Meter read details

les_taylor
Switched-on
2 Replies 2190 Views

Wondering why AGL have removed the Meter Reading from Bills? I always have compared your reading to my own, in the past. I just get a dollar figure now without any justification. We have a Smart Meter installed.

5 REPLIES 5
Xander-AGL
AGL Moderator
2 Replies 2166 Views

Hi @les_taylor - this is due to the different way usage is calculated using a smart meter.

 

We no longer bill based on the difference between reading a and reading b, but based on the sum of all usage data reported to us by the meter.

 

The meter reports to AGL every 5 minutes, and at the end of the billing period (usually once a month or once a quarter) all of those 5 minute intervals are summed to reach the total amount of KWH used during the period.

 

You still have a reading on the bill, but with a smart meter, you unfortunately can't manually confirm the differences between reading a and b, because they are not read that way.

 

Kind regards,
Xander

 

GMG
Semiconductor
0 Replies 2130 Views

Retailers want everyone to transition to peak and off-peak billing system > not for the consumers benefit.  Hence they need to be able to monitor usage in increments through-out the day for the retailer to take advantage of the peak and off-peak billing process.
Start and finish readings can be read remotely and therefore provide great accuracy for both usage and for solar feed-in.  The retailers choose not to do this nowadays.
Here is why.
Smart meter reads moved from 15 minute intervals to 5 minute intervals several years back.
This in an effort to reduce the missing read of partial intervals that occur when there is a power outage. The missing interval could be 4mins 59sec with the 5 min system.  Could also be just 1sec.  So retailer was missing out on a small amount of revenue.  But less than with the earlier 15 minute intervals. This is why the total charged amount does not reconcile with your opening and closing meter reads - typically charged fractionally less than the typical start and finish system, maybe 0.1% to 0.3% undercharged, depending on the number of power outages that have occurred in last billing cycle.  Retailer saving in timing and labour as no need to do manual meter reads.
The loss of solar feed-in data increments is more significant for consumers who are still receiving the Govt (Sth Aust) feed-in bonus of 44cents per KWH.
This process can also occur on start-up.
Unfortunately for the consumer this process also occurs for the reading of solar feed-in to the grid.  If the outage occurs during peak solar output then this shortfall to the consumer can be far more significant than any shortfall (gain to consumer) of usage to the retailer.
So, in essence, you can 'reverse engineer' your bill to work out the KWH's charged (or credited for solar) and they will rarely match your start and finish reading calculations due to the occasional missing pieces of data.
The retailers have managed to have this inaccurate (albeit typically marginal) process approved and enshrined into various states legislation (wonder how many long lunches with lobbyists that took).
So, when a retailer is pushed to justify / explain what is going on you get just part of the story - as is the case for response to the original query here) and when pushed further you are shut down with > it is approved by legislation, and close the conversation.
Contacting smart meter suppliers and manufacturers, they will advise that the smart meters are accurate, that taking start and finish readings is a valid and accurate process.  Many other countries using the same smart meters do this with no issue. 
Start and finish readings can also be read remotely and therefore provide great accuracy for both usage and for solar feed-in.
BUT - retailers want everyone to transition to peak and off-peak billing system > not for the consumers benefit.  Hence they need to be able to monitor usage in increments through-out the day for the retailer to take advantage of the peak and off-peak billing process.

GMG
Semiconductor
1 Reply 2129 Views

Start and finish readings can also be read remotely and therefore provide great accuracy for both usage and for solar feed-in.
'being a spin doctor for a retailer - any retailer - is an unfortunate career choice'

