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Power meters for business

Every commercial property connected to our network must have electricity meter equipment installed. 

This is so your electricity use can be measured and you can be charged accordingly by your energy retailer (unless arrangements have been made to have a non-metered supply).

As a Northpower customer, you are responsible for having a meter installed, along with its maintenance and security. Your electricity retailer determines who will be the metering equipment provider (MEP). The MEP then decides who will provide the equipment and who installs it.

You’re welcome to provide your own check metering device to monitor your electricity usage if you wish, but it needs to be clearly marked as ‘check meter only’.

Who installs and repairs commercial power meters?

If you’re setting up a new connection, you’ll need to contact an energy retailer to set up an account if you’re not already a customer. You can find a list of retailers at Powerswitch. Your electricity retailer determines who will be the metering equipment provider (MEP). The MEP then decides who will provide the equipment and who installs it. They are also the best person to answer any questions you have.

For a step by step guide to new installations, check out our New Connections and Alterations information. Your metering equipment provider (MEP) can also help with any repairs to you meter.

How accurate is my power meter?

Electricity meters are precision instruments, and extremely accurate. As the meter records watts and hours, it has a technical name of “watt-hour-meter” and this indicates units of electricity. Electricity is used by the kilowatt hour (kWh), more commonly known as a unit. One unit is equivalent to 1,000 Watts (kW) switched on for one hour.

There are several types of meter dials – some older types of electricity meters have indicating dials, while others use a cyclometer register. The latest meters have liquid crystal displays similar to a calculator. Occasionally meters have two separate displays for special tariff options.

Advanced metering - Metrix and AMS Advanced (Smart) Meters

All of the electricity retailers in the Northpower network area are introducing advanced meters over time.

Your retailer’s metering equipment provider owns the advanced meter. Previously, the older style meters were owned by Northpower.

Below you can find some helpful frequently asked questions about smart meters.

What are the advantages of smart meters?

Advanced meters can be read remotely so there’s no need for a meter reader to come on to your property, which is handy if your meter is indoors, on a site requiring sign in for hazards or in a tenanted building. They also enable remote disconnection and connection.

The final reading – which is required when leaving a property or changing retailers – can occur almost immediately. Every electricity bill is based on ‘actual’ readings – no more estimates! Smart meters allow electricity retailers to offer ‘time-of-use’ pricing options, meaning the cost per kWh will vary at different times of the day (often called peak, shoulder, or off-peak rates). Most retailers also have technology which allows you to analyse your electricity usage per hour, day or month. Check out more information on smart meters in our Advice Hub.

How do power meters work on multi-tenanted buildings?

Multi-tenanted buildings will often have combined meter stations. Each meter needs to be clearly labelled with the flat number or tenant area.

The meter should be installed outside as with residential installations, however it may be located inside the building if there is no suitable outdoor location. It should be secure and safe from damage and able to be easily read. High rise or multi-tenanted buildings should have all the meters located in a central area. Prepay meters can be used with the approval of the energy retailer.

Do you generate excess power?

If your business or commercial property has in vested in renewable energies such as solar,  you may be in a position to sell power back to the grid, which requires a different metering import/export meter.  They can measure electricity both ways, so can record electricity being generated by a solar panel or wind turbine that’s being exported back to the grid. Find out more.