Electricity Meters: Types and Supposed Hazards
Electricity meters are often confusingly named but there are 3 basic types:-
- The old, Black Spinning Disc Meters that have been in use for about 100 years. These are also called accumulation meters as they add up the total amount of electricity used. They are like the odometer in the car. They simply tell you the total usage with no detail of how much and when. With this meter, you can only be on a flat or ANYTIME tariff.Accumulation meters must be read manually, typically every 3 months. This means that 2 months of every 3, will be an estimated bill using a regulatory approved estimates process.When this type of meter reaches end of life, which is legally defined at 30 years, it will be replaced by a Smart Meter. This is not a choice by Pooled Energy but is legislated by the Government.
- Interval Meters. These are in plastic enclosures and have a digital display. Some of the early ones were called “Smart Meters,” which is a misnomer. They aren’t smart. Interval meters take a digital record of your energy consumption every 15 minutes. They are manually read, typically every 3 months. Their advantages are that you can choose either Time-Of-Use tariffs or ANYTIME (flat) tariffs. They also allow you to see what energy you used and when you used it. This is useful if you have a billing problem.
- “Smart Meters”. These are simply Interval Meters that have a cellular data-phone attached. These are not manually read but phone home to report your energy use, typically once a day. This is a short data call, like you looking at a web document on your mobile phone.
You can generally tell if your meter is “Smart” by whether it has an aerial attached. The data-phone uses this to communicate.
When Smart Meters went into mass deployment is Victoria, there was some scare-mongering about their ‘hazards’. . They are simply a recording meter with a phone attached….a phone that typically makes one short call a day…a call that is a tiny fraction of what most users do with their SmartPhones in everyday use.
When you buy water, gas or electricity, you have to have a meter for each. You may as well have an accurate meter that reports every day and can provide data for a detailed analysis of your usage should you want one. And also one where each bill is accurate and does not have the frustration of the estimate process so widely used with all its errors. That meter is a Smart Meter and you can have one free from Pooled Energy should you want one. Just let us know.