Power and Water is testing and upgrading power meters across the Territory.

We are testing a sample of our various meter types and upgrading our oldest mechanical power meters to new smart meters.

We test a sample amount of the various meters types periodically to ensure they continue to operate correctly and are measuring electricity usage accurately.

We also aim to replace meters before the end of their operational life to maintain continued metering accuracy.

Mechanical meters coming up to 30 years and beyond in service are our first priority. We also test and or upgrade meters as opportunity allows.

Testing and or replacement of household meters requires a power interruption of about 30 minutes.

For meter replacements the old meter will be disconnected and the new meter installed.

To test a meter it is disconnected from the customers power supply and connected to an alternative known electricity source with a pre-set consumption level. On successful completion of the test the meter may be reconnected if it is working and recording accurately or dependent on its age or level of accuracy it may be upgraded to a new smart meter. If the meter does not pass the test it will be replaced.

The majority of meters to be tested and upgraded are located on residential properties. However, some meters with current transformers are located at business premises.

Testing meters with current transformers

Testing a meter with a current transformer can be performed without interrupting the power supply. However, if after inspection the current transformer needs to be tested a power interruption of about an hour will be required.

While on site we may also take the opportunity to upgrade the meter (dependent on age) to a new smart meter.

Smart meters can be read remotely which will greatly reduce the need for our workers to physically enter a customer’s property in the future. The meters are also compatible with rooftop solar export, so there will be no need for customers to purchase a new meter if planning to install solar panels.

Testing and replacement of meters is done in accordance with the National Electricity Rules (Northern Territory).

All meters are owned and maintained by Power and Water.

Frequently asked questions

We test meters to ensure they continue to operate correctly and are measuring your electricity use accurately. The mechanical meters may slow as they age and as the internal parts wear may not record your usage accurately. We test meters in accordance with the National Electricity Rules (Northern Territory).

Not all meters tested will be replaced. If found to be accurate, generally they will remain in place. However if the meter is nearing the end of its expected operational life we may take the opportunity to upgrade it now instead of waiting and having to return to the property and interrupt our customers power supply again.

The meters we’re replacing are almost at the end of their operational life expectancy. We try to replace them before they fail and while they are still accurate to ensure your electricity usage is measured accurately. We replace meters in accordance with the National Electricity Rules (Northern Territory).

Accuracy requirements vary depending on the meter type and energy flow through the meter. Meters go from class +/- 0.5% for the largest installations to +/-2.0% for most residential customers with a mechanical meter. Smart meters for residential customers have to be within +/-1.5%. You can see more information in Chapter 7A Metering, of the National Electricity Rules - Northern Territory, available at https://energy-rules.aemc.gov.au/ntner/366

Our workers need to interrupt your power supply for:

  • their safety
  • testing, as the meter will be connected to an alternative power source that has been set with a known consumption amount. The meter reading will be compared with the known pre-set consumption amount to determine its accuracy.
  • replacement, as the installed meter will be completely disconnected before the new smart meter can be connected.

Please contact us and we can work with you to arrange a time for our workers to come when someone is home.

Email us at customerservice@powerwater.com.au or call 1800 245 092 and one of our contact centre staff will assist you.

Power and Water workers will be wearing their high-vis yellow and navy uniforms with the Power and Water logo on the shirt and trousers and they will carry a Power and Water ID card.

Our contractors will also wear appropriate high-vis clothing and carry a Power and Water contractor ID card.

All of our workers will be happy to show you their ID cards when respectfully requested.

Please keep pets away from our workers to allow them to safely and quickly complete their work with as little interruption as possible.

It will be appreciated if pets are kept in another section of the yard or restrained while our workers are there.

No. Internal wiring is the responsibility of the home owner. If our workers detect a:

  • non-compliance issue on your side of the meter you will be advised to engage an NT licenced electrician to rectify the issue.
  • life threatening issue on your side of the meter the power will be disconnected and you will be advised to engage an NT licenced electrician to rectify the issue and provide Power and Water with a Certificate of Compliance before power will be restored.

In both these instances it’s important we have your up to date contact information that will allow us to contact you as soon as we are aware of an issue.

Email us at customerservice@powerwater.com.au or call 1800 245 092 and one of our contact centre staff will take your details.

If the meter box backing board is found to be asbestos we will arrange a second visit to your property for a qualified asbestos removalist to attend and safely replace it and the meter. This will be done at no cost to you.

Please let us know as soon as possible if someone in your household is COVID-19 positive.

We don’t want to disturb you, and to keep our workers safe we may reschedule the work.

Health authorities around the world, including the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency and the World Health Organization, have examined the scientific evidence regarding possible health effects from smart meters. Current research indicates that there are no established health effects from the low exposure to the radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic energy (EME) from smart meters.

You can see more information at https://www.arpansa.gov.au/understanding-radiation/radiation-sources/more-radiation-sources/smart-meters

The new smart meters can be read remotely and will greatly reduce the need for workers to physically enter your property in the future. Smart meters are also compatible with rooftop solar export – so no need for you to purchase a new meter if you intend to install solar panels.

Your bill could be more than expected for a number of reasons. It may be that:

  • due to weather conditions some appliances are being used more than previous years
  • there may have been additional people staying with you
  • an appliance may be faulty
  • the old meter was not recording your electricity use accurately.

If you do not receive your electricity bill from Power and Water you will need to contact your electricity retailer who may be able to provide you with assistance.