Introduction to Electric Meter Box

Are you in constant wonder how your power suppliers measure your monthly power consumption? An electric meter box is responsible for translating your energy demand into utility bills.

In exchange for electricity, we pay utility bills every month according to the rate of kiloWatt-hours (kW-h). Energy providers read the electric meter box on a public pole to account your power consumption and convert it for their service fee. 

To avoid suspicions on how they read the device, let us present an introduction to the electric meter box.      

What is an Electric Meter Box?

An electric meter box is a device that displays the energy consumption of a household or a property unit. It can be digital where the numbers automatically appear, or an analogue where the figures run through dials.  

Who owns the Electric Meter Box?

Even though an electric meter box is unique for every unit owner, your power suppliers still own it. Moreover, they are the only ones allowed to touch and fix it when problems occur. 

Be careful not to tamper and access the meter box since it can result in fines or put you in jail. When you want to move it to a more convenient location, you can contact your energy providers.  

How does an Analogue Meter Box work?

A glass-encased analogue meter has a metal disc inside that spins according to the current from the service wires. Note that a slower rotation means a lower energy consumption. 

The science behind it is an electromagnetic concept. It has two conductor coils — one is affected by the current, and the other is affected by the voltage. Together it turns the aluminium disc inside that also rotates the gears. And because of them, the five dials inside reflect the figures for the generated electricity. 

How to Read an Analogue Meter Box?

A representative from your energy provider read the dials from the electric meter box from left to right. When an arrow lands between two numbers, he takes the lower number. Then, to calculate the consumed kW-h, he subtracts the present reading from last month’s reading.   

How does a Digital Meter Box Work?

A digital meter box comes into different forms over the years. There’s a digital type similar to an analogue one. It has an analogue-to-digital converter (ADC), which converts the data into a digital signal to display the generated power. Moreover, there’s also another type that is more accurate than an analogue. It utilises alternating current sensors to detect and record voltage and ampere.   

The main difference between an analogue and a digital meter is their way of displaying the data. Digital meter shows the exact figures, while analogue needs monitoring first before obtaining the numbers. 

How to Read a Digital Meter Box?

Reading a digital meter box is more straightforward than an analogue. It uses an electronic device to display the consumed electricity. And you can easily read it yourself since it shows the exact numbers.  

Meanwhile,  high-end types of digital meter can send the readings to the energy supplier right away, making it more efficient and quick.  

How long does an Electric Meter Box Last?

The lifespan of a meter box depends on its type. But comparing it on a human’s average lifespan, you can change a meter box twice or thrice in a lifetime (not including the repairs). An analogue device lasts for about 30 years, and the digital one lasts for about 15 to 20 years.  


Learning a brief introduction about an electric meter box puts you under no excuses to ensure that the unit is safe from any sign of tampering. Note that only electricians and representatives from power companies can manage and deal with it. If you notice any irregularities, don’t hesitate to call your energy providers. 

You have no control over the meter box on the public poles. But, it is your responsibility to ensure safety on your home electrical connection. Faulty wiring, blown fuses, and overloading circuits are only some issues you can face. Put your trust on level 2 electricians to avoid these problems.

Here at Sutherland Shire Electrician, we take good care of your electrical connection just like how your electricity providers guarantee the safety of your electric meter box. Our friendly and service-oriented electricians are always available 24/7 when you have power emergencies. With just a call away, expect us to respond right away. 

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

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