What happens when a smart meter gets installed?

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Smart meter installations need to be completed by a certified electrician. When you sign up to Amber, we'll work with metering companies to coordinate your installation.
 
Depending on demand and your location, it takes around 4 weeks from when you sign-up to Amber for the installation to be completed.
 

The timeline

  • Day 1 - You sign up to Amber. Your ten day ‘cooling off’ period starts. You have this time to decide if you want to stick with Amber or go back to your original retailer.
  • Day 2-3 - Your account is officially transferred to Amber. Though this transfer may take a day or two, your official start date with us is the day you signed up. 
  • Day 10 - Your cooling off period ends. Unless you’ve indicated during your cooling off period that you want to remain with your previous retailer, it is at this point that we will submit a request to our metering partner to install a smart meter at your property if you don’t have one
  • Within 2 weeks from the end of your cooling off period - you receive an email from our metering partner BlueCurrent (formerly Vector) with the date of your smart meter install
  • Within 4 weeks from end of your cooling off period - metering partner will visit your property and your smart meter will be installed. 
  • 4-6 weeks from sign up - total timeline for smart meter install if no issues arise (see below for more on this)
  • Your usage data should begin flowing into the Amber app within 3 days of your smart meter install

What does the smart meter install involve?

Once you've got a date for installation from the metering company (look out for an email from BlueCurrent, formerly Vector), the electrician will remove your old meter and install the new one in the same spot.
 
We'll send a meter installer to your property to attempt to install a smart meter. This might involve you losing power for a little while (usually less than an hour).

Once your smart meter is installed your usage data should start appearing in the Amber app within 5 days. Once that happens you’re good to go - we can start passing through real-time wholesale prices for your energy usage 🙌
 
When your smart meter installation is completed, your network may switch you from a flat rate tariff to their default tariff, which may include a time-of-use or demand tariff. We pass through these tariffs at cost. We can submit a tariff change request on your behalf once every 12 months in most networks so please reach out if you have a preferred tariff (note: in Ausgrid you can request to change from a demand tariff to a Time of Use Tariff after one month). Keep in mind that your network controls your tariff and sometimes they will reject our change request. 
 
Are smart meter installations always successful?
 
Most of the time, yes. But for 5% - 10% of customers there may be some additional works required to create a safe environment for the meter install to take place. If the attempt fails (usually for one of the above reasons), we'll let you know as soon as we can.
 

Common factors that can require additional works before a smart meter is installed

There are some common factors that can make your smart meter install more complex, and increase the likelihood that additional works will be required.
 
If you think any of these factors may apply in your case, please give us a heads up when we schedule your smart meter install.
  • No switch to isolate the meter. This is most commonly needed for older blocks of units, apartments, or townhouses, where multiple electricity meters sometimes share the same power supply. An optional isolation procedure (at additional cost) may be required for the electrician to safely install the new meter without cutting power to other homes.
  • Not enough space to fit the smart meter in the meter box (they're a bit bigger than basic and interval meters).
  • Exposed or unsafe wiring.
  • Asbestos in or around the meter box.
  • Territorial geese
 

You won’t be obligated to proceed with, or pay for, any additional works if they’re required. Instead, we’ll explain any additional works that are required, and their cost.

If you decide to give our metering partner the go-ahead to move ahead with the installation and related works, we’ll pass the cost of the additional work that's needed through to you at cost, with no markup. 

 
You’ll always have the option not to proceed and to remain on a basic meter or interval meter if you choose, and will continue to receive prices that represent an average of Amber’s typical wholesale rates.
 
 
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