Smart meters

Having a smart meter means that you’ll be able to access more accurate and timely usage information online. This means you will be able to make more informed choices about how and when you use electricity.

You’ll also be switched to a new electricity tariff which will change the way you’re billed for the electricity you use. You can read more about tariffs below.

From 1 December 2017, smart meters are the standard new or replacement electricity meter. Plus, if you have a meter enquiry you'll need to contact us instead of your distributor.

New meters and installations

Are you a builder or resident preparing for a new electricity meter installation? If so, you can learn more about the process and resulting changes to your tariffs below.  

Frequently asked questions

I’ve received a notice for a meter upgrade, what do I need to do?

You don’t need to be home for the upgrade but you need to make sure we can get easy access to your electricity meter and main switch. 

I’m building a new development and need to organise a new meter, what do I need to do?

If you require a new connection, the process is simple. 

  1. The builder must liaise with the distributor, as per the normal process.  
  2. The builder must complete our New Meter Connection Form.
  3. We’ll notify you once your application has been processed.

For multi occupancy and medium density developments please contact us directly on 1300 815 815 and we’ll organise a dedicated ActewAGL business account manager to assist with the procurement and installation process of your meters.

When will my meter upgrade take place?

If you require a new or replacement meter, you’ll receive a written notice from us which specifies the date and timeframe for your installation. Whilst our aim is to minimise disruption caused during the work, it is possible the installation time may change in the event of unforeseen circumstances or weather. If this is the case, we’ll issue you with a new notice which specifies the revised day of your installation. 

Will there be any upfront charges?

During the meter upgrade we may need to perform some additional work to bring your metering installation up to the required standard. 

  • For additional work up to $150, we will go ahead with the upgrade and charge the amount to your next electricity bill.
  • For anything above $150, we will not commence the upgrade and will contact you to discuss next steps.

What happens during a meter upgrade?

Once our technician arrives at your premises they’ll notify any occupiers on site in person. During your upgrade, you may experience an outage of up to 3 hours to allow us to conduct the required safety checks and perform the work. We’ll let you know once your meter is installed, or if more works are required, by leaving a notice in your letterbox with instructions on the day.  

You can read more about planned interruptions under the Emergencies, Faults and Outages section below.

What if I, or someone in my home, is a registered life support customer?

If a person in your household is reliant on life support equipment, please make the necessary arrangements for the duration of your power interruption. For more information about preparing for a power interruption, visit actewagl.com.au/life-support.

Can I opt out of getting a smart meter?

From 1 December 2017, legislation requires that if you require a new or replacement electricity meter, you must be issued with a smart meter. If you prefer, you can opt out of the communications functionality within your meter (the digital communications functionality enables your meter to be read remotely). If you choose to opt out, we will need to read your meter manually and you will be charged additional fees for this service. You can opt out by contacting us via the following methods:

  • in writing: ActewAGL, GPO Box 366, Canberra ACT 2601
  • call 13 14 93 between 8.00am and 5.00pm Monday - Friday.

New tariffs with smart meter

Once you have a smart meter you’ll be placed on a new tariff for your electricity usage. This means that you may be charged differently for the electricity that you use. We’ve outlined the changes and what they mean for you. 

What’s changing?

If you live in the ACT you will be moved to a ‘demand tariff’ by default. 

If you live in NSW, you will be moved to a ‘time-of-use tariff’ by default if your new meter is installed after 1 July 2018. Before this date you can remain on your current tariff.

In all cases, you’ll be notified about this change prior to your meter upgrade. If you find that your tariff doesn’t suit your needs, you’ll have the opportunity to change your tariff type once in a 12-month period. For customers in the ACT, this change can only be to the smart meter time-of-use tariff. All other tariffs in the ACT will become unavailable for customers who have a smart meter at their premises. You can change your tariff by contacting us on 13 14 93, between 8:00am and 6:00pm, Monday to Friday.

 

Tariffs explained

Demand tariff

Demand tariffs are designed to encourage you not to use too much electricity at peak usage times when demand for electricity is at its highest.

