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Help with Meters

Electricity and gas meters allow us to accurately tell how much energy you’ve used. They measure energy in units – on your gas meter one unit equals one cubic metre (m3). On your electricity meter, one unit equals one kilowatt hour (kWh). Sounds complicated but it’s just an accurate way to measure how much you use.

Smart Meters

We’re rolling out electricity smart meters around the country now – which means fewer estimated bills, less reading meters and you can check in online to see how much energy you’re using.

  • You’ll usually be billed using an actual read. Unless there’s a problem, it’s all done with technology.
  • You can track your energy use any time through our Online Services. The more you know about how you use your energy, the easier it’ll be to manage your costs.
  • We’ll give you plenty of warning when we’re coming to upgrade the old meter at your place. 

Smart meters depend on network coverage, so there’s a chance the meter signal could be unavailable if the network signal is down or weak. If this happens, we may need to send you an estimated bill or call by to read your meter. If your main switch is turned off, we won't receive any data for that period.

To find out more about smart meters, click here to view the fact sheet from the Electricity Authority.

Standard Meters

Meter readings vs estimates

Typically every two or three months one of our meter readers, who will always have a card showing they’re from Contact, will call by to read your meter. You’ll be able to spot when that happens because there will be a note on your bill saying ‘based on actual read’ – so we’ve used your actual meter reading to calculate the energy you’ve used that month.

On the months we don’t take a reading, we work out an estimate of your energy use, based on what you’ve used in the past at a similar time of year. On your bill, you’ll see a note saying 'Based on estimate read.'

Looking after your meter

Meters are handy little things so we need to keep them in good nick. We provide the meters on your property, so if you think they’re not working properly, let us know and we’ll get straight on to it.  With your own meter box or board, you’re responsible for the maintenance and repairs. 
Boxes

Reading a Dial Meter

Some households still use dial meters -- which are quite easy to read:
  1. Grab a pen and paper
  2. Read the dials from left to right
  3. Look where the pointer is sitting and write down the lowest number it’s nearest to
  4. The meter reading would be 83809
boxes

Reading a Digital Meter

Digital meters have no dials, just a panel with numbers on it:

  1. Grab a pen and paper
  2. Write down the numbers from left to right
  3. Don't write down any numbers that come after a full stop or are in a different colour
  4. The meter reading would be 26653

 

Wells is the new meter reading company for the South Island.

Changes in the South Island

Wells is the new meter reading company for the South Island. This change happened between November 2016 and February 2017. The Wells meter ready will carry photo ID and their logo will be on vehicles and uniforms.

Your meter read date may change but rest assured there is no action you need to take. If we need to change your meter read date, your bill may arrive earlier or later than usual, or you may receive and estimated bill. Everything will be back to normal the following month.
 
Have some questions about this change? No problem, click here to send us an enquiry.