Electricity Meter Types
There are three main types of electricity meter, and the type you have could impact your pricing options. Regardless of your meter type, it should always be in a safe location that is easy to access by an energy distributor. Keep in mind that your meter is owned by your energy distributor, not by you.
Electricity Flat-rate Meter
Also known as an accumulation meter, these meters show the total energy usage since the time of installation or the last reset by your utility company. These traditional meter types can be electronic or electromechanical. Electronic meters typically have a digital LCD display, while electromechanical meters will either resemble your car’s odometer or have a dial display. Technicians must visit your home in order to record your energy usage.
Electricity Interval Meter
These meters record energy usage in 30-minute intervals, and are also referred to as time of use meters. They are electronic and can display the date and time as well as energy usage. Just as with flat-rate meters, a technician will have to read your meter in person, though this is done by inserting an optical probe into the meter. Interval meters may allow customers to take advantage of special pricing offered for peak and off-peak usage.
Electricity Smart Meter
Like interval meters, these electronic meters record energy usage every 30 minutes. However, a smart meter uses communication technology to automatically transmit data straight to your utility provider. This real-time information avoids the need for estimated usage on bills, and gives customers the opportunity to choose from a range of plans.
Although smart meters often have a number of additional features, they are not always used in each state or by each energy supplier. These features include in-home display units that tell you how much energy you’re using in real time, along with web portals that provide information on how much energy you’re using each day, week, month, or year. Smart meters help consumers to stay on top of their energy bills by keeping them informed on energy usage.