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Smart Meter Savings

What is a smart meter and how can you save money with one?


What is a smart meter?

The old type of meter reader may soon be a thing of the past, being gradually replaced by smart meters, which are becoming more and more prevalent since the changes to the National Electricity Rules were announced.

A traditional electric meter is a device that is connected to your electricity supply that measures the amount of electricity you use in kWh. The difference between a standard meter and a smart meter (also called a Type 4 meter) is that a smart meter has a 2-way connection to the internet and sends the electricity usage information directly to your energy retailer, so that there is no need for a meter reader to visit your property and manually check your usage.

Since a smart meter runs off your electricity supply and has a remote connection to your energy retailer, your smart meter can also be activated or deactivated remotely, so an electrical technician is not required to make an appointment with you to complete a manual connection or disconnection.

Your retailer is responsible for the meter at your property, but Real Electrical Solutions, based in Newcastle, NSW, Real Electrical Solutions is a fully licensed Level 2 electrician, accredited to provide Smart/Solar meters for all retailers including Energy Australia, Origin Energy, Red Energy, AGL, Ausgrid and many more.

The meter itself does not display usage data, however, but you can view it online through your energy retailer or using an in-home display, that you must purchase separately and don’t worry – your data is protected under the National Electricity Law and the Privacy Act (1988).



How can a smart meter save you money?

Smart meters are not compulsory, but if you have a smart meter already fitted (as of 2017, all new and replacement meters are smart meters) or are considering doing so in the future, you might be asking yourself ‘what are the benefits of a smart meter?’. In short, smart meters produce instantaneous, accurate power consumption data every 30 minutes and this information can benefit you, the consumer, in several ways.

· Energy efficiency

· Reduced delays

· Quality control

· Better deals

· Reduced fees

· Improved bill accuracy

· Solar compatibility

· Storage

· Transparent usage.


Energy efficiency

If you are aware of how much electricity you are using as you use it, you will be more able to understand where your electricity is going and how much it is costing you. Some electricity tariffs have different prices per kWh during the day compared to the evening, for example.

Generally speaking, we use more energy in our homes during waking hours, for example, and there is usually a peak between 2pm and 8pm, so knowing when to use your electric compared to when you are physically using it can save you money.

Check with your energy retailer what the peak and off-peak times are, then, if possible, use appliances such as the washing machine, dryer, pool pump hot water heater or dishwasher during those times. You could even use the time delay function on your appliance, if there is one, to start it during off-peak times.

Energy Saver is a website run by the NSW government and they have some excellent information on ways to increase the efficiency of your energy use in the home. Click here to find out more.


Reduced delays

No longer do you have to wait for a connection from a technician with a smart meter – it can be completed remotely, saving you time.


Quality control

Your smart meter can help your energy retailer and supplier understand surges and outages to your property and use that data to improve your supply consistency in the future. This means that they can respond faster to any power issues you might be experiencing at your property.


Better deals

When you understand your detailed usage, you are better able to find the best price plans from a range of energy suppliers. This can be done by contacting suppliers on your own, but there are a range of third parties online who can search lots of suppliers for you and get you a better deal.

The chances are you are not on the best deal you can get: a report released by the Australian Energy Market Commission showed that only 21% of smart meter users were on the best tariff.

The key to a better deal is flexible pricing. Prices vary from retailer to retailer, but the basic idea is that you can choose a ‘single rate’ tariff or ‘time of use’ tariff. A single rate tariff means you only pay one price per kWh for your electricity, whereas a ‘time of use’ tariff will mean you pay different prices at different times of day

.

Reduced fees

No meter reader, no connection technician, less fees. Simple!


Improved bill accuracy

The accurate readings recorded by smart meters eliminates the dreaded ‘estimated bill’. Your usage data can also be presented in a graph, so that you can understand your usage at a glance.


Solar compatibility

The key to a smart grid, where electricity can be drawn from the grid and also placed back into it, is the smart meter. One of the ways electricity can be sold back to the grid is via solar power, where your excess electricity, produced by your solar panels, returns to the grid for a small profit. Speak to Real Electrical Solutions about smart meter installation.


Storage

A smart meter allows you to store your energy for future use instead of selling it back to the grid. Imagine how much more you could save, when you have a solar power storage battery and a smart meter.


Transparent usage

Your smart meter will send the usage data to your energy retailer and you can view this usage data on a mobile app supplied by your retailer. Alternatively, you can view the information online.



Contact Real Electrical Solutions for smart meter and energy efficiency advice

For personalised advice on smart meter or solar meter installations, or ways to reduce electric consumption, ask our ASP Level-2 electricians at Real Electrical Solutions. We are fully accredited to provide Smart/Solar meters for all energy retailers.

Households and businesses can also trust our team to come to help in the rare case of an emergency. Our after-hours electricians will get your power up and running in no time. For inquiries, call 0403306842 or email admin@realelectricalsolutions.com.au. We look forward to hearing from you!

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