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National Measurement Institute

Exemption Lifted on Electricity Meters

From 1 January 2013 electricity meters used for trade which measure under 750 MWh per annum must be pattern approved and verified. As electricity prices rise, consumers can be reassured that newly installed electricity meters are accurate.

Article date:
21/03/2013 9:00 AM

Click here for a copy of the news alert Amendments Approved for Lifting Exemption of Electricity Meters.

The National Trade Measurement Regulations have been amended to remove the exemption for electricity meters installed from 1 January 2013. Electricity meters installed prior to 1 January 2013 remain exempt.

​Transitional Arrangements (Grandfathering)

Transitional arrangements are being provided for electricity meters held in stock to be considered for grandfathering. Grandfathering is the granting of pattern approval and verification. This will allow grandfathered meters to be installed and used for trade on or after 1 January 2013. Grandfathering does not enable new meters to be sold, but only applies to existing meters held in stock. Meters installed prior to 1 January 2013 are not applicable for grandfathering, since they remain exempt.

To apply for grandfathering, please submit an application by 31 March 2013 to

The application should include the following details for each type of electricity meter:

  • meter make and model
  • specifications including:
    • accuracy class
    • rated voltage, currents and frequency
    • direct-connected or transformer-operated
    • number of phases and wires
    • electronic or electro-mechanical
    • meter constant
  • number of meters held in stock along with serial numbers

Pattern Approval of Electricity Meters

Pattern approval is the process of testing and assessing a pattern (type) of electricity meter to ensure that it is capable of maintaining accuracy when subjected to influences and disturbances (e.g. variations in temperature, electrical impulses and electromagnetic fields). Click here for a list of electricity meters that have been pattern approved.

Verification of Electricity Meters

Verification is the process of assessing whether a meter is of an approved pattern and is operating within the maximum permissible errors when tested in accordance with NITP 14 National Instrument Test Procedures for Utility Meters.

Consumers and Electricity Meters

The changes introduced to the National Trade Measurement Regulations mean that after 1 January 2013 a new national standard will be in place to ensure the accuracy of all newly installed household electricity meters.

With the introduction of the standard, consumers can be reassured that new meters will undergo thorough testing, verification and approval to make certain that they are suitable for use and maintain their accuracy over time.

If an electricity meter is inaccurate, by even a small amount, it costs consumers money. For example, on an average NSW consumer’s power bill of approximately $2000, a 5% error of the electricity meter can lead to an over or under payment of $100 per year.

As electricity prices rise in households, the accuracy of electricity meters is fundamental, as will be the role of NMI in regulating them.