Types of energy meters

Understanding what kind of energy meter you have is more important than you may think. Knowing your consumption and how much it is costing you is exactly what an energy meter does, and having one that is out of date can ultimately impact how much you are paying for energy. In this article we are going to run through the different types of energy meters and summarize in our opinion which one is the best.

Clock face meters: These can be found on both gas and electricity meters, and comprise of a series of clocks that you must look at to take your reading. This is the more traditional way of reading your gas and electricity, as it must be done manually and sent off to your supplier. A lot of clock face meters, or ‘manual’ meters are more of estimation rather than accurate usage, meaning that in some cases you may be overcharged if you do not stay on top of your bills with your provider, and request checks to receive money back that you have overpaid.

Smart meters: These are becoming the most popular and common way of reading energy because it is quick and accurate. A smart meter works as a digital system that sends electronic readings to your supplier as quick as every thirty minutes. You are able to track on a daily basis how much you are spending on your energy, and smart meters are a great way to track usage as well as your finances. They are the most accurate way of reading your energy.

Electronic meters: This works similarly to a smart meter, but with fewer features. You must take the reading manually but instead of reading clocks, you just click a button and wait 5-10 seconds before the reading comes up. Electronic meters are a blend of the manual meter and smart meter and are also popular due to the ease of reporting the reading manually.

In-home displays: These come hand in hand with smart meters and can display exactly what you are using across all of your utilities. In-home displays can also be synchronized with your smartphone or an app where you can control (when you are outside the home) the heating, hot water and other utilities at the click of a button.

Solar meters: These are only applicable if you have solar power, and within have three different types: Net, Bi-Directional and Dual. Net displays net usage within the household, Bi-Directional splits your usage in to delivered, received and net power; Dual metering will show how much solar you are using, as well as how much you are generating. Depending on what works best for you, each option has its own feature, and it likened to an electronic meter rather than a smart meter, as this is renewable, self-generated energy.

In our opinion, the best meter to have is a smart meter, due to its accuracy and stress-free concept. You have complete control over your usage and in turn your finances!

Author: Claire Stapley
Claire Stapley is ElectricityComparison.com.au's Energy Editor, based in Melbourne Australia. Claire is a founding member of ElectricityComparison.com.au News and Energy Team.