Do I have to use a Digital Meter?

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Does AGL mandate the use of digital meters?

AGL Community Manager
1 Reply 16325 Views

Hi @BVSecretary ,

No, and you can choose to opt out of digital meter upgrades if you wish. For more details, check out our Digital Meters help page.

1 Reply 16301 Views




Even though you don't have to use them they have some great benefits.


For instance having a guess at your username you might be the secretary of a club or association.


By having a smart meter you can see your daily usage and can use the data on Your Account Page to help manage the finances and reporting on a regular basis to the various committees.


If you have a shared ground you could use the data to work out pro-rata payment for the cricket club or the footy club.


It is supplied at no cost and has many benefits.


Cheers Neil.


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Cheers Neil

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As I see it, currently I can have my A/C on during hot or cold periods eg afternoons and early evenings and get charged at "normal rates". If I were to go to a smart meter I would be charged at "time of day" rates, which are generally much much higher than normal rates. Why should I change? OK run the dishwasher, washing machine etc. at night and get lower rates.

Also, by having the default that you have to opt out, I am obviously cynical that it is to the benefit of the Company and not the Consumer that this is the unilateral decision.

0 Replies 15357 Views



Well I can see that you have not thought this through very much and obviously do not have solar.

  • Is your house a rental or do you own it.
  • What is the insulation in the house like.
  • Do you have an energy saving plan.
  • How old are the cooling / heating devices
  • How many and what age are the residents of the house
  • Do you (or other residents) have a hobby or pastime that affects your electrical usage

All of the above need to be taken into consideration in your long term plan for the residence.


I live in SA and don't know your location and as such will use SA rates for comparisons

Tariff Supply/Usage Unit
Single Rate
General usage  c/kWh 36.542
(Reference Price comparison below)
Time Of Use
Peak 6am -10am and 3pm -1am every day c/kWh 42.262
Off-Peak 1am-6am every day c/kWh 27.478
Shoulder (Solar Sponge) 10am -3pm every day c/kWh 23.705


Now if you use 1kw per hour for a full day using Single rate it will cost you 36.542 * 24 or $8.77 per day

If you use time of use at 1kw per hour it will cost you $6.79 per day. (You work out the maths)


Now with a non digital meter, usage is simply calculated as MeterEnd reading minus MeterStart reading.

To give some significance, Retailers give you a daily usage amount which is AmountUsed  divided by the NumberOfBillingDays.


With a smart meter each day is calculated as you actually consume the power and is track-able through your billing cycle.


Now I was on a flat rate up to the 11th July and since then, on Time Of Use.


Because of Solar I can tell you, that I thought that TOU, was going to cost more, but when I go back to my historical data (I have kept a spreadsheet of all of my daily data since I had solar installed) it IS COSTING ME LESS.


Without you having accurate data you cannot do the same. I can tell you that eventually you are going to have a digital meter because as long as there are Analogue meters SUPPLY costs are going to increase.


Digital meters allow both Retailers and Suppliers to obtain accurate data on usage within regions such as States / Council districts, Post Codes, etc and therefore gives an opportunity for potential cost savings for consumers based on locality.


In the future due to Digital meters it should be possible to develop local generators to support communities rather than the current based State System.


So my answer to you is really.


No you don't have to take up a digital meter, however it looks like you can, but can only refuse the offer once.





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Cheers Neil

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1 Reply 12594 Views

Hi, I recently installed solar at my property and am currently waiting to receive a new meter replacement from AGL. I have requested not to have a smart meter installed - as this would be located on the wall right behind my bedhead where I sleep and obviously did not want Wifi and/or phone data continuously transmitting near my brain whilst I sleep. I (now) understand AGL may only install smart meters with a solar upgrade.


I was wondering if: 1) there is an option not to install a smart meter upon request when a client (me) has health concerns over its location?


or 2) are there any alternative ways to install a smart meter - eg with mobile data disabled (this was suggested to me over the phone by AGL staff but I wasn't entirely convinced they were familiar with the smart meter, nor could they tell me the model type that may be installed), or, could Wifi also be disabled and the meter be wired directly to my modem via LAN cable to communicate?



1 Reply 12560 Views
1 Reply 12552 Views

Interesting. I wasn't told any of that when my meter was installed (probably no surprise there). I was told that my rates wouldn't change as a result of a "smart" meter being installed but not long after it seems they might have - it's hard to work out just what's going on.

1 Reply 12084 Views

Why should I pay my bill only showing my usage? I demand to see a start and finish read on my bill that way I can track the usage is correct.  The last few bill I have received have been an absolute mess. New price hikes, digital meter installation and and receiving an additional price correction for December to March bill that was already paid in June is "NOT" cool. 

I am still waiting for a call back from your help team.

0 Replies 12073 Views


Now my meter has been reset at least SIX TIMES in this last year that I know off.

I stopped doing my manual reads to keep track of my usage at the end of my July 2021 billing cycle after it was reset on the 7 July 2021 at around 15:30.


I can show you all of my electricity usage since 1st Jan 2019 when I first had my smart meter installed at 12:30 on the 30th Dec 2018.


My first bill from AGL was incorrect and they had to re-issue it as I had my meter readings.


My second bill issued for midnight was nearly exact and since then has been within .15 of the kWh since then.


