In the past, we used to rely solely on old-style electricity metres to know our energy consumption. A metre reader would come by and check how much electricity the persons living in the home or working in the business have used up.
The reading is precise and reliable. But if you're not familiar with reading your electric metre, then you have to wait for your utility bill to arrive before you'll know how much you need to pay.
This setup is fine – most of the time. But what if you want to track how much energy you're using or how much you need to pay, then old-style metres are not the best choice.
Enter smart metres, the latest in energy consumption tracking technology. These devices take away the guesswork from monitoring your energy consumption. But how do they work, and do you need a smart metre? Let's delve right in.
Old-style electric metres and smart metres work the same way. They both measure electricity consumption and record these numbers for the utility company.
What makes smart metres different is you don't need to rely on a metre reader to know your electricity usage. The data is sent directly to the utility provider at regular intervals.
Some smart metre models can even detect if there's a power outage happening in your area. This allows your utility provider to address the problem so you can get your electricity back asap.
Metre readers rely on dials on your old-style metre to get a reading. Quite complicated if you're not familiar with how to read it.
Compared to older electricity metres, getting a reading on smart metres is different. In some cases, you need to chat with the rep at your utility provider and ask them directly how much you have consumed for the month. The data will be sent to your online account, or you can view it on your phone via their app.
In some cases, you'll receive an in-home display that shows you your energy usage in real-time. Some devices can even be connected to your phone so you can check it with just a few swipes. That's how far technology has come.
The answer depends on where you live. For example, if you live in Queensland and you own a newly built property, chances are high that you already have a smart metre installed.
Installing a smart metre was mandated by the Australian Energy Regulator for new homes. Old and defective metres are also required to be replaced by smart metres.
There are homeowners and commercial property owners who oppose the blanket installation of smart metres. They say that smart metres have a hefty installation and maintenance fee, so it may cause your bills to spike.
But the good news is the cost of the installation and maintenance will be spread out over time, so there's no need to worry about soaring electricity prices.
If you want to know more about smart metres or you have any electrical issues at home or in your place of business, call Fried Electrical. We're more than happy to answer all your questions and address your concerns.