A smart meter measures and records your usage data at 30 minute intervals and transmits it to the electricity network regularly using 3G. Having a smart meter allows you to see detailed usage data in the Amber app. It also means you can be charged the exact wholesale electricity price for your usage as at each 30 minute interval, so you can be rewarded for using power at cheaper and greener times.
Without a smart meter, we can only pass through the typical wholesale rates in your area, because we can't see the times when you used power.
We attempt to install a smart meter for every Amber customer who doesn't already have one. Around 90% of the time we're able to successfully install a smart meter at no additional cost. We can do this in any situation where the meter is safe to upgrade as is.
But around 10% of the time, smart meter installs require additional electrical works to make your existing meter safe to upgrade. Because our margin is only our low monthly fee, we typically can't cover the cost of these additional works.
- If you live in a block of apartments or units. Particularly in older units, we often see that all of the meters on the complex's meter board are interconnected and very close together, this means that in order to get a meter installed your meter will need to be isolated. We may also see a situation where the motherboard needs to be extended by an electrician in order to make room for a smart meter.
- If your meter box is too old. An old meter box can create issues for us too, if the wood on the board is rotten, if the wiring is non-compliant with current standards or if the fuses are insulated with asbestos. then the issues will need to be fixed by a registered electrician before we can send a technician for a second installation attempt.
After you become our customer, we'll send a meter installer to your property to attempt to install a smart meter (if you don't already have one). If the attempt fails - usually for one of the above reasons - we'll let you know as soon as we can.
We'll explain any additional works that are required, and their cost. In cases where we can organise these works with your go-ahead, we'll pass the costs through directly, 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 Amber's typical wholesale rates.