Smart meter reads moved from 15 minute intervals to 5 minute intervals several years back.
This in an effort to reduce the missing read of partial intervals that occur when there is a power outage. The missing interval could be 4mins 59sec with the 5 min system.  Could also be just 1sec.  So retailer was missing out on a small amount of revenue.  But less than with the earlier 15 minute intervals. This is why the total charged amount does not reconcile with your opening and closing meter reads - typically charged fractionally less than the typical start and finish system, maybe 0.1% to 0.3% undercharged, depending on the number of power outages that have occurred in last billing cycle.  Retailer saving in timing and labour as no need to do manual meter reads.
The loss of solar feed-in data increments is more significant for consumers who are still receiving the Govt (Sth Aust) feed-in bonus of 44cents per KWH.
This process can also occur on start-up.
Unfortunately for the consumer this process also occurs for the reading of solar feed-in to the grid.  If the outage occurs during peak solar output then this shortfall to the consumer can be far more significant than any shortfall (gain to consumer) to the retailer.
So, in essence, you can 'reverse engineer' your bill to work out the KWH's charged (or credited for solar) and they will rarely match your start and finish reading calculations due to the occasional missing pieces of data.
The retailers have managed to have this inaccurate (albeit typically marginal) process approved and enshrined into various states legislation (wonder how many long lunches with lobbyists that took).
So, when a retailer is pushed to justify / explain what is going on you get just part of the story - as is the case for response to the original query here) and when pushed further you are shut down with > it is approved by legislation, goodbye.
Contacting smart meter suppliers and manufacturers, they will advise that the smart meters are accurate, that taking start and finish readings is a valid and accurate process.  Many other countries using the same smart meters do this with no issue. 
Start and finish readings can also be read remotely and therefore provide great accuracy for both usage and for solar feed-in.
BUT - retailers want everyone to transition to peak and off-peak billing system > not for the consumers benefit.  Hence they need to be able to monitor usage in increments through-out the day for the retailer to take advantage of the peak and off-peak billing process.

Lester
Powerhouse
0 Replies 2122 Views

The only way you can verify smart meter info is to try and match it with your bill.

30min / 5 min data is able to be gained downloading the AGL file (on the usage page up near top right of page).

It's not easy disseminating the info, NeilC has a neat spreadsheet method that would likely work, though might need tweaking depending on state / plan etc.

With smart meters there seems to be a need to trust the retailer somewhat more, not easy given mistakes can be made by any of them at times, and not easy to rectify sometimes.

NeilC
Powerhouse
0 Replies 2117 Views

@GMG 

The feed in tariff was never meant to last for ever.

 

The AGL policy now is to pay the tariff and no extra.

So if you export 100kw in your 90 day period you get 100 * $0.55  or $55.00 rather than your $55.00 plus your 100*$0.20 ($20.00)

 

Now I will tell you that as far as I know every person in SA is on 5min meter reads (sign up on SA Power Networks and you can see your meter reads in Eastern Standard Time)

 

I know that @Lester has 5min data as I have seen his data.

 

The only issue I have with 5min readings is if YOU ARE STUPID ENOUGH to go on a demand tariff.

 

Using the data (30 min) from AGL, I can get my bill to within $0.01 cents.

 

Now if you look at the data that SA Power Networks supplies you can see the 400 records that occurs when there is an issue. You can see the records (in 5min data) that the event occurred and you can also see the records that indicate that it has been rectified.

 

Now I see 400 records in my SAPN data and they quite often last for longer than a minor BROWN OUT, I would assume that the wireless network is busy and that HAND SHAKING did not occur and the data was not transferred.

 

The hard drive in modern meters can hold up to 10 years data and can be downloaded via the optical interface if needed by an authorised person.

I gave up reading my meter and relying on the DOWNLOAD DATA from AGL and SAPN after my meter being reset so many times.

I was able to track when the meter was reset using combined data from AGL and SAPN and still have a correct meter reading at the end off my bill.

Using SAPN data (always in EST) and AGL data (presented to SA customers in REAL TIME)  I can get within a few cents of the bill presented by AGL.

In 7 years I have never seen a 15min interval file, even though my computer programmes can recognise this automatically.

The inbuilt battery in smart meters can continue to read meter data for at least 1 year from what I can gather, so if there is a POWER FAILURE they will record ZILCH, NOTHING, ZERO etc etc.

I know that RETAILERS and SUPPLIERS can probe meters for meter readings but as to the accuracy of doing this I have not seen the results.

 

Now I don't know where you are getting your FACTS from but I don't think they are correct.

 

As to the feed in bonus for SA customers I have already addressed this. Most of the people who are getting this only have small 1 to 3 kW systems and with the old technology the panels do not even supply more than about 70% of there rated output.

 

I CAN TELL YOU that my analysis of using my own data with a SINGLE TARIFF and TOU (Time Of use) has told me that I will take TOU over a fixed rate in this current time.

 

ANYONE that takes a DEMAND tariff is not making a good decision, but that is their choice, they do not understand what the result will be, but they are supplied with the information.

 

As @Lester knows now, you need to read the information and then convert it into what it really states.

 

Good luck

Cheers Neil


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