I did have two meter resets in this time and even though I saw them when I did manual meter reads I ignored them until I got the next bill, where I simply adjusted the start meter readings for the billing period to reflect the correct (approximately) start figures.


Since then my actual bills have been about that .15 kWh since.


I only realised this week that this error was because I was processing the usage in eastern time rather that central time as data from SA Power Networks was being supplied in Eastern and Central Time.

Bill ending 16 July 2021 I had this event occur




From my usage spreadsheet I could simply check my usage and see what it said and I could agree with the usage supplied.


Now obviously I had a meter reset during this period as I cannot finish with an End reference lower than the Start reference, but I did, I went and checked my actual meter and could see the meter was reporting about the correct readings. (You can only get a true reading at MIDNIGHT as that is when a day finishes).


By subtracting the new End readings to the spreadsheet I could deduce that the meter was reset some time around 16:30 on 7th July 21.

However you can see that my usage is about the same as their meter.


I had few more changes and since the 9th of October 2022 I no longer keep track of the meter itself but only my daily usage. (Which gives me the amounts used and Meter Readings for the period)


Went on Time of Use (TOU) on the FIRST of August 22 and had to adjust my records to keep track of my TOU so I could continue to verify the bills supplied.


This what this the first TOU bill looked like.


My internal Meters were reset during the billing period

Here is my Single Rate from my spreadsheet

NeilC_8-1689480097799.png This is up to midnight 31 July 22 (end of single rate billing)

NeilC_9-1689480622295.pngThis is the end of billing period 9 October 2022



You can see from my sheet that the USAGE AMOUNTS exactly mirror my figures and the billing days.

As for the solar:

NeilC_3-1689477543165.pngThey match as well.


Therefore I have no issue with this bill at all.

How would you cope with this bill as to verifying the data unless you read your meters at Midnight every night and noted it?


Now take my current bill issued  11th July 2023, this is what it now states on the new look bill.


Now to top it all off I went through FOUR PRICE CHANGES in this one bill.

Please note that my controlled load meter is currently not in use but it is connected with in the meter and I have removed it from the snapshots of the bill to make it easier to read.



As to this bill I can show you the results of my now amended spread sheet, which now includes pricing without GST.


And no, I am not going to add them up for you, but my Electric Used sheet the results are imported into Billing Calculator sheet (that is the house hold sheet) and is presented to me as.


The last bill is the last previous bill and the current bill is using the usage that has been entered into the appropriate Electricity Used sheet.


For the current billing period for the Payment Required Per Fortnight is a prediction based on the usage so far, converted into daily usage then multiplied by 14 (days) to give the payment required each pay each fortnight to avoid bill shock.


Multiplying the daily used the billing period gives an estimate as to what the current bill will be.


The last bill is the last previous bill usage that has been entered into the the Electricity Used sheet for that period.


Now to actually answer your question.

Why should I pay my bill only showing my usage?

Now if you look through my EXPLANATION you will see the reasons why, I have presented items that show start times greater than end times. In those examples they were showing exactly what you wanted.

The meter reads as per your current meter, are what it is displaying since its last reset. The actual data is stored into the meter for anything up to six months (depends on the actual meter).


I have already  shown an example where I have a billing change and a meter reset where end reading is less than start reading.


Now I can tell you that AGL supplies you with a FILE (from your accounts My Usage page)


NeilC_2-1689484846283.pngNow next to the Billing Period there is a download icon and from there you can download a file that contains your smart meter file for up to the last two years of data.

From that you can extract the required information to get your information for each thirty minutes of the day for all your meters.


In addition you can see your usage up to the present end of your USAGE file



Here is the page again. This time I am showing you the last day information, also note that you can see the number of kilowatt Hours that you have used (as a daily total) and if you click on the day you will get the day shown in hourly increments.


But like knowing the Meter start and finish, this is not of any use unless you are on a single rate tariff and even so I have proved to you that the information on the bill is correct.


The information supplied here is only for the current billing period whilst the file has up to two years ( you can go back to some other billing periods though).


When processing my file data to get the data, I also sum the information to get a daily total, so if I was supplied with a meter read I would be able to check the actual meter reading, which I used to do.


However, it is not really relevant as I know the actual total usage for each day,but only usage for each sub meter, for each day.


Now here is the actual data for each day for the last page of my Last complete bill. You can see that not only do I calculate the usage I also calculate the daily costs (less GST), now if you add up my costs you will see they match exactly the costs on my Bill.


From your statement about having the meter read on the paper, DO YOU GO OUT AND READ YOUR METER  midnight on the end of your billing period and go and write it down. So you can compare it with the data supplied on your bill.


Or do you rush out and read your meter as soon as you receive your bill, if you did you would find that it is incorrect because processing the bill takes time (my recent bill finished midnight on the 9th July states, that it processed on the 11th and did not arrive, by e-mail until 14:19 on the 11th.)


Now if you really want to have a meter usage figure on the new look bill (even though it is not necessary) you should go the ideas section on these pages and suggest it.


I should also point out that these pages are not guaranteed to draw the attention of an AGL employee but anyone can supply an answer as this is really a forum for AGL (or even non AGL users) to assist or ask for assistance.

Cheers Neil

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