METERS EXPLAINED – GAS AND ELECTRICITY
Not every house is the same and not every house has the same type of electricity or gas meter. The differences can affect how you are billed, so knowing what type of meter you have is important for comparing energy plans.
Regardless of what meter you have, you must ensure it is accessible by a technician from your gas or electricity retailer.
You can find two major types of gas meters fitted to Australian homes.
The Gas Metric meter is the most common. A Metric meter will show your gas consumption in a line of numbers, much like a car odometer. This is expressed in cubic meters (M3).
A Gas Imperial meter is usually identical, save for the display, which shows your usage in cubic feet (ft3) and may have a “clock” face, which uses small dials to show your usage.
Having a gas meter that is hard to reach by a technician may result in inaccurate or estimated gas readings. This may lead to over- or under-charging on your bills.
There are three types of electricity meters installed in Australian homes.
The first is an Interval Meter, which records energy use in half-hour intervals. A technician reads this meter in person. It also allows you to take advantage of peak or off-peak power usage periods. This may use a clock-type/dial meter – to record your use, write down the individual numbers shown on the dials.
The second is a Flat-Rate Meter, which tells a technician how much energy you have used since installation. These may be electromechanical (Car odometer type) or electronic (LCD clock type.) To read these, simply record the numbers displayed.
The third and becoming more common is the Smart Meter. This is network enabled and sends usage information back to your retailer. This eliminates the need for a meter reader. It also gives you insight into your own usage, as you can use online apps to track it.