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Understanding Your Meter


Electricity meters measure a property’s electricity consumption and are used by energy companies to calculate what to charge on your electricity bill.

The types of electricity meters are:

  • Accumulation meter
  • Interval meter
  • Smart meter

If you aren't sure what meter you have take a look at these. 

1. Accumulation Meter

Accumulation meters are also referred to as flat meters or single rate meters. Accumulation meters evaluate how much energy has been ingested by the property. Accumulation meters can’t detect when (i.e. the time) the electricity has been used, so customers are billed flat charges for electricity used irrespective of the time of day they use power. Also, depending on the distributor, some customers may prefer a block rate tariff – this tariff charges different rates depending on your electricity consumption.

How to Interpret an Accumulation Meter?

Accumulation meter display is available in three variants:

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Dial display

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Cyclometer display

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Digital display

The cyclometer and digital display are simple to read wherein the display shows how much electricity has been actually used in kWh. Conversely, dial accumulation meters are a bit more puzzling; they come with five small dials having numbers 0 to 9. Beginning from the left, read the numbers on which the dial-hands fall on, and continue reading to the right. If the hand drops between the two numbers then always consider the lower number, except, when it drops between 0 & 9, jot down 9. However, you can ignore the red dial. Accumulation meters need a meter reader to visit the property every three months to check the electricity consumption. This is carried out by calculating the difference between your previous and your current meter reads. Some energy retailers prefer to provide monthly billing wherein your bills will be evaluated between meter reads.

2. Interval Meters

Interval meters are different as it measures electricity usage every 30 minutes and records it. That means energy companies can have different rates depending on the time of the day electricity is used. Interval meters will charge you differently for peak hours and off-peak hours of use..Typically, off-peak hour usage attracts a lower rate and peak hours attract a higher use tariff.  This allows customers to select a tariff that has different rates for usage at different times of the day. 

If you have an interval meter, still you can choose to be charged at a flat rate in case you don’t want to pay different rates for the energy you use for the different time of the day.

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Type E1 (single phase)

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Type E2 (single phase dual element)

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Type E3 (three phase) 

How to Interpret an Interval Meter?

As interval meters are digital, they’re easy to read. In case, you want to know a ballpark figure of your next energy bill, then you’ll need to make a habit of writing down the kWh figures that the meter displays. Meter readers record interval meter data by connecting an optical probe that digs out the interval meter data and then transmits it to the distributor’s systems. This data is then processed up to 10 times to make sure it’s accurate before sending it to your authorised energy retailer for final bill generation.

3. Smart Meters

Smart meters are the most recent invention in energy metering technology, also normally known as digital meters. Like interval meters, they also record electricity usage in every 30-minute intervals facilitating different rates to be charged at different times of the day. A smart meter may be referred to as an interval meter in some regions of Australia; however, the major difference is that smart meters can be read remotely. That means, a meter reader doesn’t need to visit your property and you should never get estimated bills.

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Two types of smart meter

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How to Interpret a Smart Meter?

Smart meters display your electricity usage in kWh on a small digital screen. Smart meters can transmit live electricity usage data to your electricity distributor. It doesn’t require a meter reader and you may be able to track your own electricity usage via an energy monitor or online portal. These give unmatched insights into your usage patterns, assisting customers to know where they can save electric energy and thus lower their energy bills.

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If you live in an apartment block you most likely don't have a smart meter and it may be tricky to get one, therefore the best product for you is Single Minded. Contact us if you would like to discuss further.

To find out what type or meter you currently have and to make enquiries about what options are available to you in the future please contact Mojo Power at 1300 936 117 or email us via hello@mojopower.com.