Prepayment electricity meter replacement

Prepayment electricity meter replacement program for remote communities

Why install new prepayment meters?

The current electricity meters (AMPY) are no longer manufactured so replacing existing ageing or malfunctioning units with new AMPY meters is no longer possible. The new pre-pay meters will make paying for electricity much easier with payments made at local stores using the internet.

How do the prepayment meters work?

The new prepayment meters have three main components:

  1. The front–end: the meter face showing readings and credit.
  2. The back-end system: this is the ‘smart’ part of the meter that does a number of jobs  including charging for and measuring power used, and managing the transfer of credit to the  meter.
  3. Using the internet: meter credit can be bought at the community shop or directly from  Power and Water. The vendor uses a tablet or personal computer with internet access and the  system transfers the customer’s credit to the correct meter.

What are the benefits of the new prepayment meters?

There are important customer convenience and Power and Water cost-saving benefits to the new pre-pay meters:

  • Customers will no longer need to use paper tokens – these can be easily lost or damaged.
  • Prepayment meters are more flexible as they can be read, have credit applied and have their  tariffs changed remotely.
  • The new meters also comply with National Electricity Market Rules.

What about communities without internet network?

The residual supply of AMPY meters will be used to replace existing meters in the small  numbers of communities where 3G is unavailable.

Information for customers in remote communities

How can I buy power once the new meter is installed?

Power will still be available at your local store. The store will add credit to your meter using the Telstra 3G network and power cards will not be needed. Bring your Power and Water meter ID number and the credit will be applied directly to your meter. You will be given your Power and Water ID number when your new meter is installed and it is also printed on the meter.

How can I buy power when the store is closed?

When the store is closed power can be purchased over the phone between 8am and 5pm, Monday to Friday, if you have a debit card with Visa or Mastercard, by calling Power and Water on 1800 245 092. If you or a family member are in Darwin or Palmerston, power can be purchased from the Power and Water retail store in Darwin City at Mitchell Centre, 55 Mitchell Street or Palmerston Shopping Centre, 10 Temple Terrace.  Remember, you need your new Meter ID number.

What happens if I run out of credit on my prepayment meter over the weekend?

Your power will not be disconnected over the weekend or public holidays.

If you have credit and use it over the weekend, the meter will stay connected, and it will go into debit.

If the meter goes into debit, the power will turn off on the first working day after a public holiday. You will need to pay the debit amount and add credit to put the power back on.

Please check your credit prior to a public holiday or weekend to ensure you have enough credit for the holiday period.

What happens if I run out of credit overnight?

Power will be available overnight if you have any amount of credit (or emergency credit).

If you have no credit and are already disconnected, you will stay disconnected until you add credit and press the connect button.

If you are in debit, the power will turn off the next morning. You will then need to pay the debit amount and add credit to put the power back on.

Relevant links

For additional information relating to this project see: