If you’re looking into solar or have just recently installed, you may be considering investing in a smart meter to assist in tracking your energy usage. A smart meter (which is also known as an advanced meter) has the ability to send information to your energy retailer remotely as opposed to having someone come out for meter readings. It also enables households to view their energy usage in real time which helps in managing energy usage habits more efficiently.
How They Work
A smart meter records a household’s electricity usage (per kWh) every 30 minutes and then sends this data to electricity retailers for billing. If you have a solar system, the smart meter will measure the electricity being exported by your solar system and any relevant feed-in tariffs or subsidies will be applied.
Each smart meter comes with instructions on viewing the different displays available. Some energy retailers also have easy to understand mobile apps where you can access this information as well as useful tips on managing your energy usage.
A smart meter’s display will give you access to view;
- The recorded electricity usage
- Date when the electricity usage is recorded
- Net amount of kWh imported
- Net amount of energy you have generated (kWh exported)
In addition to enabling you to monitor your energy habits, smart meters detect power outages which will alert your energy retailer when they occur. This assists with minimising the amount of time you are without power.
Are They Mandatory in Australia?
Whilst smart meters are not mandatory in Australia, under the Power of Choice Reforms in most Australian jurisdictions you are no longer able to purchase traditional meters. This means you don’t need to replace your current meter with a smart meter, but any new meter installed must be a smart meter.
How Much Do They Cost?
The upfront cost of a smart meter can be as high as $500 +, which is a lot to pay when you’re wanting to increase your savings and reduce bills. However, many energy retailers will work the smart meters price into your energy bills so you can pay it overtime.
Already have a smart meter and want to adjust your energy habits?