Digital meters

Information for NSW, QLD and SA customers.

Victorian customers

Digital electricity meters have been rolled out across most of Victoria. Powerdirect doesn't supply these meters, however if you have any questions, feel free to get in touch with us and we can liaise with your network provider.

Digital meters give you energy your way

Understanding digital meters

Under new metering rules, digital electricity meters will progressively be made available to all residential and small business customers.

Unlike the previous generation of meters, digital meters communicate between your home and your energy supplier using a wireless network. 

Your digital meter will measure your home electricity use every 30 minutes and automatically send this data to your retailer at the end of each day via a secure wireless network.

As digital meters can be read remotely and your usage data is sent automatically, in most cases the need for on-site meter reads and estimated bills is significantly reduced. 

You can access your meter data by submitting a request.

How long does installation take?

New meter installation
A meter provider will install the meter within 6 business days or on a specific date agreed with you after the distributor (the company responsible for the poles and wires) has completed the connection/supply work.

Changing your meter 
It will take up to 15 business days to complete a standard work request (unless a specific date has been agreed directly with you).

The above timelines are subject to the following conditions:

  • Safe environment (nothing to prevent installation such as a loose switchboard, exposed wires or a point of attachment that is too high or low)
  • Clear access to the meter box
  • Unlocked gates
  • Installing the meter will not disrupt another customers electricity supply
  • For complex meter exchanges the distributor needs to undertake any supply related pre-work prior to the meter being installed
  • If you have life support equipment, an appointment is always required (applicable for meter change only)

FAQs

As digital meters can be read remotely and your usage data is sent automatically, in most cases the need for on-site meter reads and estimated bills is significantly reduced. 

You can request access to your meter data by submitting a request.

If there’s safe and clear access to your meter, you don’t have to be at the property during the installation unless you have life support equipment. Make sure there are no obstacles around the meter (including debris, vegetation, pests or animals) and that any gates or meter boxes are unlocked. If you have concerns about accessibility of the meter, contact us ahead of your scheduled visit.

Where we exchange your existing meter for a digital meter, you won’t have to pay for any upfront standard installation costs. In some cases, following a visit from our meter installer, you may be asked to undertake remedial works at your own (or your landlord’s) cost to ensure the site is safe, accessible and suitable for a new meter installation.

When we exchange meters we may need to disrupt your electricity supply for a short period. This also might be the case for any other meter works. The letter you received is your notice of the expected time and date when the technician will visit your property and the disruption will occur.

If there is safe and clear access to your meter, there’s nothing you need to do – you don’t even need to be at the property unless you have life support equipment. If life support equipment is present, we require you to be at the property to confirm supply is completely restored after the meter is changed.

Absolutely. Digital meter data is secure and all personal information is confidential. No customer names or addresses are attached to the transmission of meter data. The meter number and NMI (National Meter Identifier) are matched up with customer information only after it has reached the central data station, which is secured. For more details, view our Privacy Policy.

Digital meters and their communication networks are equipped with advanced security features that prevent unauthorised access.

The wireless links between digital meters and retailers like Powerdirect are encrypted and cannot be disabled. These links do not use the internet, providing further security. No customer names or addresses are attached to the transmission of meter data.

Yes – all digital meters meet the wireless electro-magnetic exposure limits set by the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) and enforced by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). Digital meters have lower emissions than many other electrical devices commonly found in households, such as mobile and cordless phones, wi-fi modems, microwaves, televisions and baby monitors.

All digital meters being installed meet current Australian Standards including those related to safety.

For more information, view the ARPANSA fact sheet.

Digital meters are not dangerous. All digital meters installed are regulated by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) and have frequencies similar to common household electronics like mobile phones and televisions. The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) sets exposure limits and concludes that ‘no scientific evidence exists that low levels of radio-frequency electromagnetic energy exposure from digital meters causes any health effects or symptoms of ill-health'.

For more information, visit:
NSW: Smart Meters
SA: Smart Meters
QLD: Digital Meters 
VIC: Smart Meters

A digital meter installation can still proceed, however the meter technician will need to test the strength of the telecommunications signal to your property. If the signal is found to be too weak to deliver remote services (such as meter readings) to your home, the wireless communications signal may need to be switched off and alternative arrangements put in place. We’ll discuss these alternative arrangements with you if they’re necessary.

No – having a digital meter installed doesn't affect your customer rights or the protections provided to you under the National Energy Retail Rules. You still have the right to seek and access energy concessions, rebates and hardship schemes offered by Powerdirect, other retailers or the State Government (where applicable in conjunction with each scheme’s conditions). You also retain access to existing dispute resolution paths.

Yes – digital meters are equipped with remote functionality to be able to be read, disconnected and reconnected. These meters also have features to protect against hazards such as electric shock and fire damage.

If you don't wish to have remote communications enabled on your digital meter, you can request this at the time of installation. Additional charges may apply for digital meters without remote communications and some products or services may not be available.

No – your digital meter operates at a low frequency and power level; it won't interfere with any other equipment in your home.

We’ll notify you if we're planning an upgrade to your current meter, at which point, you can contact us to opt out. However, opting out of a current or future new meter deployment won’t stop you from receiving a digital meter if your current meter needs to be replaced for technical, regulatory or maintenance reasons. For more information, see the Australian Energy Regulator’s Smart Meters and You Fact Sheet.

Once Powerdirect has confirmed details of a digital meter installation at your property, a qualified electrical installer will be sent to complete the installation. Sometimes during the process, an issue (commonly called a ‘site defect’) is discovered which prevents the installer from continuing immediately with the job. This could include the discovery of electrical issues or on-site contaminants, like asbestos. If this occurs, the meter installer will provide you with information outlining the site defect, why it prevented installation, who is responsible for rectification works and who you should contact to discuss the matter further.

Note that wiring issues associated with the circuitry in the home, the switchboard and the meter box remain the responsibility of the homeowner.

All wiring issues associated with the circuitry in the home, the switchboard and the meter box are the responsibility of the homeowner. If a site defect has been discovered at your home, get in touch with your landlord or real estate agency and ask them to address the problem. Powerdirect can guide you through the process.

We don’t require permission from the landlord to install a digital meter.

If you’re experiencing issues with a Powerdirect electricity account which you think are due to your digital meter, contact us and we’ll investigate.