Guidance for customers seeking to read their own meter
If you have received a bill which shows we have estimated your electricity usage, you might be able to ask us to change your bill based on your own reading of your meter. This reading is called a ‘customer read estimate’ and is sometimes referred to as a ‘self-read’.
This guidance sets out when and how you can submit a customer read estimate and when we will change your bill based on your own reading under energy legislation.
Please note: This guidance only deals with the requirements in the energy legislation. You may also need to arrange or agree on access to your meter with your building owner or manager and that must be done separately from the steps set out in this guidance.
1. Understanding Meters
A meter is installed at your premises to measure how much gas or electricity is being used. There are several different types of meters available to record and display your usage. Different meters record and display information differently.
Accumulation meters, sometimes called single rate or flat meters, measure the total amount of electricity that has been consumed by the property since installation. They are an older type of meter and are not capable of indicating when electricity has been used.
Smart meters are a newer type of meter and can record when electricity has been used.
Sometimes, we will estimate your bill. We do this, for example, when we have been unable to access your meter.
2. When you are able to submit a customer read estimate
You will only be able to submit a customer read estimate if:
• You are a small customer (a residential or small business customer, contact us if you are unsure);
• The bill is based on an estimate (your bill will indicate whether this is the case);
• You do not receive a solar feed-in tariff; and
• Your electricity is measured using an accumulation meter.
3. Reading your Electricity Meter
Electricity meters and the area in which they are located are designed with safety and security in mind; however, they can still pose dangers.
As above, you may also need to seek the consent or approval of your building owner or manager before accessing your meter.
If you have obtained the above consent, when approaching your meter, be aware of any potential hazards. Look for exposed wires and damage to the meter or metering box. If there appears to be any damage or anything else hazardous about the situation, immediately leave the area and contact your building manager or Microgrid Power.
There are two types of meter that you may need to read:
A. Analogue 'clock-face' Display Meters
This meter has several dials that look like analogue clocks. There may be four, five or six dials, alternating in direction. To read this meter, look at the numbers shown on each dial, reading from left to right. If the hand on the dial is between 2 numbers, read the lower number. When it is between 0 and 9, read the nine 9.
The Reading on this meter would be 39803 which means consumption of 39, 803 kilowatt hours.
B. Digital Display Meters
Your meter may, instead of having a display of dials, simply have a digital display. This will look similar to the odometer of your car. Your meter screen may cycle through a number of different displays. Whatever number is indicated on the digital display that shows the letters ‘kw/h’ is the total number of kilowatt hours consumed at that point.
In the case of either type of meter, to determine your energy usage for the period, subtract the meter reading from your last bill from your self-read of the meter.
4. How to submit a customer read estimate
If you wish to submit your own read to us as a customer read estimate, we need to receive your read before the due date of your bill. You need to take a photo of the meter display and send it to us. The meter display needs to be clearly shown.
The photo must be sent to Microgrid Power at firstname.lastname@example.org . In that email, you must state your name, address and your National Metering Identifier (NMI) or metering number (this will be listed in your last bill).
5. When we will not accept your customer read estimate
We will not accept and adjust a bill on the basis of your customer read estimate, where:
• the photo does not clearly show the display or appears to be tampered with in some way;
• the meter in the photograph is not your meter;
• we have reason to believe that the meter has been tampered with in some way to arrive at that reading;
• we receive it after the due date for payment of the bill.
If we do not accept your customer read estimate, you have the right to:
• make a complaint to us which we will consider in line with our standard complaints and dispute resolution procedures;
• ask us to review your bill; or
• complain or lodge a dispute with the Energy and Water Ombudsman NSW (for customers in NSW).
5. What happens when we do accept your customer-read estimate?
If you satisfy the requirements indicated in this guidance, we will promptly and at no extra charge, provide you with an adjusted bill based on the customer read estimate.