By Ruth Carol Atieno

Currently, majority of households if not all have an electricity meter in place to measure the electricity consumption rates. But have you ever asked yourself what type of a meter you have? Or when it is time for a replacement and you wonder what kind of a meter you should buy?

In this blog, I will be taking you through the different types of electricity meters currently available in the market.

Accumulation Meters

These meters, also known as flat rate meters, are a traditional version of electricity meters. They measure the total amount of electricity used by a household and so you are only billed for the amount of electricity you use regardless of the time of usage.

To get the readings from a flat rate meter, you check the amount of electricity your household used since the last reading you made before. The billing is then done by comparing the difference between the current reading to the previous reading.

Interval Meters

An interval meter on the other hand measures electricity usage at time intervals of 30 minutes. It collects the data with the help of a spinning disc and has a digital display.

This therefore means that with these meters you will have different electricity usage amounts at different times in a given day. This is clearly an advantage as you are able to know the times during which your electricity consumption is high and so you can work out a plan to reduce the consumption.

To get readings from an interval meter the reader has to attach an optical probe to the meter to downloads the 30 minute interval data into a handheld computer. The readings are then sent to your electricity supplier so they can calculate your bill.

Smart Meters

These are more advanced interval meters as they give a more detailed understanding of electrical consumption of a household. This information can be used when it comes to reducing energy consumption rate and in the end saving money.

Smart meters measure the electricity used by a household digitally and then sends this information yo the electricity supplier who then does the billing. This digital reporting is done on a daily basis as the meter is in a position to communicate to a central computing system.