What's wrong with my smart meter reference readings?

2 Replies 3356 Views

My latest bill (20 Dec) gives the following for Controlled Load 2.
Read type, Start Reference¹, End Reference¹, kWh
Actual             4,824                   4,870          131.757

¹These reference reads are a guide only and may not reflect the total energy consumption for this
billing period.

Having a smart meter, I expected the start and end reference values to be pretty similar to the number displayed on the meter.  But  they aren't. They don't even make sense!
4870 - 4824 = 46, which is nothing like the 131.757 kWh in the bill.
When I was with Powershop, all meter readings were available online, as well as consumption data. It all made sense.
Why aren't the start & end references on the AGL bill actual meter reads? 

And Is there any way I can access the meter readings as well as consumption data?

0 Replies 3140 Views

I have same issue.
Retailers have managed to get 'laws' passed that absolve them from any sort of accuracy for start and end readings. In fact the plan is to stop providing these readings and simply nominate a value for what they have determined is your usage.
From what I can determine some pulse readings are missed.
(oh, the consumption they advise you is the total of all the individual pulse readings they take)
it appears to me that when there is a power outage some pulse reading are either missed or incomplete either side of the power outage. This leads to slight undercharging. So customer has a win right?
NOT if you have a solar feed in arrangement, particularly if it is a high feed in tariff. >> Power failure during peak solar generation near middle of the day > customer can miss out big time on a missed feed in reading (pulse).
Results during a billing period is that customer loses more than they gain.
AGL (all retailers) say you can't read a smart meter - well you obviously can, they just don't want you to read it and they find it to cumbersome to do actual check readings.
By now having pulse readings every5 mins instead of the previous 15min or 30min interval will improve overall accuracy, that is closer alignment of pulse totals to the accumulated reading on your smart meter.
(oh, the pulse data that is collected is the consumption between each pulse, they do not collect the accumulated total  reading, then add together all the increments to come up with the billing total)
Ihave checked with the meter supplier and they advise (also sent me a pdf sheet to explain) that smart meters are in fact designed to be read on-site.  And that ant before and after readings taken will accurately reflect the consumption for that (any) given time period. 
But retailers - in particular AGL - say this is incorrect stating over and over 'smart meters cannot be read', yeah right what a lot of B.S.
They cannot explain how an electronic device can provide 2different sets of data outcomes from the one device - oh thats right 'smart meters cannot be read'
The digital readouts on the smart meter are meaningless based on AGL's sated 'smart meters cannot be read'
This is a conspiracy born from ineptitude and an unwillingness to take the necessary actions to get it right.
These same smart meters are used extensively in the UK, NZ and other countries and there is no issue on being able to read a smart meter directly from the digital readouts on the meter screen as a means of accurately determining your electricity consumption.
(oh, the meter supplier will no longer discuss / provide any info to users about smart meters - simply refer you to your provider who then gives you the run-around - so they have been told to shut-up)
AGL (all providers) have managed to get all state govt's (labour and Liberal) to put into legislative waffle that effectively states that 'smart meters cannot be read'.
Every other consumable we purchase by measure (gas, liquid such as petrol/diesel, or food stuff by weight) we are provided or have line of site access to the evidence from the measuring device, at the point of sale.  This was originally enshrined in law.
BUT, apparently electricity is so different that this is not necessary and that we must accept the numbers provided on our bills without any finite evidence that can be verified at the point of consumption - the point of sale. 
Where it gets very complicated  for the consumer to verify the $$$ charge on their bill is when your electricity consumption is charged at different rates across the day - i.e. peak rates, shoulder rates etc as the consumer meter readout screen simply provides the total consumption and not multiple breakdowns into time periods.
BUT, the total kwh consumed should be available from the smart meter readout screen except that 'Smart meters cannot be read on-site' except every where else in the world, just not Australia.
You will be directed to a site that provides you with so called evidence of accuracy - a site that has all records of the individual pulse consumption values - that the total of does not equal the consumption data on the smart meter readout screens because in Australia (and only Australia) 'smart meters cannot be read'
Also, for non-smart meters-both analogue (dials) and digital/electronic there was an option for the consumer to provide their own readings (with regular independent verification). But when your electronic meter is upgraded to a smart meter - with effectively the same core measuring electronics - readings can no longer be taken from the meter screens for measuring consumption.  because 'smart meters cannot be read' after the addition of a pulse generator to the same base electronics.

AGL Moderator
1 Reply 3131 Views

Hi @Adorre,


Thanks for getting in touch. The reference numbers displayed on your bill are are not used to calculate your usage by subtracting end read from start read. We can send you a spreadsheet of your meter data for your current billing cycle for your review. I'll send you a private message to grab your account details, so that I can help you further.




2 Replies 3129 Views

Thanks, but I download electricity consumption data quite frequently from the AGL website and quite often look at the graphs.  Would it be correct to assume what you could provide wouldn't add any additional information?

As it happens, I have another related issue - my downloaded data ends on Friday, 4 Nov.  It took me a couple of weeks to realize that the graph wasn't being updated, after which I reported it to AGL via chat.


Presumably some problem has prevented the smart meter from sending out readings since then. It would be nice to know that the smart meter readings are being safely stored away and can be downloaded when the problem is fixed.


Thanks very much for the info!
Happy New Year!

AGL Moderator
0 Replies 3123 Views

Hi @Adorre,


I can certainly check your meter data to see why it stops in November. To do this. I will need you to respond to my private message with your account information so that I can access your account.




1 Reply 1736 Views

After years of no issues with my solar feed in, I had a 'smart' metre installed and now it's not registering the solar power I'm generating! There's absolutely nothing wrong with my solar panels or inverter ( they're only 3 years old and have been recently checked) and the 'chat' is useless as the operator had no idea what I was talking about. The 'health check' was also a waste of time as it said call a technician! Is that at my expense or is that an AGL technician? If I could reverse this metre, I would. 

0 Replies 1727 Views

@Daisy88 you'll likely have to get your solar folk out to sort it.

AGL should do it, after all the smart meter should have been connected up to work / record all the relative data . . . but for expedience sake you might be better to get a solar electrician to do it, and get a check up / panel clean same time ?


We only went solar a couple of months ago, went from old analogue meter to new digital, and from single rate with CL to TOU with TOU CL.

Still working out what's going on, seems to be pretty close to eliminating our bill, but will find out in the next full quarterly bill with solar.


We resisted 2 smart meter 'bookings' over the previous several years, saying we'll stay as we were thank you, but going to solar we had no choice but to change, and I think having solar there is no choice in the matter for anyone in that scenario.

More than one solar quoter said smart meters will just be forced onto everyone in the coming year or 2.


If the solar is not registering on a smart meter, I'm not sure it might be keeping your usage down on the main read.


We had a faulty wire up (single phase to cbus instead of 3 phase) and our usage went from an avg of about 20 - 24 kw a day to 12 kw a day, so although the solar read wasn't registering, we think it was reducing usage on the main read (which is far better the way SA is with usage rate vs FIT !!).


Anyway, hopefully AGL can sort it out, but I wouldn't waste too much time without possible benefit from your solar.