Do I need a smart meter for my home electricity connection?
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Smart Meter vs Analogue: make your new electricity connection a breeze!

You might have heard that when you are moving home electricity it can be a hassle to arrange your final meter read, with delays or access issues resulting in estimated bills that can cost you money (and patience!) Well, there’s a solution to that now, and it’s called a smart meter!

This page will discuss how a smart meter can help you, not only when you move, but also with some long-term savings on your electricity plan.

  • How to read a smart meter vs analogue meter
  • How can a smart meter save me money?
  • What is the best retailer for a smart meter?
  • Important information for Victorian residents
  • Information for other states

How to read a smart meter vs analogue meter

Smart meters (also known as digital, advanced or Type 4 meters) can be read in two ways. To take a manual reading, simply read the numbers from left to right on the digital display. This is much easier, and less open to human error and interpretation than reading analogue meters, with complicated clock faces and readings that fall between digits.

But the real advantage of a smart meter is that you don’t have to take a manual reading at all. A smart meter sends data every 5 or 30 minutes to an app on your phone and to your electricity retailer to provide live tracking of your usage.

When you move house, this means you don’t need to rely on a technician to come and take a reading, because your retailer will already have all the information they need to issue your final bill. 

But the convenience afforded when you move is only the tip of the iceberg. Keep reading to discover more advantages of smart meters.

How can a smart meter save me money on my electricity bill?

There are several ways a smart meter can lead to cheaper electricity for your home:

Time of Use (ToU) tariffs

A ToU tariff gives you access to very low rates for electricity that you use during your retailer’s off-peak periods. You will need a smart meter, with its ability to report usage in 5 or 30-minute blocks, to be eligible for these tariffs, so that your retailer can accurately see how much energy you are using at different times of the day.

Energy efficiency

Smart meters come with an app for your home, or an in-home device, from your distributor or retailer. These devices let you see your usage in real-time and often use graphical representations to help you see when you are using the most energy and if there are times when it is possible to reduce wastage and become more efficient.

Solar power

If you install solar panels, you will need to upgrade to a smart meter to enable you to give your excess energy back to the grid and receive a solar feed-in tariff (FiT) from your retailer.

Switch providers

With an analogue meter, it is often recommended that you wait until the end of your billing period, when a regular reading is taken from your meter, to switch providers. This reduces the risk of paying twice for energy during the cross-over period between suppliers.

With a smart meter, because it takes readings in real-time, you can compare electricity plans and switch with confidence, no matter what stage of the billing cycle you are in. So if you see a great deal, there is nothing stopping you from jumping straight on it!

Better management of the network

Retailers and distributors receive a constant supply of data from their customers with smart meters, meaning they are better able to predict peak demand to manage supply and detect and respond to faults in the network faster.

What is the best retailer for a smart meter?

If your new property electricity and gas connections have a smart meter, or you have decided to upgrade, look for a retailer that offers ToU tariffs, controlled load tariffs and FiTs to maximise your savings.

To get you started, we’ve listed some of our favourite options below, or simply give Move-In Connect a call on 1300 786 045 to discuss your unique needs with one of our experts. 

(Prices correct in August 2022.)

If you are starting to feel a bit overwhelmed by choice, don’t worry, that’s what our moving utilities services are here for! One of our experts will consider your personal energy usage needs and match you with the perfect plan to make sure your smart meter is working hard to save you money.

Important information for Victorian customers

The Victorian state government has completed a mandatory rollout of over 2 million smart meters. This was in part to make the cheapest electricity in Victoria available to all residents through ToU tariffs and the efficiencies afforded to distributors and retailers, and also to expedite the transition to renewables, by setting up all homes to be solar-ready.

What if I live in another state?

In all states connected to the National Electricity Market (NEM), except Victoria, all new meters must be intermediate powerlifting program smart meters. It is no longer allowed to install an analogue meter, however, there is no requirement to upgrade your current meter unless it becomes faulty or stops working.

You can request a smart meter from your retailer at any time if you would like to make the most of some of the advantages it brings.

Useful links

Below is some useful information to make sure you find the best deal for your energy when you move home.

Fees to connect electricity and gas when you move

How long does it take to connect electricity to my new home?

Connect and compare new electricity and gas

Moving hints and tips

How do I connect electricity and gas in my new rental?