Smart meters are a similar size to the meter you have now. The display is digital and there are no dials. There are different types and models of smart meters, but the basic functionality is the same across all smart meter types.
Smart meters have the ability to record electricity fed back into the distribution network from co-generation sources, including solar and wind power installations.
All smart meters have an internal antenna to communicate electricity consumption data via telecommunications network to CitiPower and Powercor. In some instances, an external antenna may need to be attached to, or near the meter box to improve signals over longer network distances and ensure reliable transmission of data.
Smart metering communication technology allows your meter to be read from a central point instead of meter readers visiting individual premises. Access to your smart meter may still occasionally be required for testing and maintenance purposes.
The smart metering system makes use of low power radiofrequency (RF) transmitters to communicate meter readings. Weak RF fields in the 900MHz and 2.4 GHz bands are produced during the system's normal operation. These communications frequencies are well within Australian guidelines, and smart meter RF emissions are less than most other sources in the home such as those produced by mobile phones, cordless phones and wireless routers.
A Time of Use tariff is an electricity price structure that varies based on the time of day or week. Time of use charges are higher in periods deemed peak and lower in periods deemed off-peak.
After your smart meter is installed you may be offered a Time of Use tariff by your retailer. This means that the price of electricity per kilowatt hour will vary depending on when you use it. How and when you use electricity may mean that you may pay more or less or see very little difference. Retailers may have different products or Time of Use tariffs, which will become available over time, giving you an opportunity to find the one that best suits you.
Smart meters will collect your electricity consumption data at half hour intervals and this metering data will be sent to your electricity retailer the following day. The arrangements that you have with your retailer will determine how often you will receive your electricity bill.
Similar to your current meter’s energy use, the level of energy required to run the smart meter is very low. You will not be billed for the energy used to run the metering equipment.
Yes, Victoria's electricity distributors have developed systems to ensure that smart meters and associated communication networks are equipped with security features to prevent unauthorised access. Access to data will be restricted, and compliance with the Privacy Act and National Privacy principles, including security processes and staff security checks, are mandatory.
CitiPower and Powercor are accredited meter providers and meter data managers in accordance with National Electricity Rules. The smart meters meet the National Measurement Institute requirements and we will continue to test for accuracy throughout the life of the meters.