Accessing your meter
Western Power follows strict protocols when entering your property to read your meter. In some instances, Western Power will not enter your property or is cannot access your meter, which may result in your electricity consumption being estimated.
When considering safe and reasonable access to your meter, please take into account the following:
- the meter has to be accessible without the need to enter a neighbour’s property
- if the meter box or access way to the meter is locked, it has to be with an approved Western Power masterkey lock – available from licensed locksmiths and security suppliers
- the meter has to be accessible without the need to climb fences or locked gates
- we will not enter an enclosed property with dog warning signs or where a dog is enclosed in the vicinity of the meter. The presence of a dog or dog sign is noted on our property information database to protect our people. If your situation has changed or your dogs are never kept in the vicinity of the meter, please contact us or Synergy to have the dog warning amended or removed
- if the meter is located inside a carport, basement, enclosed verandah or other enclosed area where we can only access it making an appointment with you, you will need to have communications gear fitted to the meter at your cost. Please contact your retailer Synergy for further information on the cost of this service. For detailed information on the technical rules, please refer to section six of the West Australian Electrical Requirements 2008.
- the meter has to be free from obstruction by trees, shrubs, and gardens.
Your meter box
The meter box is the property of the property owner and as such:
- we will never force our way into a locked meter box
- if a meter box door falls off (due to worn or faulty hinges) it is the responsibility of the property owner, not Western Power, to repair it.
Leaving your property as we found it
If access to the meter can only be gained by traversing your property, Western Power will leave your property as it was found. This means that if your gate is open, we will leave it open; if your gate is shut, we will leave it shut. The exceptions to this are meter-box doors and swimming pool gates, which will always be left shut irrespective of how they are found.
We will not walk across your garden unless it is the only way to get to your meter box in which case we will take the most direct route.
Skipped read cards
Skipped read cards will be left at premises where meters are obstructed or cannot be accessed.
Where possible, the card will be left in your letter box and will indicate the date, meter number and reason why your meter was not read.
Western Power does not accept private keys (or swipe cards) from customers to access meter boxes. Private keys may be left in a master Key lockbox or at directly adjacent properties, where they can be picked up and returned. Western Power master key locks are available from licensed locksmiths and security suppliers.
General access protocols
Other general access protocols that we follow when accessing your property include:
- always announcing and identifying ourselves if someone is present at the premises
- never climbing gates or fences
- never accessing meters located inside a residence unless someone is home or we have access by way of a master Key
- never accessing a property via the backyard without first attempting to notify the customer.
Annual meter read
Under the Metering Code 2012, we have an obligation to gain an actual read on your meter at least once per year. Likewise, under the Small Use Code 2012, your retailer has an obligation to not bill you on non-actual reads for more than 12 months.
Under the Energy Operators (Powers) Act 1979 you have an obligation to provide safe access for our meter reading at all reasonable times.
Our first attempt will be a site visit to your property unless you have contacted us previously to make other arrangements. If we fail in our initial attempt to gain access for our annual read we will follow up by phone and letter to make an appointment with you.
Failing to provide access
If you don't provide access within a reasonable timeframe we will advise Synergy, who may also attempt to contact you and who can choose to disconnect you as a last resort until such time as an actual read is obtained.
Your meter box houses a number of electrical components including the meter, main switch, fuses and circuit breakers, which control the flow of electricity into your home.For safety reasons it is recommended that all meter boxes be fully secure.
You can buy approved Western Australian Services (WAS) locks from licensed security suppliers, hardware stores and locksmiths.
- Ask a licensed electrician to inspect your meter box if it shows any signs of burn marks, worn wires or a strange smell
- Switch the power off at the main switch if you are doing any household maintenance or renovations
- Label all switches, circuit breakers and fuses in the meter box for easy identification
- Keep trees and shrubs away from your meter box
- Install circuit breakers or a safety switch. Safety switches are mandatory in all new homes. They can save lives and prevent injury from electric shock
- Check your safety switch every six months or in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions
- Check circuit breakers every two years or in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions
- Take special care when replacing fuses and make sure that the main switch is in the off position before starting
- If a fuse blows repeatedly have a licensed electrician check it.
We follow strict protocols when entering your property to read your meter. If we are unable to access your property or your meter, we will leave a skipped read card which will state why this was the case. Examples of one of these situations is as follows:
- Access is only achievable through a neighbouring property
- The meter box is fitted with a private lock and not an approved Western Power masterkey lock
- The meter is located behind a fence or locked gates, hindering access
- There is a dog on the property or a dog warning sign on the gate
- The meter is located inside a carport, basement, enclosed verandah or other enclosed area which we can only access by making an appointment with you
- The meter is obstructed by trees, shrubs and/or gardens.
Your reading was estimated as the meter reader could not access your meter. The estimate was made in accordance with the estimating rules set out in the WA Electricity Market Metrology Procedure.
Meter readers will only enter a property with a dog if the owner is there to restrain it. Even friendly dogs can pose a danger without their owners present.
No but you can contact us to obtain a copy of your annual read schedule.
Contact your retailer to arrange to become a self-reader.
Generally no as the meter readings are sent to the retailer overnight however, if you contact us on the same day as the attempted read, we may be able to help.
You can provide your own readings in place of the estimate, which will be subject to validation. Alternatively, you can book a check read through your retailer.