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The Smart Meter: Does It Help You Save Money?

June 30, 2022
The Smart Meter: Does it Help You Save Money?

Do you feel like knowing every little detail about your electricity consumption? If so, a smart meter may be for you!

A smart electric meter is an electronic device that records electricity consumption in an hour or fewer intervals. This interval monitoring data is provided to the customer for monitoring and billing.

Now, if you’re wondering how this meter can help me save money? Read on to find out!

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How does a smart meter work?

A smart meter measures the electricity passing through the meter and sends this information to your electrical company for billing. The data is also used to give you feedback on your energy usage.

Just like a traditional meter, a smart electric meter measures electricity use in kilowatts per hour (kWh). However, a smart electricity meter records your kWh usage at 15-30 minute intervals.

This meter sends the data automatically with no manual involvement. This is not the same as a traditional meter, which stores it in its system until a person comes to take a reading.

The electricity provider may install an in-house display system so you can monitor your usage. 

Another possibility is that the provider employs third-party developers to create apps and web portals so that you can keep track of it all. To get access to your data, you will need to log in with your credentials given by the provider.

In-house systems can also be set up to provide alerts customized to your needs. For example, you could set an alert to let you know when your electricity use hits a certain level.

What are the pros and cons of smart meters?

The Smart Meter: Does it Help You Save Money?

If you’re wondering, ‘Is it worth getting a smart meter?’ you should first get a sneak peek at its benefits. Here are some of them:

Helps you monitor your electricity usage

Smart meters provide interval data that enables you to understand better when and how much electricity you’re using. 

This information is helpful in finding ways to conserve energy and lower your bills. You can know how much energy you consumed during peak and off-peak electricity times in NSW.

Gives you feedback on your electricity usage

Some smart electric meters have an in-house display system that lets you see how much electricity you use in real-time. This feedback is helpful in helping you change your electricity usage habits.

Helps you save money 

By monitoring your electricity usage, you can find ways to decrease your electric bills. For example, you would know which appliance consumes more than the required electricity through constant monitoring. In this way, you can either replace or repair the device to save energy.

No manual meter reading

With a smart meter for electricity, there’s no need for someone to come and manually read your meter. This can save you time and effort.

Customizable alerts

The Smart Meter: Does it Help You Save Money?

You can set up alerts to let you know when your electricity usage crosses a specific threshold. This can help you avoid high bills and conserve energy.

These are some fantastic benefits of installing a smart meter into your home. But is there a downside to having a smart meter? Ofcourse, every coin has two sides. 

Here are some of the potential downsides of smart meters:

Higher bills

While smart meters can help you save money by monitoring your electricity usage; they can also lead to higher bills if your usage increases.

Privacy concerns

Some people worry that smart meters may invade their privacy by collecting data on their electricity usage.

Hackability

Electricity smart meters are equipped with wireless technology, which means they could be hacked. This could lead to someone gaining access to your data or controlling your electricity usage.

Unknown health risks

Some people worry that the electromagnetic fields emitted by smart meters could harm their health. However, there is no scientific evidence to support this claim. 

Also, a smart meter complies with the radiofrequency standard of the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA).

Is it free to install a smart meter?

In most cases, smart meters are provided and installed by your electricity retailer at no cost. However, some retailers may charge a fee for the installation.

When to install a smart meter?

As per the regulations, after 1 December 2017, every new house or commercial building needs to install a smart meter. But, for the homes built before that, there is no compulsion. However, if you need to replace your old meter, the new one must be a smart electricity meter.

Do they remove old meters when installing smart meters?

The Smart Meter: Does it Help You Save Money?

Yes, the old meter is generally removed when a smart meter is installed. However, some retailers may allow you to keep your old meter if you wish.

You can get the best retailer, and plans on Energy Made Easy and save money.

How can I read my smart meter?

A smart meter has a digital display showing your kilowatts (kW) electricity usage. The digital display is easily read and usually located inside your home, near your main switchboard.

Here are some of the things visible on your electricity smart meter:

  • Date – day/month/year
  • Time – 24-hour format
  • Energy consumed – kWh
  • If you have a solar photovoltaic system, the amount of power sent to the grid is also displayed in kWh.
  • The amount of electricity consumed in a 30-minute block by NSW off-peak electricity times or controlled load equipment, measured in kWh. This applies only if you own:
  1. Battery storage
  2. A water heater storage with a capacity of more than 125 litres.
  3. Spa or pool heater
  4. Electric car charger
  5. Underfloor heating

Will my bills go up with a smart meter?

Your bills may go up or down depending on your electricity usage. However, you may see an increase in your bills because chances are your old meter was under-reporting.

Coming to, does a smart meter use my electricity? No, smart electric meters do not use any electricity. It just reports other usages.

Can smart meters turn off your electricity?

Yes, smart meters can turn off your electricity in some cases. You can connect and disconnect the electricity supply from your home when you move in or out of your house.

Can I have my smart meter removed?

Yes, you can have your energy Australia smart meter removed if you wish. For this, you need to call a level two electrician. However, there may be a fee for the removal, and you will need to revert to manual meter readings.

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