These tariffs are made up of three charges;

  • Supply charge – A fixed price per day charge for the supply of electricity to your premises.
  • Usage charge – A cents per kilowatt hour charge based on electricity consumed.
  • Demand charge – A cents per kilowatt per day rate applied to your highest 30 minute usage during peak time.

How your electricity demand charges are calculated

Demand charges are calculated monthly and are based on your electricity usage during peak times, when most people are using electricity. 

Your demand charge will be your maximum demand recorded during a 30 minute period during the peak times (for example, between 5:00pm and 8:00pm for residential customers in the ACT and measured in kilowatt (kW), multiplied by the relevant demand charge rate in ActewAGL’s schedule of charges and multiplied by the number of days in the month. The table below is an example of calculating the demand charge.

Demand charge = Maximum demand over a 30 minute period during the peak times (measured in kW) x Demand charge rate (stated in the schedule of charges) x number of days in the month

$28.98* = 6kW x $0.1610 x 30 days

*Charges relevant to the ACT ‘Smart Meter Home Demand’ tariff.

The peak times are identified in our schedule of charges, which are available online at actewagl.com.au/prices

Tips for using a demand tariff

  • Try to avoid running numerous electrical appliances at the same time during the peak times. 
  • If possible, use appliances outside the peak times when demand is not charged.
  • If you have alternative energy sources, like gas for cooking, use these instead of electrical appliances.

Time-of-use tariff

Time-of-use (TOU) tariffs are designed to encourage you to shift your electricity usage to different times of the day. You will be charged at different rates for using electricity at the different times. The cost of electricity is at the highest during peak periods (for example, early in the evening) and cheapest during off-peak periods (for example, overnight). 

How TOU is calculated

Time-of-use tariffs are made up of four charges. The following applies to an ACT residential time of use tariff.  Refer to our schedule of charges for other time of use tariffs.

  • Supply charge – A fixed price per day charge for the supply of electricity to your premises.
  • Energy consumption at ‘peak’ times – c/kwh rate applied to usage from 7.00am to 9.00am and from 5pm to 8pm every day.
  • Energy consumption at ‘shoulder’ times – c/kwh rate applied to usage from 9.00am to 5.00pm and from 8.00pm to 10.00pm every day.
  • Energy consumption at ‘off-peak’ times – c/kwh rate applied to consumption for all other times.

Tips for using a time-of-use tariff

  • Use electrical appliances during off-peak or shoulder periods.
  • If you have alternative energy sources, like gas for cooking, use these instead of electrical appliances.
  • Use appliances only when necessary and switch them off when they're not being used in peak times.
  • Set your air conditioner to an energy-efficient 25 degrees but try to avoid running it during the peak times.
  • Talk to a licensed electrician about switching your pool pump, hot water system and dishwasher to an economy tariff or put on a timer to operate outside of peak times.

Emergencies, faults and outages

Unplanned power interruptions

Any unplanned power outages in your area will be treated as a priority. You are responsible for ensuring there is a backup supply of power at your premises in case of an emergency. If a person in your household is on life support equipment, please make the necessary arrangements for the duration of your interruption. For more information to help you prepare visit actewagl.com.au/life-support

In the case of an emergency during an unplanned power interruption, please contact your local distributor from the table below. Alternatively, refer to the Emergencies and faults phone number located in the top right corner of your bill. 

Network provider

Emergencies and faults phone number

ActewAGL Distribution

13 10 93

Essential Energy

13 20 80

Endeavour Energy

13 10 03

Planned power interruptions

In the case of a planned power interruption, either ActewAGL or your distributor will notify you in advance to allow you time to arrange alternative power. . If a person in your household is on life support equipment, please make the necessary arrangements for the duration of your interruption. For more information to help you prepare visit actewagl.com.au/life-support

What you need to do

  • Please provide clear access to your electricity meter and main switch during this period. 
  • If a person in your household is on life support equipment, please make the necessary arrangements for the duration of your interruption. For more information to help you prepare visit actewagl.com.au/life-support.

How to prepare for your planned interruption:

  • You do not need to be at your premises at the time of your planned interruption, however there does need to be clear access to your meter and main switch.
  • Ensure that any pets are secured.
  • Switch off sensitive appliances at the wall.