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Home > FAQ's > Electricity > Smart Meters Explained

Smart Meters Explained

Smart Meter FAQ for customers

What is a Smart Meter?

A smart meter (or remotely read interval meter) is a digital meter that records electricity usage in 30-minute intervals.

How do smart meters work?

At the end of each day, the electricity usage data is sent to your distributor and your retailer (Sumo) via either Cellular Networks (E.g. 4G or 5G) or occasionally radio frequency (RF)

What are the benefits of a smart meter?

There are many benefits of having a smart meter installed!

Some of the benefits include:

  • Remote meter reading
  • Accurate invoices
  • Insight into your usage patterns
  • Monthly billing
  • Lower fees when moving house.
  • Smoother switching between retailers
  • Flexible pricing

Are smart meters safe?

Smart and digital meters adhere to Australian Standards and are overseen by the Australian Communications and Media Authority. They emit lower levels of radio frequency than common household devices like baby monitors and mobile phones.

Health organizations worldwide, such as ARPANSA and the World Health Organization (WHO), have scrutinized scientific data on smart meter health effects. Presently, there are no documented health risks associated with smart meters.

For additional details on smart meter safety, please visit the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) website.

Do I need a smart meter?

If you are planning to get solar panels installed or need a brand-new electricity connection, you will need to get a smart meter installed.

In the rare occasion a fault is detected with your meter, it will also be replaced by a smart meter.

The Australian Energy Market Commission has made a final recommendation to have 100% of customers on smart meters by 2030.

Can I access my smart meter data?

Currently, in NSW, QLD, and SA, if you would like a copy of your meter data for a certain period, you can call Sumo (or your current retailer) and request your meter data.

We are looking into ways we can provide this information to you via our customer portal in the future, so keep an eye out for updates!

Who installs smart meters?

Smart meter exchanges are completed by a third party called a metering provider.

Your metering provider is separate to your distributor and retailer, they are responsible for installing and maintaining your smart meter as well as gathering and verifying your smart meter data.

Can everyone get a smart meter?

If your property has poor wiring, an unsuitable metering arrangement, asbestos, hazardous materials, evidence of meter tampering, or lacks sufficient mobile reception at the meter, installing a smart meter may not be appropriate. In such instances, we’ll reach out to you to ensure you’re aware of these concerns.

What are the costs associated with getting a smart meter installed?

Sumo does not charge any fees for the exchange of your meter to a smart meter.

However, if extra work is required to exchange your meter, such as asbestos in the meter board or a network isolation is required, there may be additional fees or you may be required to rectify these issues via a private electrician at your own cost.

Will someone still come and read my meter every 3 months?

No, smart meters are read remotely every 30 minutes.

Can I keep my single rate plan?

Most distributors are retiring single rate tariffs for either a Time of Use (TOU) or Demand tariffs. Currently only those in Victoria have the option to stay on a single rate tariff.

Once your smart meter is installed, your tariff will be changes to one of the two mentioned above. Sumo may not pass this onto your until you change your plan or change retailers.