Should I Have a Smart Meter Installed?
Smart meters are the new generation of gas and electricity meters. They are being installed in homes across New South Wales to replace traditional meters, which are considered out-dated. Getting a smart meter is a small step for your household, but it will make a considerable change to how we consume energy in Australia as well as making your life cheaper and easier.
Ultimately, most homes in NSW will eventually use smart meters, so here’s everything you need to know about smart meters before you make the switch.
What is a smart meter?
A smart meter measures the energy use of your household and works in the same way as a traditional gas or electricity meter. The biggest difference between a smart meter and a traditional meter is its ability to send real-time information directly to your energy supplier.
You can track your energy use on a digital in-home display, which will show you the cost of the amount of energy you have used so you can better manage your energy use, save money and reduce emissions.
The benefits of having a smart meter
Smart meters help to make smart choices on the energy you use so you can lower your consumption and your bills but they also come with a whole heap of other advantages. Let’s take a look at some of the main benefits of smart meters.
Automatic meter readings
Smart meters record your energy use at regular intervals throughout the day. This means energy suppliers can offer you tariffs at a reduced price if you use energy at a time that is cheaper for them to buy it from the grid and supply it to you at a discounted rate.
No more estimated bills
With a smart meter, your meter readings will be automatically sent to your energy supplier, meaning you will receive accurate bills that are not estimated.
You will be able to adjust how often you want readings from your smart meter to be sent to your energy supplier. Most smart meters give you the option to send data on a monthly, daily or half-hourly basis.
Smart meters supply you with real-time information on your energy usage. Your in-home display will allow you to easily monitor your electricity use and identify where you could make reductions that would save you money.
The future of energy
Smart meters are a central part of Australia’s shift to a cleaner, more flexible energy system. More homes are adapting to greener ways of generating energy such as solar power. Smart metering is a step in the right direction for a more energy-efficient future.
How can a smart meter save me money?
While a smart meter won't automatically save you money – it will help you to be proactive in reducing your energy consumption and costs. By choosing a smart meter with an in-home display you can keep track of how much energy you're using and see if you are using peak or off-peak times.
Usually, we consume energy in a daily pattern with households using the most energy during weekday mornings, afternoons and evenings. The off-peak hours are overnight when everyone is sleeping so electricity suppliers lower their rates.
Getting your smart meter installed
Having your smart meter installed should take one to two hours depending on how easy it is to access the area that you want your smart meter installed and whether you are currently using gas or electricity.
In general, your smart meter will replace your existing gas or electricity meter – so they are installed in the same place. If the space is not suitable, your smart meter installer will let you know so you can agree on a new location for the installation.
During the installation, your technician will need to cut the electricity supply, so it's best to arrange the installation during a quiet time in your home.
As well as installing the smart meter, the technician will also explain how it works and run you through the in-home display – if you have decided to get a smart meter with this function.
Is my data secure with a smart meter?
Personal information such as your name, home address and payment details are not stored on your smart meter. The meter is simply used to record your energy consumption in the same way as your standard meter.
The data for the meter readings collected is only shared with your energy supplier so that they can give you an accurate bill and they do not share your information without your prior consent.