Smart meters and how they work

Your smart meter is a two-way digital communication device that is located at your home or small business to measure the amount of electricity you use. Smart meters open up a range of options to help you to understand and manage your consumption and costs.

How does my smart meter work?

Your meter records electricity usage every 30 minutes and automatically sends this data to your electricity distributor.

How your smart Meter helps you take charge of your power bill. Your smart meter measures and records electricity usage ever 30 minutes. Data is transmitted to electricity distributros who own and manage the grid, poles and wires. Energy providers make consumption data available to you, via web portal or in home display. You can monitor you household's energy usage to help compare offers and better manage costs

How to read your smart meter?

Video produced by the Energy and Water Ombudsman (Victoria)

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What benefits can I get from my smart meter?

Automatic outage detection and restoration: Smart meters quickly notify your electricity distributor if your power is out. The problem can be located faster, repair crews can be allocated in a priority manner and repairs can begin sooner.

Remote meter readings: Your meter is remotely read, eliminating the need for manual meter reading. This means you will no longer receive estimated bills.

SMS notifications of power outages: Victorian electricity customers can register for a free SMS service to notify of major electricity outages. You will receive information about outages in your area and the estimated restoration time. For more information, contact your distributor .

SMS Notifications from Distributors of Power Outages

CompanyArea ServedFaultsGeneral Enquiries
Ausnet Services Outer northern and eastern suburbs and eastern Victoria13 17 991300 360 795
Citipower City and inner suburbs13 12 801300 301 101
Jemena Northern and north-western suburbs13 16 26
SMS service: 0427 840 744
1300 131 871
Powercor Australia Western suburbs and western Victoria13 24 1213 22 06
United Energy Distribution Southern suburbs and Mornington peninsula13 20 99
SMS service: 0447 100 333
1300 131 689

In-home display: You can monitor your own usage in almost real time using web portals and in-home displays. This means you can have more control over your daily energy use.

Energy alerts: You can set up your system to receive messages warning you of excessive energy consumption, giving you the opportunity to take action.

Cheaper costs when moving house: Power companies can now remotely turn power on or off, which means that disconnection and reconnection fees have dropped from about $25 to between $5 and $8.

Smoother switching between retailers: You no longer need to wait for your next scheduled meter reading to switch retailers. Connecting, disconnecting or switching to a new electricity retailer is cheaper and easier because you can get onto a better plan and start saving more quickly.

Flexible pricing: On a flexible pricing plan the cost of electricity changes according to what time of the day you use it. The technology of smart meters has made it likely that other innovative pricing options will also become available in the future.

Smart appliances / smart thermostats: You can time when your appliances will start, or turn them on remotely. A smart thermostat takes all the guesswork out of keeping your house at the right temperature.

Solar: You can easily monitor what percentages of solar and mains electricity you are using and change your usage patterns to take advantage of your solar generation.

Who is responsible for my smart meter?

Smart meters are the property of the electricity distributors. Find your distributor at Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning or call 136 186.

To find out more, visit smart meters.

If you have a complaint about an electricity retailer or distributor, and have been unable to resolve it directly with them, you can call the Energy and Water Ombudsman (Victoria) (EWOV) for assistance. For further information please visit the EWOV's website or call 1800 500 509.