How often will my meter be read?

That depends.

If you have a smart meter we get your meter readings daily. Your meter sends us 48 half hourly readings once a day.

If you don’t have a smart meter then our meter readers will come every other month. Most Powershop customers (over 85 percent) now have smart meters. We’re in the process of installing smart meters for our remaining customers. So if you don’t have a smart meter now, chances are you will have one soon.

Do I have to read my own meter or will Powershop read it for me?

If you have a smart meter your meter will send us half hourly readings, once a day, so you won’t need to read your meter at all.

If you don’t have a smart meter and would like to track your power usage, you can enter meter readings as often as you like. Tap on ‘Read meter’ in Powershop’s mobile app or select the Usage section in your desktop account.

Where is my electricity meter?

First up, please remember to be safe when looking at your meter. Make sure that you can reach it safely and if there are any loose or exposed wires in the cabinet don’t touch them – call an electrician as soon as possible.

Your meter will usually be on an outside wall of your house, or inside perhaps in a porch or near the laundry.

In some apartment and multi-dwelling buildings, meters will be grouped together so make sure you’re looking at the correct meter for your unit or flat. Sometimes your meter can be difficult to access. If this is the case, don’t worry, we’ll estimate your meter readings between meter reader visits. Please don’t go breaking your neck trying to reach it!

How do I read my meter?

First things first. Bruce “The Boss” said it, Katy Perry said it and so must we – “You can look but you better not touch… your meter.”

Please be safe when you read your meter. Make sure that you can reach it safely and if there are any loose or exposed wires in the cabinet don’t touch them – call an electrician as soon as possible.

Safety aside, there are three common types of manual meter – analogue meter, dial meter and digital meter.

(If you have a smart meter you won’t need to read your meter as your meter will send us your readings remotely.)

Analogue meter
You read an analogue meter from left to right – this means that the top reading in this example is 450, and the bottom reading is 1906. Just ignore the red numbers.

Your analogue meter will look something like this.

Analogue-meter

Dial meter
When reading this type of meter, always take the number that the dial has just passed, even though this may not be the closest number to the dial. Make a note of the direction each dial is moving. 
If the top two dials are in red ignore them. They are for testing purposes only – just read the bottom set of dials.

The reading in this example is 9704.

If you have a dial meter it will look like this.

Dial-meter2

Digital meter
Digital meters have an electronic display and three or four sets of numbers that will scroll on a loop.

If the numbers are moving too quickly to note down your readings you can pause the display by pushing the ‘select’ button on the right (we know – we told you not to touch your meter, but this is the exception).

If you have day/night or controlled/uncontrolled metering, you’ll need to note down two sets of readings. If you have inclusive metering or uncontrolled only, you’ll be looking for one reading. You can tell which reading is which by looking at the code on the left hand side of the display:

Ctrl = controlled
24Hr = uncontrolled
Day = day
nite = night
Inc = inclusive

Your meter reading will have up to six numbers and a decimal point.

Digital-meter3

How do I enter a meter reading?

If you have a smart meter, your meter will send us readings automatically. If your meter isn’t smart you can enter your own meter read. Log in to your account from your desktop or do it on Powershop’s mobile app.

From your desktop – You can enter a meter reading on your ‘Balance’ page. Click on ‘Enter a meter read’ under your usage graph (the short cut).

Or go to ‘Usage’, ‘Meter Readings’, then ‘Enter a meter read’ (you can also see a list of your previous readings as well as enter your current reading)

From your mobile – Select ‘Read meter’ about halfway down the main menu). Check out our handy wee torch button for reading your meter at night or in a dark spot.

What is a smart meter?

Most properties in New Zealand now have smart meters. Smart meters mean we get more accurate consumption information and they don’t need a human to manually read them. We get your smart meter readings daily.

How do I know if I have a smart meter?

The easiest way to tell if your meter is smart is to log in to your Powershop account and look at your daily usage graph on your ‘Balance’ page. If your usage graph goes up and down (i.e. you have a different reading for every day) then you have a smart meter. If your meter isn’t smart (poor thing!) then your usage will appear to be flat, unless you have entered any meter readings manually.

Can I change to a smart meter?

If you don’t already have a smart meter chances are you will be getting one soon. Over 85 percent of Powershop customers now have smart meters. And we’re working our way through our remaining customers to install smart meters at their properties. If you’re super keen, you can jump the queue. However you would be charged for your smart meter to be installed. If you’re happy to wait, you’ll get a nice new smart meter free of charge. If you really are chomping at the bit give us a call on 0800 IN CONTROL (0800 462 668) and we’ll take you through the fees.

