Fast Meter

Reporter: Graeme Butler

Geoff and Marie bought their Orelia home - new - 36 years ago. Recently it became time to downsize and move out - they packed up and turned off the power - well tried to turn it off.

"All the cleaning and everything had been done so we switched the main power off to find the disc still going around" What Kevin saw in his parents meter box left him stunned - while the mains switch was off and now power was being used - the meter kept turning - kept clocking up a bill - every minute of every day - possibly for 36 years. "You would assume that it was running at that speed right from day one because no maintenance has been done on it a meter has never been changed so whilst we can't prove that it has been running that fast like wise synergy can't prove that it hasn't been running that fast"

Marie contacted Synergy who sent out an inspector - their fears were confirmed their meter had been running fast - 14% fast - for how long? Who knows? "Synergy acknowledged it by the tests they have done and they've admitted that it's been running fast so they've admitted that it's running fast I can't see any reason why they wouldn't look at it on a long term basis rather than the short term"

Synergy offered to repay around $100 to compensate for the fast running metre - but it told the family government legislation prevents back paying any more. Synergy says it will refund for any length of overcharging when it can be proved ... but " In their case, it was not possible to determine when their meter went faulty.... they were refunded for 12 months overpayment, notwithstanding the meter may have been faulty for a shorter duration." "I don't' see any reason why they don't go back the full period of time to be honest with you because it was a zero meter when it was installed it was a brand new house when mum and dad moved in so you start of with a zero reading"Marie says "all I can suggest is that they turn their meter off maybe once a year and check it them selves - turn their main switch off and check it them selves"

Customers with inquiries about their meters should call through to the Synergy Contact Centre on 13 13 53 where they can get assistance from one of Synergy's Customer Service Officers who will address their inquiry.

If customers have any inquiries about their meters they can call the Synergy Contact Centre on 13 13 53 to discuss their concerns. Alternatively customers can check their own meters and can visit the Synergy website at synergy.net.au for instructions on how to read their meter. In addition to finding out how to read their meters, we also have a number of other tools on our website which can help customers determine iindicative costs to compare with their meter readings. We have calculators to help customer's determine how much energy different appliances use.

We also have a tool called My Account which customers can use to compare their electricity consumption up to the previous 12 years. This will help customers see if there has been any unusual activity in their account. We encourage all customers to check their meters and to contact the Synergy Contact Centre immediately if they notice any unusual activity, which cannot be explained, in their electricity consumption.