As the way we manage power continues to evolve, Western Power has started installing advanced meters in homes across WA.
An advanced meter is a digital meter with a communications card that talks to our network, remotely monitoring energy flows.
They are an important step in unlocking energy opportunities for our customers, like allowing for peer-to-peer energy trading in the future.
Want to understand more about how they work? Here are some facts about advanced meters...
Advanced meters mean better information
An advanced meter is quite different to your old meter. An advanced meter has a communication card which uses radio frequency to automatically and remotely send energy use data automatically to Western Power.
That data is used to calculate energy bills, and can help us detect faults and supply issues.
Advanced meters are safe
A common but untrue claim about advanced meters is that they can cause health problems.
There are claims that electromagnetic fields emitted by advanced meters can cause electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EMS) or other health issues like insomnia, anxiety and even cancer.
These claims are unfounded.
Current scientific research shows there are no adverse health effects from low exposure electromagnetic fields, which are emitted by everything from your mobile phone, your computer and your wi-fi. EMS is not recognised as a medical syndrome by world health authorities.
Advanced meters emit an even lower frequency than mobile phones, broadcast towers, microwaves, garage door openers and wi-fi, making it even less probable that they’ll have any effect on health.
Advanced meters use radio frequency
Advanced meters use well-established low-level radio frequency and cellular technology to communicate electricity flows to Western Power, supported by 4G.
Using a radio frequency of 900MHz, the transmission used by advanced meters is similar to that used for a garage door opener. It’s simple but efficient and reliable technology, used for that reason in Australia and around the world.
So, advanced meters do not need or use 5G technology.
An advanced meter can only transmit encrypted information related to your energy use. The data Western Power receives from advanced meters is only provided to those with rights to access the data such as the consumer and the consumer’s electricity retailer.
Advanced meters mean fewer estimated bills
Traditional meters are read manually by a meter reader who visits your house to take the read. If we can’t read your meter, we estimate your usage. That reading – whether it’s exact or estimated – is used to calculate your electricity bill.
Advanced meters provide automatic readings to Western Power, so every bill will be based on your actual energy use.
Your electricity bill will not change because of the advanced meter, as it is still based on the amount of power you use.
All electricity meters in Australia are tested in line with strict standards to make sure electricity consumption is accurately measured.
Will I have to pay for a new meter?
There’s no charge for meters installed in new homes or if we’re replacing your old meter for maintenance purposes.
If you have requested a metering service from your retailer (e.g. to change your tariff or install solar panels) a charge may apply.
If your home is scheduled to have an advanced meter installed, we will be in touch beforehand to let you know when we will be arriving.
While we install the meter, we will need to turn off your power for around half an hour to make sure the installation happens safely.
For more facts about advanced meters, visit our FAQs page.