If you have concerns or questions about advanced meters you might like to start by watching our video and then refer to the answers to frequently-asked questions below
What is an advanced (smart) meter?
An advanced meter measures electricity usage in your home and communicates that usage and any power outages via a radio signal.
How much do they cost?
Meter charges are incorporated into your electricity prices from retailers and there is no charge for the meter installation.
What are the immediate benefits of advanced meters?
- Most customers will have access to information about their daily and hourly power usage
- No access is required onto your property for meter readers
- There will be no need for someone to hold keys to access houses to read internal meters
- Power accounts will be based upon actual consumption not on an estimate
- Network Tasman will be alerted if your supply voltage is too high or too low
- Network Tasman will be alerted if you have a power failure even if a home is not occupied (we still ask that consumers call us on 0800 508100 if they experience a power outage)
- Network Tasman will be alerted if your power is not restored after an outage
What are the medium/long term benefits of advanced meters?
- The management of power outages will be improved leading to quicker restoration of power supply
- Network Tasman will be able to better manage its lines network
- Consumers can monitor their own electricity usage and conserve energy as a result
- Consumers can set alarms to alert them if their power usage is too high
- Consumers can set energy efficient appliances to interact with their advanced meter to alter usage to suit their lifestyle and to manage electricity costs
- Consumers can automatically turn off 'non-critical' appliances when not in use
- Consumers can dynamically select suitable electricity tariff plans through their electricity retailer
Can advanced meters be used for surveillance or security monitoring?
No. All meter reading data is in code and can only be read by the meter system computers. No other data (e.g. voice or video) can be transmitted. More than one million New Zealand homes now have advanced meters and there is not a single documented case of any surveillance or security monitoring taking place.
Do advanced meters cause adverse health effects?
No evidence of any adverse health effects from advanced meters has been demonstrated in peer-reviewed, science-based research published in reputable scientific publications. We have posted several examples of such research on our website for your information.
Has Network Tasman applied for resource consent for the relay and access points?
Yes, the Tasman District Council and the Nelson City Council have provided certificates of compliance enabling the advanced meters to be installed.
When will consumers start getting advanced meters?
Network Tasman began installing advanced meters to consumers on its network in 2014. If your advanced meter has not yet been installed, your electricity retailer will contact you directly to let you know in advance what the timetable is for installing an advanced meter on your property.
Can I decide not to have an advanced meter?
Yes. Please contact your retailer directly.
If I choose not to have an advanced meter will it cost me more?
This is a question that is best asked of your electricity retailer. While Network Tasman owns and is installing the meters, individual electricity retailers determine their own pricing arrangements for their customers.
Will my power bill go up if I have an advanced meter?
The fact that you have an advanced meter has no bearing on the price you pay per kilowatt of power. This amount is charged by your electricity retailer.
As part of the advanced meter installation Network Tasman will be checking that all its consumers are on the correct tariff and that all the wiring and equipment that connects them to the network is safe.
As meters age a small minority can start to run slower or faster and record electricity consumption inaccurately. This means that some people’s power bills may change once their electricity usage is on the correct tariff and being recorded correctly.
What is being done with the profit is Network Tasman making from installing advanced meters?
As a consumer-owned company, any profits the company makes are either used by Network Tasman to invest and manage its electricity network or are included in the twice-yearly discounts on its consumers’ power bill.
Will I pay more for my advanced meter on my monthly bill than I currently pay for my existing meter?
Network Tasman is paid a monthly rental by retailers. We will not be charging customers an additional fee. Individual electricity retailers determine their own pricing arrangements for their customers.
Will a meter reader still need to come to my home or business?
No. The advanced meter is fitted with a wireless communication device that allows Network Tasman to read your meter remotely.
How long will installation take?
A standard residential installation takes around 30-60 minutes. The power will need to be turned off during installation.
Is my electricity retailer aware of what you are doing?
Yes, initially we are installing advanced meters for Contact Energy, Genesis, and Energy On Line but we are working with all retailers.
How will I know that my advanced meter has been installed?
The Network Tasman installer will leave an acknowledgement of the installation to let you know it has been completed.
How does the advanced meter work if you have solar panels?
An advanced meter will record electricity that is imported into your premises and exported if you are generating more electricity than you require. We will also be able to identify illegal installations which pose a safety risk.
How is information transmitted?
All meter reading data is in code and can only be read by the meter system computers. No other data (e.g. voice or video) can be transmitted. Information is transmitted via radio signal.
How often does an advanced meter transmit information?
An advanced meter is inactive for the vast majority of the time and is actively transmitting data for less than 1% of any 24-hour period.
What level of radio frequency does an advanced meter transmit?
The level reduces the further away from a meter you are. Even if you are standing next to a meter the emissions are still well under 1% of the threshold that is quoted in the NZ standards that govern radio frequency levels.
Where can I find further information?