Types of Electric Meters: Where are They Used For?

Over the years, there have been changes in the types of electric meters that power suppliers utilise. They shift on a more convenient and useful approach.

An electric meter reads the electrical consumption of a property or unit space, monthly. It runs on kiloWatt-hours (kW-h), and your power suppliers translate it into an electric bill. Generally, it has two types — analogue and digital. However, you can further classify it into different kinds. 

To understand and appreciate them more,  presented in this article are the types of an electric meter and where are they used for:

Analogue Meters

Even though it is the oldest type of electric meter, power suppliers still use an analogue meter because of its durability — it can last for about 30 years. Its operation utilises the electromagnetic concept. Conductor coils inside detect electricity and make a disc rotate to turn the dials inside. And these dials represent the consumed energy in each household.

An officer from the electric company reads on the five dials of an analogue meter from left to right. If a pointer falls between two numbers, he chooses the lower number. And to compute your electricity use, he subtracts the current reading from the last month’s reading.    

Interval Meters

An interval meter is a type of digital device that depends on the time of the day for its rates. Every 30 minutes, it records a unit’s power consumption. Charges may apply according to the peak and off-peak hours. It means that during peak hours, the electricity rate is more expensive. To understand more about the charges and tariffs, visit this article

If you think of it as an unfair rating scheme, you can always ask your power suppliers to offer you the same rate for an analogue meter. 

Reading the consumed electricity for an interval meter is pretty much straightforward since it displays the exact figures. The representative from the power company visit its location and extracts the data using an optical probe. Then, your energy providers process the data for billing. 

Smart Meters

A smart meter is another type of digital device. Just like the interval meter, it also records data every 30 minutes. Energy suppliers are slowly replacing old meters to this type because of its efficiency. Its main difference from an interval meter is that it can now send the recorded figures to the power provider directly. 

There’s no more need for field visits since smart readers can easily send data from your home to the distributor. Moreover, you can track your power consumption in their system, so trust will never be an issue.  

Solar Meters

A solar meter is a specialised type of device used in installed solar panels. There are three kinds of solar meters — net, bi-directional, and dual. 

A net meter displays the consumed net electricity. It means that it subtracts the energy generated from the solar to the total power consumption.  

Meanwhile, a bi-directional meter shows the electricity from the grid and the solar power coming into the grid. 

Lastly, a dual meter has two separate meters. One shows how much electricity you get and the other shows the solar power you give to the main-line. 

Whatever type of solar meter you have, your energy provider will surely process them while making sure to subtract the power that your solar panel provided. 


Through technological advancement, the meter types have evolved for convenience and reliability. There are different types of electric meter available — analogue, interval, smart, and solar. 

Presented with the types of the electric meter and where are they used for, it is up to you if you want to change and upgrade them. However, note that only the power suppliers are allowed to replace and update your meter. So ask them first if changes are possible. 

Public poles and electric meters are the responsibilities of your power suppliers. But, it doesn’t mean that they can do all of your electrical issues. When you have wiring troubles, it is the best choice to call for the services of Sutherland Shire Electrician

Our team of professional level 2 electricians are ready for any electrical repairs and installations in residential and commercial establishments. No job is too small or big for us. As long as we ensure your safety from power faults and hazards, we are happy to be at your service.

Contact us at 02 9133 4354 or book your appointment online.  

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