Frequently asked questions

Digital Meter Replacement

Why are you installing digital meters?

From 1 Dec 2017, all new and replacement meters in NSW, ACT, SA and QLD must be digital.

When will digital meters be rolled out?

Any new or replacement meters requested from 1 Dec 2017 onwards must be digital meters.

Do I need to get a digital meter now?

Not immediately. From 1 Dec 2017 only new and replacement meters need to be digital.

Will you be replacing everyone’s meters?

No, only new and replacement meters are required to be digital from 1 Dec 2017.

Can I have a digital meter now even if I don’t need a replacement?

Not yet, but we're working on options for customers to purchase digital meters on request.

I don't want a digital meter - can I get a new basic meter instead?

No, under these new regulations your new or replacement meter needs to be digital to be compliant.

Do I need to get permission from my landlord to get a digital meter?

No, as the account holder of the electricity service at the property you're not required to seek your landlord's permission. However you may need to contact them if we identify any issues with your wiring which need to be fixed by an electrician.

Will my meter be digital if I don’t have 3G or 4G mobile coverage?

Your meter will record half hourly data and a meter reader collect your usage data manually.

My meter is due to be replaced on 2 December - will I get a digital meter?

No, only meters ordered on or after 1 December will be digital meters.  Even where there is a long lead time for connection, the industry has until 31 March 2018 to finalise installation of basic meters requested up to 30 November 2017.

If I have two meters but only one needs replacing will you change both?

Yes, meters at the same site must all be the same type – either basic or digital, not a mix of the two. We'll confirm any costs with you before we proceed with the work.

I have solar connected at my property. Can I have a digital meter with solar?

Yes, digital meters work with your solar installation.

Can I take my digital meter with me when I move?

No, all meters must remain where they have been installed.

Is anyone excluded from this metering change?

Sites in Mount Isa and selected isolated communities are exempt as they're not part of the National Electricity Market. In these locations, Ergon Network will determine the meter required for your premises, just as they currently do.

Will my meter box need to be upgraded?  Who pays for it?

You won’t have to make any changes if your meter box/board complies with current standards. If it doesn't, or contains asbestos or timber backing, you'll need to organise for it to be made compliant at your expense.

What if I don't want my data sent electronically? How will you read it?

You can request to switch your meter's communications off, however fees apply to restore this before your vacating your premises.  A meter reader will collect your usage data manually while you don't have communications.

Prices and billing

What will the digital meter cost?

Ergon Retail is currently finalising the pricing for digital meters.  It is unlikely that the prices will be any more than the current fees and charges for basic meters.

Can I stay on quarterly bills with a digital meter?

At this point we are only able to offer monthly billing with digital meter, however we are looking into options for customers to receive their bills quarterly.

Will I get a new bill after the meter is installed?  When do I have to pay this?

You'll receive two interim bills before you receive a full monthly bill. The first is for the period between your last bill and the date of your meter change. The next will cover the short period between your meter change and the start of your normal monthly bill cycle. All of your bills will have clearly marked due dates.

Will a digital meter change any donations or subscriptions on my account?

If you donate to the Royal Flying Doctor Service or subscribe to Clean Energy for Home or Clean Energy for Business these amounts will be applied to each of your monthly bills. You can update your voluntary arrangement anytime online.

Will a digital meter change any payment arrangements on my account?

Replacing your meter will not will change any payment arrangements you have on your account.

Can I still have email billing if I'm billed monthly?

Yes, you will continue to receive your bills in the same way you do now, unless you decide to change.

Meter installation

Why do you need to turn off my power?

Your power needs to be off to safely remove and replace your meter.  This is done by turning off the main switch on your switchboard.  The change process is expected to take around 30 minutes or a little longer if the work is more complex than anticipated.

How will I know when the installation will happen?

We'll send a notification to your premises address with the date and approximate time our crews will be there to install your meter.

Do I need to be there when the meter is installed?

If your meter box, main switchboard/s and main switch/es can be easily accessed, you do not need to be there.

Do I need to organise an electrician?

Some customers prefer to have an electrician check their meter board before the installation, however it's not a requirement.

Who do I call if I want to change the appointment time?

Please contact us using the phone number provided on the notifcation with details on the interruption to your supply.

Who will turn up to install my new meter?

Technicians will be authorised by Ergon Retail and will carry or wear identification. They are required to produce identification to you if requested.

When you install the meter, will my power be switched off?

Yes, usually for about 30 minutes however it could more complex jobs could take longer.

How long will it take to be installed?

Usually around 1 to 2 hours depending on the complexity of the job.

Safety, Health and Security

Do digital meters cause any health effects?

Current research indicates that there are no established health effects from using a digital meter.  Your meter will send signals at very low power for just a fraction of a second.

How are signal levels from digital meters regulated in Australia?

Digital meters, mobile phones and other wireless devices used for communication are regulated by the Australian Communications and Media Authority, which requires them to comply with exposure limits ensuring they are not harmful. For more information visit arpansa.gov.au

Is my meter and data secure? Can it be hacked?

Digital meters and associated data communication equipment must comply with strict standards for accuracy and security. Data is sent using systems and protocols that meet Queensland Government cyber security standards, the Australian Government’s Privacy Act 1988 and the National Electricity Law. These standards are the same ones that protect all government data.  All customer data will be held and collected in compliance with these requirements, just as it is today.

Will anyone else see my electricity data?

No. Your data and personal information are protected under the National Electricity Law, Queensland Government cyber security standards and the Australian Government’s Privacy Act 1988.

Do digital meters cause fires?

Fires may be caused by faulty wiring, but not your meter.  If you’re concerned about the condition of your electricity wiring, please contact a licenced electrical contractor.

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