Saturday, August 25, 2012

How To Read An Electricity Smart Meter In Australia

A common question from many Aussie householders is, “How do you read the newly installed smart meters?"

Firstly we need to point out that there are many different makes and models of Smart Meter, offered by electricity providers in Australia. 

Secondly these meters are software programmable by the distributor or third party. Thus this results in many variations.

The time of day, peak / shoulder / off-peak / controlled load [hot water] data and generated solar power, is simply stored in the Smart Meter registers. These registers are basically a software location in the meter.

And in most cases you can access some of this data. What data is accessible via a 'Scroll Button' on the front of the smart meter is determined by how the meter is programmed.

We will use as an example a Landis & Gyr Model E350 Type U1200. This meter has been programmed for a TIME OF USE (TOU) tariff. The meter also enabled to monitor the exported power [gross or net feed in tariff] from the SOLAR PV.

To access the data stored in the smart meter's registers you will need to scroll through the registers one by one, using the SCROLL button. Often the LCD screen will move through the same fields of data, every few seconds on auto pilot, meaning you do not have to press anything.

In this example the registers of the Landis & Gyr E350 display the following:


  • 01 - Time
  • 02 - Date
  • 03 - kWh Imported Total Power
  • 04 - kWh Imported Peak Power
  • 06 - kWh Imported Off Peak Power
  • 13 - kWh Total Exported Power
  • 14 - kWh Total Exported Peak Power
  • 16 - kWh Total Exported Off Peak Power

Whilst software registers differ from meter to meter, as in installation to installation, there is a pattern where the first three registers often display the same basic information. In some cases these first three registers often being the only one's accessible via the 'Scroll Button', more so when solar power is not installed.

For example:


  • 01 - d25/08/12
  • 02 - t16:07:02
  • 03 - 50401.5 kWh

Smart Meters have an internal time of day clock and are able to compute the power used, during different time based tariff rates. This information is not always fully accessible via the front panel of the meter. The meter reader accesses the data via a remote handheld device and then uploads this data to the electricity retailer at the end of the day. 

You can get access to this data file, by requesting it from your electricity retailer. There is a lot of data in this data file as in most cases as there is an entry for every half hour over ninety days. And that is 4368 entries! Best to input into a spreadsheet.

If you are one of the many householders around Australia having issues with the reading / billing from these Smart Meters, we would suggest you start logging the data in register 3 once every day. Meaning you know your imported power. 

More information can be found on our website's ELECTRICITY pages. Where we have a form, especially designed to help you keep a record of the data.

To learn about optional independent energy monitoring and analysis of your electricity usage and / or solar pv system's output, visit our ONLINE ELECTRICITY MONITORING page. You will soon realise you can get your data online, very easily.

Updated October 2016 - This blog post brought to you by Aussie Home Energy, a major player in the HOME ELECTRICITY REDUCTION SERVICE industry in Australia.

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