electricity meters

Solar panels: new meters

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The old electricity meter, now removed

As part of our new solar panels, we needed new electricity meters. In particular, a new meter was required to measure the “gross feed in tariff”, that is, the amount of electricity we produce and sell to the grid.

The old electricity is shown above; clearly it’s pretty old. I wasn’t unhappy to see it go.

The new digital electricity meter

This is the new electricity meter. It’s digital, and is able to separately measure both the electricity we use, and the amount that the solar panels produce. Unfortunately it’s not the easiest thing to read and, most disturbingly, the Energy Australia installer had no idea of how it worked. So I guess it’s working OK, but it’s hard to tell.

Getting new meter wasn’t simple, and it’s yet another complexity involved in installing solar panels. Firstly, most solar panel companies aren’t able to install the meters themselves, as electricians need special certification to do the work, and the energy companies aren’t in a hurry to give it out.

So you’re likely to have to wait for the energy company to install the new meter. And wait you will. We waited quite a few weeks, and then had to make a few phone calls to actually get the contractor to turn up. If our solar power company wasn’t using their contacts behind the scenes, I fear the wait would’ve been even longer.

Tip: check carefully when and how the new meter(s) will be installed. Double-check any claims that the solar panel company can do this. If not, ensure that they are ready and able to push through the installation, via back-channels with the energy company if needed. Otherwise you could end up in limbo, with panels producing power but no money.