According to research, Australia ranks 25th in the world for natural gas consumption. Millions of Australians use gas to cook food and power their home appliances. It is a reliable and cost-effective power source. While gas can be a more affordable energy plan than electricity, bills can vary according to your household and area. To help you better understand your gas bill, here is a guide on gas meters and billing.
What is a gas meter?
A gas meter is a device that records your household’s gas consumption. The data recorded in a gas meter is then relayed to energy providers and billed accordingly. Gas consumption is measured in megajoules (MJ).
Types of gas meters
There are two main types of gas meters used in Australia—Gas Imperial Meter and Gas Metric Meter. The type of gas meter connected to a property is dependent on gas pressure and regulator type.
What is the difference between the two types of gas meters?
- Gas Imperial MeterThe gas imperial meter uses cubic feet when measuring gas consumption. It has a display that features multiple cyclonic dials. This type of gas meter is found in older homes as it is already being phased out.
- Gas Metric MeterThe gas metric meter uses cubic meters when measuring gas consumption. Unlike a gas imperial meter, its panel features a digital display of numbers. This type of gas meter is used in new residential and business properties.
Where can I find my gas meter?
The location of a gas meter depends on the type of house and when the property was built. Standalone homes often have their gas meters located next to the electricity meter. They are positioned on rear exterior walls or the front porch. Gas meters in apartments, townhouses, or multi-dwelling properties can be located in the basement, parking area, or below the kitchen sink.
What is a gas meter number?
Every gas meter is assigned a unique number. It is located on the top or bottom part of the meter. Your gas meter number should match the meter number reflected on your bill. Your gas meter should also be linked to a MIRN (Meter Installation Registration Number) or a DPI (Delivery Point Identifier), which are numbers assigned to a specific address. The MIRN and DPI are used by the gas meter service provider for supply identification purposes.
Different states follow different patterns for gas meter numbers:
- Victoria—gas meter numbers are usually composed of four numbers and two letters
- South Australia—gas meter numbers are often composed of eight numbers
- New South Wales—gas meter numbers usually have two letters and six numbers
How to read a gas meter
Gas meter readings are done every three months by the energy distributor. This is the company that owns the gas pipes and infrastructure in your area. The company will send a representative to read your gas meter. The information gathered during the meter reading is then relayed to your energy retailer who dispatches the gas bill.
How to Read Gas Meters
To read your gas meter, you need to know whether it is imperial or metric.
Imperial Gas Meter Reading
• Look at the pointer on each dial of the Imperial gas meter
• If you have an old imperial gas meter, you should disregard the additional dials at the top and bottom – these dials as for testing purposes only
• Take note of the numbers on the gas meter and record them from left to right
• For pointers that are found between two numbers on a dial, refer to the lowest number
• Once the numbers from each dial are recorded, convert them from cubic feet into cubic metres to get your gas meter reading
Metric Gas Meter Reading
• You should find 8 numbers on the display panel of the metric gas meter with M3 at the end
• Take note of the numbers and record each from left to right
• Do not record the numbers in red as they are intended for testing
• For digital gas meters, move the decimal point two spaces within the number sequence; for instance, a reading of 18.321 should be read as 1,832.
To make things easier for your provider, make sure your gas meter is easily accessible and obstruction–free. This will ensure that your bill will reflect your actual consumption and not an estimate.
There are a range of providers that can provide you with gas and electricity deals in Australia that match your budget and needs. Electricity Wizard is an energy broker that can help you compare energy plans. Contact us to find the right plan for your home or business.