meters

We own most meters connected to our network and generally they fall into three different types.

Accumulation Meters

Accumulation meters only keep track of the total electricity usage. This means 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. 

The meter reader will sight the meter and type it in to their handheld computer that sends the data directly to our systems. The reading is then validated and sent to your electricity retailer who calculates your final bill.

types of meter

Left: Cyclometer display  Middle: Dial display  Right: Electronic display

Interval Meters

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 the tariff you sign up to with your electricity retailer. 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. 

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 kilowatt hours (kWh).

To read an interval meter the meter reader attaches an optical probe to the meter and downloads the 30-minute interval data into a handheld computer. That information is then sent to our systems, validated and then sent to your electricity retailer so they can calculate your bill.

Meter types

Left: E1 (single phase), Middle: E2 (single phase dual element) Right: E3 (three phase)

Smart Meters

We installed some smart meters as part of voluntary technology trials. Only some of these are still operating as smart meters, meaning that the meter readings are collected via remote communications systems.  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. This means you can have Time of Use pricing.  The other functions in the smart meters are not being used. 

From 1 December 2017, any new or replacement meter for homes or small businesses will be a smart meter, installed by your electricity retailer, not Ausgrid. Learn more about this change here.

two smart meters

Left and right: Two types of smart meter



Learn how to read your own meter here