Smart Meters in NZ Homes: What You Should Know

Date Sep 4, 2020
Blog category Power
By Staff Writer

New Zealand has different models of electricity meters that can record and keep track of your power usage. The two common models you can see in a Kiwi home are analogue and smart meters. But what exactly are smart meters, and how do they work? Furthermore, what are the benefits of using smart meters in your home? 

Read on and find out more about smart meters. 

What are the differences between analogue meters and smart meters?

It’s important to know which model you have, as it defines how your retailer keeps records of your electricity consumption.

Analogue meters

The Electricity Authority defines this as the traditional kind of meter that you’ll see in many NZ homes which records the monthly power consumption.It works by having a meter reader regularly visit your home to record your electricity consumption.

Smart meter

A smart meter keeps track of your electricity consumption by recording your power usage at half hourly intervals, and then sending this information over to your power retailer. Unlike an analogue meter, a meter reader doesn’t need to make regular visits to your home just to record your power consumption.

How do smart meters work?

A smart meter works in two different ways; by sending ‘handshakes’ and by using radio waves.

  • Through GPRS: Your power retailer records your electricity consumption through moderate-speed data transfer using the GPRS (General Packet Radio Service).
  • Using radio waves: Also called a “point to many,” radio waves are used to transfer your meter reading from meter to meter until it reaches an aggregation point that sends the data to the retailer.

What are the benefits of using a smart meter in NZ?

Getting accurate meter readings is the main benefit of using a smart meter in your home. Your power consumption is also recorded faster, making you more aware of your electricity consumption. Having a smart meter is also convenient as you can check online for forecasts on your electricity bill based on smart meter readings. 

Using smart meters for great benefits

Kiwis can use either of the two, but it’s recommended to use a smart meter to record your electricity consumption at home. A smart meter communicates your consumption to your power provider through GPRS and radio waves. It provides more accurate and faster meter reading. 

When it comes to smart meters, power retailers can also offer a range of benefits! When you use a smart meter, it includes time-of-use tariffs and ‘daily free hour of power’ deals. Electric Kiwi encourage their Kiwis to use smart meters because it allows them to maximize the free Hour of Power. 

Aside from Electric Kiwi, other power companies in NZ are also offering great benefits when you use a smart meter! Check out their deals on our power companies page and compare various power plans that integrate using a smart meter at home!