Meters for small and medium sized businesses
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 them
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.
How to read your meter
You’ll either have a dial meter or a digital meter. Dial meters look complicated, but there’s an easy way to read them:
- Grab a pen and paper
- Read the dials from left to right
- Look where the pointer is sitting and write down the lowest number it’s nearest to
This meter reading would be 83809
Digital meters are a doddle. There are no dials, just a panel with numbers on it:
- Grab a pen and paper
- Write down the numbers from left to right
- Don’t write down any numbers that come after a decimal point or are in a different colour
The meter reading would be 26653
Meters for large businesses
Your business will use a ‘profile’ meter or a ‘time of use’ meter.
This is read either monthly or bi-monthly. The previous reading is subtracted from the current reading to determine the electricity consumed. It’s then charged out at a flat rate (cents per kWh), plus fixed charges. Profile meters are usually installed for small to medium businesses.
See an example invoice (551KB).
Time Of Use meter
This type of meter is also known as a ‘logger’. The electricity meter is connected to an electronic device that records the electricity consumption for a site every 30 minutes, storing the information in a log that’s downloaded and used to invoice you.
The total consumption for the billing period (month) is charged out at a ‘cents per kWh’ rate, broken down into time zones (day & night).
If you have Time Of Use metering, you can move your usage to different parts of the day to take advantage of lower rates when demand isn’t as high.
Usually installed for medium to large businesses, they are supplied on a contract basis. Under the industry rules, any site over 345kVA (500amps) must have Time Of Use metering, but some networks require this type of metering for a lower kVA.
See an example invoice (860KB).
Low or high voltage metering
Time Of Use meters can be low voltage or high voltage. Most sites are metered at 400 Volts, called LV metering. The other voltage is 11,000 Volts or 11kV and the meter set up requires voltage transformers to step down the voltage to 110 Volts before being metered.