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Advanced meters

Advanced meters

An advanced meter is a digital meter with a communication device installed. Advanced meters can automatically and remotely read electricity flows and provide early detection of faults and supply issues – both of which allow for better management of Western Power’s assets.

Advanced meters are commonly used internationally and in other states of Australia as part of the advancements being made to electricity networks. The meters can automatically and remotely read electricity flows and provide early detection of faults and supply issues. Our advanced meter program will bring us in line with other energy networks in Australia and around the world.

A network interface card is the name given to the communication device inside an advanced meter that allows communication between the meter and associated systems. Advanced meters will continue to be read manually by Western Power until the associated communications system is activated.

Your new meter has a communication device installed that will enable communication between the meter and Western Power’s systems. This allows us to read meters automatically and remotely, as well as detect faults and supply issues.

There are a range of meters currently in service across the Western Power network. Some meters have dials and others have digital or electronic displays. Our new meters are more advanced and are required to enable us to install a communications device and collect data remotely.

No. All electricity meters used in Australia are factory tested in line with strict government established standards to ensure that the meter accurately measures electricity consumption. If you experience an unexpected increase in your bill, it may be due to changes in your usage such as heating and cooling spikes or your purchase of additional electronic equipment. Contact your retailer if you have any queries in this regard.

Your meter can be replaced by Western Power if your retailer requests a new meter at your property (e.g. to support a product or service ordered from your retailer).  If you wish to explore this option, please visit your retailer’s website. Retailers will be providing information over the coming months as to the availability and products on offer.

Advanced meters are an enabler for emerging products, services and technologies that provide electricity consumer benefits such as owning electric vehicles, participating in network demand management, and taking advantage of more flexible plans and options for consumers, including the ability for you to track electricity being sent back across the grid.

Advanced meters installed in Australia meet strict safety standards and comply with electromagnetic exposure limits developed by the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA).

Current research by the World Health Organisation indicates that there are no established health effects from the low exposure electromagnetic fields from advanced meters. In fact, using a mobile phone gives you greater exposure to radio waves than living with a smart meter.

Public Health England (PHE), the UK Government watchdog on public health, states that advanced meters don't pose a risk to... Read more

We are currently installing non-communicating (but advanced capable) meters for all new and replacement meters across the network. Once the supporting network and systems are in place, these meters will start communicating with our metering systems. It is expected this will occur sometime during the next few years.

You can’t opt out of having an advanced meter installed at your property, this is Western Power’s standard specification meter. However, you can request to have the communications device removed from your meter at any time.

To keep up to date with technology advances, Western Power has updated the type of meters it is installing.  All newly installed meters will now be advanced meters, which will allow us to provide our services more reliably and efficiently. We will also be replacing existing meters that are reaching the end of their useful life.

Our meter replacement program targets meters that are reaching the end of their useful life. Proactively replacing aging meters ensures you can have confidence in the reliability of the meter readings that form the basis of your electricity bill.

You won’t be charged for the replacement of your meter unless you have requested a new metering service from your retailer, such as the installation of solar panels or a change to your tariff. Your retailer can advise you of any charges that apply.

All digital meters use some energy to function (about the same amount as leaving a television on standby), but this is not registered or displayed by the meter, and so you won’t be charged for it. The meter only shows what your household consumes and does not include any energy required to power the meter.

You don’t need an internet connection or WiFi for your advanced meter to work.

Advanced meters will not capture your personal data. The only information an advanced meter sends out is related to your energy usage and this data is encrypted to a very high standard. Only you, Western Power and your retailer will be able to view the data.

The only information an advanced meter sends out is related to your energy usage and this data is encrypted to a very high standard. Your personal information, including name and address will not be transferred across the network.

Western Power has put in place significant measures to ensure information remains safe and secure and is not accessed by unauthorised parties.  

Advanced meters record electricity flows and communicate the information back to Western Power using a combination of low-level radiofrequency and cellular communications technology. Western Power’s advanced metering infrastructure predominately uses radio frequency, however this is supported, at this stage, by 4G technology.

When communicating, the emissions from an advanced meter are in line with those produced from the remote device used to unlock a car, and less than a single SMS transmission.

All devices comply with the maximum exposure levels as specified by ARPANSA. ARPANSA asserts that... Read more

If your meter and switchboard are accessible, you do not need to be home for the installation, however please make sure there is clear and safe access.

If we are unable to access the meter and switchboard because of a locked gate, an unrestrained pet or because the meter and/or switchboard are inside, we will leave a card in your letterbox with instructions.

All authorised Western Power staff and contractors carry formal identification provided by Western Power. You can ask to see the identification at any time.

To safely replace your existing electricity meter with a new standard specification meter, we will need to turn the power off for approximately 20 to 30 minutes. If you are present during the installation, the technician will let you know prior to switching your power off. If you are not available, the technician will leave a card to let you know the work has been completed.

Call Western Power on 13 10 87, from 7am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.