Smart Meters - also known in NSW as Advanced Meters - are digital meters located at your home that record the amount of electricity you use in a really smart way. Unlike your existing electricity meter, a smart meter reads and stores your electricity usage in 30 minute intervals and automatically sends this information back to your electricity provider.
The NSW government have made some legislative changes to the metering framework that will fully take effect in December 2017. These changes will make smart meters accessible to most people.
So Why Get a Smart Meter?
There are both immediate and future advantages to allowing an electricity retailer to install a smart meter at your home:
- Remotely-read meters means there's no need for physical meter readings
- Eliminates the need for estimated meter readings meaning more accurate bills
- You'll have more up-to-date information on energy usage and costs
- In the future you will be able to see when you are using the most energy in close to real time giving you the power to better control your energy usage
- Smart meter technology, combined with other emerging digital technology, can (though most likely in the future for most) help you to remotely manage your appliances - you could make your cool in the summer or warm in the winter before you arrive home
- More real-time electricity usage information will allow electricity distributors to better anticipate demand, allowing them to more effectively manage blackouts and other supply problems
REMEMBER: In most cases, electricity retailers will pay the up-front cost of your smart meter and for its installation, but not all retailers will offer access to your up-to-date usage data - so shop around!