Learn about smart meters
Smart meters – what exactly are they? How do they differ to a ‘regular’ or a basic meter and how do you know if you’ve got one already?
We’ve put together some FAQs to help you understand smart meters and to outline the benefits of having one installed at your home.
Plus, all the common questions on costs (hint: there are none), installation timeframes and more.
What is a smart meter?
A smart meter is able to measure your electricity usage digitally every 30 minutes and send that information directly to us (Simply Energy) each day. There’s no more need for meter reader to visit your property and no more estimated reads.
They can also measure the power quality of your electricity and notify your distributor if your power goes out.
What are the benefits of having a smart meter?
A smart meter can help you take control of your electricity bill by providing information about when and how much electricity you use, including:
- Detailed information about your energy use on a regular basis – this information can help you understand and adjust your usage or find the best deal for you. We’ve made viewing your usage easy with Tracker - a weekly update, delivered to straight to your inbox. You can discover more about Tracker here.
- Allowing electricity distributors to detect outages more quickly and monitor the quality of your electricity supply – this will help to minimise the number and length of electricity supply outages.
- Giving you access to a wider range of services, including battery storage and solar systems.
- The option of adding an in-home display which can help you understand your energy use even further down to individual appliances.
How do I know if I have a smart meter already?
Smart meters generally have a digital face with numbers or digits that represent your current read data and electricity consumption. In Victoria, smart meters are in place in all homes and they’re increasingly being rolled-out across Australia.
Basic or analogue meters generally have a dial that spins around, recording your consumption in kWh.
Find out more on the different types of meters and how to read them here.
Who are Intellihub?
Our authorised smart meter install partner – Intellihub- coordinate the whole meter installation process on our behalf. You’ll be able to track the installation process through an online tool on your smart phone and they’ll be in touch with you regularly and provide SMS updates along the way.
View the video here from which explains the Intellihub Tech Tracker service.
Are smart meters safe?
All smart and digital meters are manufactured and installed according to Australian Standards and are regulated by the Australian Communications and Media Authority.
Smart meters produce less radio frequency than most standard household items, including baby monitors and mobile phones.
Health authorities around the world, including ARPANSA and the World Health Organization (WHO), have examined the scientific evidence regarding possible health effects from smart meters. Current research indicates that there are no established health effects from smart meters.
For more information on smart meter safety, visit the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) website.
Is smart meter data private?
Do I need to have a smart meter?
It depends on your circumstances. You may need to upgrade to a smart meter to accommodate solar panels or additional heating. Plus, there are many additional benefits of having a smart meter as outlined within our FAQs.
Do I need to be home for the installation? How long does it take?
The good news is you don’t have to be home when your smart meter is being installed, but we will need you to ensure we have clear access to your current meter so we can carry out the works.
The installation takes between 30 – 60 minutes. Your power will need to be off during this time.
Are there any costs associated with installing a smart meter?
If you’re with Simply Energy, changing over to a smart meter comes at no cost to you.
However, there may be additional costs if, for instance, we find asbestos or if extra work is required when we attempt to change your meter over. Don’t worry though – we’ll talk you through any issues before carrying out any work.
Smart meters and solar panels.
If you’re thinking of installing a solar system, you’ll need a smart meter installed too.
If you’re interested in getting solar panels, you’ll need a smart meter installed too. You won’t have to pay for a new meter as part of your solar installation and it will be solar system ready and good to go.
What’s the connection between smart meters and electricity tariffs?
Your electricity tariff will initially be set by your energy distributor. A smart meter may enable you to access other tariffs that charge lower rates at particular times of day. All are charged separately based on the time you use your electricity.
Read our guide explaining electricity tariffs here.
What is Tracker and how does it work with a smart meter?
Tracker is simply brilliant tool that helps you manage your energy usage. It works with a smart meter to monitor how much electricity your household uses daily and sends you weekly updates, straight to your inbox.
Getting Tracker is easy. All you need is a Simply Energy electricity account, smart meter and email address. Find out more here.