If you're seeing some strange readings on MyOVO, or you're not seeing very detailed information associated with your usage, then the most likely scenario is that you have a basic meter.
There are generally two overarching residential meter types in Australia:
- Basic / Analog meters - These meters record on a dial or display how much energy you're using at your premises - they can't be read remotely. A meter reader from your distributor will come to your property to read it about once every 3 months. This is referred to as an Actual reading (A). You can also submit meter readings yourself. When we don't have an actual reading, we use the distributor's estimates to calculate your bill - these are determined by your distributor based on historical usage information for your property.
- Smart meters: Smart meters have an active SIM card, sort of like a mobile phone, and can be communicated with remotely. They typically provide usage information back to us daily - so we'll receive your daily usage information first thing the next morning. The benefit of this type of meter is it can easily be read and provides Actual readings all the time. There is no need to estimate readings with a smart meter.
There are then various different types of meters that fall into these two key categories, but the main thing to understand is that if you have a basic / analog meter there will be points in time when your readings will be estimated, and other times when we'll receive an actual reading. From time to time we will have to make adjustments to your bills to reflect this.
Why am I seeing a negative reading on MyOVO?
If you have a basic meter, it's likely that at times throughout the year, you may see a negative value associated with your electricity usage. The reason for this is due to estimated readings vs actual readings.
Screengrab from MyOVO
Because we provide you with a monthly statement, we use estimated readings provided by your distributor to calculate your statement; they have lots of historical information about the usage at your property.
However, since it's an estimate, it may not be quite right - your circumstances may have changed, or the property was left vacant whilst you went on holiday etc. etc. so when an actual reading comes in, an adjustment must take place to true up your previous bills with your actual usage.
Since we've already provided bills for the prior period, rather than reversion them all, we simply make an adjustment to account for this. In some instances this can be negative.
Is there anything I can do to get more accurate readings?
Of course! If you'd like to get a smart meter installed, you can request to do so generally free of charge. We'll arrange for a new shiny smart meter to be installed at your property. Click Help below to use webchat - and one of the team can take you through the process.
Please note sometimes a meter is unable to be installed if the Meter Provider finds that work needs to be done at your property first, such as upgrading your meter board. You will need to pay an electrician to perform the work before the meter can be installed. If this happens, we will let you know.
You should also be aware that in most instances upgrading your meter will also result in a change of network tariff, which may mean you move to either a time of use or demand tariff - but we'll always give you all of the necessary information so you can make an informed decision.
Can I submit my own meter readings?
Yes, you can also submit a regular meter reading, to keep your account as up to date and accurate as possible. If you provide us with a meter reading, we'll use this in your next bill - and it will show as a "Customer Read (CR)" and will be reflected in your usage history.
Submit a self read