Why aren’t my meter readings showing in my Powershop account?

A couple of reasons, possibly.

If you don’t have a smart meter – then you’ll need to enter your meter readings manually in your Powershop account.

If you do have a smart meter – if you only have one day’s worth of readings missing, then that’s perfectly normal. The readings that are in recorded in your Powershop account are usually 24 hours behind real time.

If you’re a few days behind on your meter readings, a technical glitch could be stopping your smart meter from communicating the information to your account. Email us or call us on 0800 IN CONTROL (0800 462 668) and we’ll get in touch with your metering company so that they can sort out the fault.

We can’t always guarantee meter readings. Sometimes bad weather can interfere with your meter’s signal. Also if you live in certain areas your geography, for example some rural spots, may mean your signal is inconsistent.

How do I enter a final meter reading?

If you have a smart meter you won’t need to enter a final meter reading as we’ll get your reading automatically.

If your meter isn’t smart, you’ll need to enter it manually.

Log in to your account from your desktop or do it on Powershop’s mobile app.

From your desktop – You can enter a meter reading on your ‘Balance’ page. Click on ‘Enter a meter read’ under your usage graph (the short cut).

Or go to ‘Usage’, ‘Meter Readings’, then ‘Enter a meter read’ (you can also see a list of your previous readings, as well as enter your current reading)

From your mobile – Select ‘Read meter’ about halfway down the main menu). Check out our handy wee torch button for reading your meter at night or in a dark spot.

You can enter your final meter reading up to 3 days after you move out.

Give us a call on 0800 IN CONTROL (0800 462 668) if you don’t have access to the internet and need us to enter the read for you.

Be aware, if the final meter reading you give us seems unusual, compared to your typical usage at this address, then we may need to send a technician to confirm the reading. There is a fee for this – see our fees and charges – which will be added to your final Account Review for this property.

What does controlled/uncontrolled metering mean?

If you have controlled/uncontrolled metering the power your network company is able to ‘control’ is measured separately to the power that they can’t. Most networks will give you a discounted rate on the power they can control – which is usually the supply to your hot water cylinder. This is because they are able to switch off the ‘controlled’ portion of your supply for short periods, for example when the demand on their network is high or there are faults or emergencies on their lines.

What does inclusive metering mean?

With inclusive metering, your local network company ‘controls’ a portion of your power – which is usually the supply to your hot water cylinder. However they charge you the same rate for the ‘uncontrolled’ and ‘controlled’ portions of your supply. Unlike controlled/uncontrolled metering, which charges a lower rate for power to appliances that are wired to your ‘controlled’ supply.

What does day/night metering mean?

If you have a day/night meter your ‘day’ usage and your ‘night’ usage are measured separately. Many lines companies charge a lower rate for the power you use at night time – which goes from 9pm to 7am in Christchurch and 11pm to 7am in most other areas. Sorry Auckland, your networks don’t offer a cheaper rate for power used at night.

What does night only metering mean?

Night only metering means the power supply to certain appliances, for example a night store heater or hot water cylinder, can only be turned on at night. Night time goes from 9pm to 7am in Christchurch and 11pm to 7am in most other areas. Many lines companies charge a lower rate for the power you use at night time.

How do I know what my meter set-up is?

Find it in ‘Your Rates’ in the ‘Usage’ tab of your desktop account. The most common set-ups are ‘inclusive’, ‘controlled/uncontrolled’, ‘day/night’ and ‘night only’.

How does my meter set-up affect what I pay?

Your meter set-up – or your ‘tariff’ – determines:

  • how much of your supply your lines company (or network) can control, and
  • how your power is measured – that is whether your meter can measure your day and night time usage, separately. Or whether your day and night time usage is bundled together.

If you have day/night metering you may pay less for the power you use at night (if the lines company in your network area incentivises usage at off-peak times). If you have controlled/uncontrolled metering you’ll generally pay less for the power your lines company can control. If you have inclusive or uncontrolled metering then all of your power usage will generally be charged at the same rate.

If you’d like to talk to us about the best metering set up for your household call us on 0800 IN CONTROL (0800 462 668).

Can I change the way my meter is set up?

Very likely. Give us a call on 0800 IN CONTROL (0800 462 668) and we’ll look at some different options based on what you use and when in your household.

I think my meter is broken. What should I do?

Keep yourself and others away from any live wires. And if it’s safe to do so shut off the mains switch. Call us on 0800 IN CONTROL (0800 462 668) and we will contact your metering company to fix the issue.