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If I Have a Swimming Pool What Sort of Electricity Meter is Best? What to do if You Have Both a Swimming Pool and Solar Panels!

A General Discussion to HELP You Understand the Different Types of Meters and Their Advantages

Electricity retailers are not legally permitted to recommend types of meters.

If you have a swimming pool, it will generally consume about 30% of the total electricity of a typical house.  You can reduce the amount of electricity required by about 20% of the whole house by using a Pooled Energy System. You can reduce the cost of that electricity by running it mostly at off-peak times using Time-Of-Use (TOU) tariffs.  Whether TOU works for you depends on the other appliance in the house and when you use them. The type of Meter also affects the type of electricity you can purchase.

You must have an Electricity Meter if you use Grid electricity (often referred to as “poles and wires”).  There are 3 basic Residential types of Meters in NSW. When most people talk about the power grid”, they’re referring to the transmission system for electricity.

  1. The Old Accumulation Meters with Their Spinning Discs

    These are very simple devices that record the total amount of electricity you use between readings of the meter.  These readings are usually done every 3 months. These meters do not record when you used the electricity during the entire 3 months and so the only tariff you can have is a ‘Flat’ or ANYTIME tariff.  This means your electricity is the same price irrespective of the time of day you use it.  Depending on where you live, the price per unit of energy (kilowatt-hour) can increase or decrease (slightly) as you use more power

  1. Time-Of-Use (TOU) Meters

    These are electronic Meters that record the amount of electricity you use every 15 or 30 minutes of every day.  With these Meters, you can choose to be on a flat ANYTIME tariff or a TOU tariff.  With TOU, you pay differently for electricity at peak, shoulder and off-peak times.  Depending on where you live, the difference between off-peak and on-peak, can be as much as 5:1.   TOU Meters (some of which were incorrectly described as ‘Smart Meters’ in NSW descriptions), are not very smart.  They are manually read by a meter reader, typically every 3 months.

  2. Smart Meters

    Smart Meters are TOU Meters and are read electronically and usually record your electricity consumption at shorter intervals than 15 minutes. With true Smart Meters you can have either Anytime or TOU tariffs and the Meter is read every day.

    If you sign with Pooled Energy as a new customer we upgrade your Meter to a new Smart Meter for FREE.

A Special Type of Meter Used with Solar PV Panels is Either a Gross Meter or a Net Meter

The Government recommended that all PV Panel owners change to Net Meters after 31/12/2016.  With a Gross Meter you export all your PV energy to the Grid.  With a Net Meter, you can use the PV energy you generate, yourself.  Most Net Meters are on TOU tariffs only.

Non smart electricity Meters are typically read once every 3 months. This generally means that you will receive 2 estimated bills before your Meter is read. Once Pooled Energy receive your Meter read, any discrepancies from the first 2 months of billing on estimates will be adjusted on the 3rd bill.

  • If you have a Smart Meter there will be no estimated meter readings so all bills will be issued on actual household usage.
  • There will be no surprises resulting from any variations in usage from estimates.

Many customers with swimming pools (usually the largest appliance in the house) find that TOU tariffs work well. However, it varies with individual consumption.  You can try different tariffs to see which works better for you, and change from one to another, once a year, as long as you have a Smart or TOU Meter.

If you have Solar PV panels, you will very likely be using TOU power and a Smart Net Meter.  In this case, please discuss Pooled Energy’s Solar Optimisation software.  If you have panels in NSW, it is better to use your own power as much as you can and export only the unused portion to the Grid.  The reason is that the export is worth less than Grid power at all times of the day, at the date of writing.  To do this effectively, you need weather based optimisation software for your pool’s power demand.  Simplistically, this software looks at the forecast and decides whether to run your pool from Solar PV power on sunny days or off-peak power on overcast or rainy days.  With 109 sunny days a year in Sydney, 129 overcast or rainy days and 127 unsettled days, you need optimisation or else you are likely to buy less energy from the Grid but do it a at a substantially higher price than you would otherwise.

If you wish to have a Smart Meter installed, discuss the advantages of a Smart Meter or Solar Panel Optimisation Software, please contact us at info@pooledenergy.com or phone 1300 364 703.





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