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Smart Meters

What is the difference between Smart and Basic Meter?

Basic meter records your total usage in kWh over a three-month billing period but does not record the cost of power at the time of use. When it comes to billing, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) provides Powerclub with “standard profile” that is applied to everyone with a basic meter. While the “standard profile” is adjusted up or down for your overall energy usage, it assumes you use electricity in exactly the same way as everyone else on a basic meter. As basic meters don’t recognise unique usage, you will still pay even if you go away for a holiday as it assumes everyone is the same and spreads your usage across every day in line with the “standard profile”.

Smart Meters measure how much energy you use at the time you use it, so we can match that against the cost of wholesale electricity at the time. Some can record down to five-minute intervals, and they also do this for solar export.

If there is a price spike event and you reduce your usage, with a smart meter we know you have reduced your usage when the price was high. If you have a basic meter, it only reduces your overall usage for the total billing period as it does not know specifically when you reduced your usage.

The converse is also true. If you accidently used a massive amount of power during a big price spike and little at other times it does not know that either, so in that case you would be in front!

Victoria converted almost all meters to Smart Meters before December 2018. Since then, only Smart Meters have been installed. Other States are installing them in new homes and updating older homes when people put on solar or the meter reaches its retirement age. If you want to control your result you are better off to have a Smart Meter.

Why should you use a Smart Meter?

While basic meter technology still works, they are an outdated technology. Smart Meters measure exactly how much energy you use at a moment in time, which is the way of the future, enabling you to be rewarded for what you do with energy.

Powerclub Members with basic meters will still get access to wholesale energy spot prices, but will not gain the same benefits from Load Shifting to avoid wholesale spot price spikes. To gain the most significant benefit of limiting your usage during high-priced events, you must have a Smart Meter.

Smart meters send information to Powerclub digitally and do not need to be read manually which cuts out meter reading fees and charges. Smart meters can also be turned on/off remotely when you are moving in and out of your property, resulting in cheaper connections and disconnections.

How much does it cost?

Upgrading to a Smart Meter can be a good investment and could help you save hundreds of dollars a year on your electricity bills. Powerclub's pass-through processes mean you'll pay the wholesale daily rate for your new meter, with no upfront charge. The cost will be added to your supply charge. The wholesale spot price difference for your upgrade will depend on the new network tariff and the charges from the Meter Data Coordinator who provide the actual meter and installation services to install your new meter. The most common Smart Meter is a Single Phase, One Element (1P1E) meter. Click here to find out how much a Smart Meter upgrade will cost or give us a call.

How to upgrade your meter?

Give our Member Advocate Team a call to talk about upgrading your meter.

If we need to arrange for a third party to complete the metering or connection work, we will coordinate directly with them.

For South Australian customers, upgrading to a smart meter might mean changing your network tariffs.

Metering Installation Time Frames

On average, it takes around three weeks from receiving your request for installation. During the Covid-19 lockdown, you may experience a longer than usual installation timeframe.

Getting your electricity connected or making changes to your electricity connection can be a challenging process. At Powerclub, we will work towards providing you with a smooth transition.

Where we need to arrange for a third party to complete the metering or connection work, we will coordinate this directly with them.

Average Installation Time Frames

  • For residential Members - as soon as is possible and no later than 15 business days after notification of the fault has been received.
  • For type 1-3 metering installations - as soon as is possible and no later than two business days after notification of the fault has been received.
  • For all other metering installations - as soon as is possible and no later than ten business days after notification of the fault has been received.

Timeframes for metering installations

  • For new connections — the retailer must arrange for the meter to be installed by a date agreed with the customer or, if no date is agreed, no later than six business days after being informed that the connection service is complete.
  • For simple meter exchanges for which a connection service or alteration is not required — the retailer must arrange for the meter to be installed by a date agreed with the customer or, if no date is agreed, no later than 15 business days after receiving the customer’s request.
  • For complex meter exchanges for which a connection service or alteration is required — the retailer must arrange for the meter to be installed by a date agreed with the customer and the distributor (where the distributor is providing the connection alteration) or, if no date is agreed, no later than 15 business days after the retailer received the request from the customer. The retailer must inform the distributor of the request no later than the next business day after receiving it. Where the distributor is providing the connection alteration, it must coordinate with the retailer and other relevant parties to allow the retailer to comply with these obligations.

These metering installation time frames are for Members in New South Wales, South Australia, the Australian Capital Territory, and Queensland. Most Victorian Members will already have a Smart Meter.

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