Understanding your meter

A quick guide to electricity meters 


Your meter keeps track of how much electricity you’ve used to help us bill you correctly. To do that, meter readers from Power and Water Corporation visit your property and need safe access to do so.  And that’s important, because if the reader can’t access your meter, they’ll leave a card asking you to call through the reading so that you can get an accurate bill. That’s why it’s good to know what sort of meter you have and how to read it yourself.

What meter do you have?


There are three different types of meters here in the Territory:

Basic meter
Most houses in the Territory have one of these and it records electricity as you use it.

Smart meter
This records your power use every 15 minutes and stores the information in its memory.

Prepayment meter
This meter allows you to ‘pay as you go’ and it can make budgeting easier.

Where is your meter hiding?


This will depend on what sort of property you live in or on.

The power meter is usually located in a metal box on the front or side of your house. If you live in a unit, you may have to ask your body corporate where to find the meter. Rural consumers will usually find the power meter in a metal box on a pole at the front of their property.

The power meter is in a metal box on the front or side of your house or a pole at the front of your property.

The power meter is usually located in a common area or near the entrance. Some neighbouring commercial customers cluster the meters together in an easily accessible common area.

When can you expect your meter to be read?


If yours is a basic meter, someone from Power and Water will need to read it every three months. If they can’t get to your meter safely, the reader will do an estimate. An estimated bill is based on two bits of information:

  • How much electricity you used in the previous 12-month period
  • If we don’t have that data, your bill will be based on the average usage of a similar household.


Smart meter benefits


The new Smart meters (electronic interval meters) can be read remotely. They send an accurate digital reading of your electricity use to Power and Water. This will reduce the need for workers to enter your property and they can be programmed to suit your tariff requirements.

The new Smart meters are being used for:

  • single phase and three phase metering
  • solar PV metering
  • time-of-use metering.

Get in touch with Power and Water for more info about the new Smart meters.

While you're here...

Prepaid meters
Keep an eye on exactly how much electricity you use and top up when you need to.

What’s an estimated read?
If Power and Water can’t get to your meter, they’ll estimate your read. Learn how to avoid this happening.
14 tips to beat the heat
We can show you how to keep you cool and lower your bills at the same time.