Any way to switch sub-board metered supply?

Discussion in 'Electronics & Electrics' started by bonox, Mar 8, 2020.

  1. bonox

    bonox Member

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    Hi All

    I have a granny flat that at present is completely separate electrically from the main house. That means it has it's own four meters plus off peak switch (Three phases and an off peak meter), and each of those meters are registered with the electricity supplier.

    The same exists for the main house. For what it's worth, the whole lot is in one big box on the side of the house, meaning I have a beautiful assembly of ten glass domes with 8 spinning disks :)

    I'm about to lose a tenant and want to be able to use the place myself, but am not interested in paying the daily supply charge twice. I'm having trouble explaining to an electrician what I want and am interested in the correct terminology help please:

    The goal is to run electricity to the granny flat through the main house meters when I want it. I would be great if I could flip between the two supply meters if possible, so when tenanted, set it to the specific flat meters, otherwise flip it to the main house metered supply.

    Is something like that possible? I've got impish visions of a large multi-ganged knife switch that would give be great pleasure. If not, the only way around would be to put sub-meters on the flat and force the tenant to use my supplier, with the sweetener that they wouldn't have to pay the daily supply charge, only the consumption. There's likely to be years between each tenanting event so the supply charge will add up a lot and my only real desire is to run the air-con occasionally to keep the oil distributed through out and minimise the long term seal leaks.
     
  2. Odje

    Odje Member

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    I don't think the NSW Service & Installation rules will permit you to have a switch for the granny flat supply to allow you to choose separating metering or not. So you need to decide if you want to keep the separate metering or not. If you decide to get rid of the separate metering, the physical meters will get returned and the supply to the granny flat will get rewired to go through the main house meters. Do you know if you are in an Ausgrid or EE distribution area?
     
  3. rickbishop

    rickbishop Member

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    Easy.

    Get a sparky to decommission the granny flat meters, then have him/her hook it up to the main house supply with your own meter. Then when you get a tenant, you read the granny flat meter and charge the tenant for power yourself.

    Even better if you have a big solar system, because you can still charge the tenant for the power they've used even when your solar system is feeding back into the grid or directly supplying the power. They pay the going rate per kwh for ALL usage, but they don't pay the daily connection charges.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2020
  4. OP
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    bonox

    bonox Member

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    Thanks gents. It's close in to sydney and we've got Ausgrid trucks everywhere when something happens so assume it's them for what it's worth. Guess I was hoping to hold onto the original spinning disc meters (with the secondary of not having to pay for my own sub meters) but if the rules prevent it, then so be it.

    edit - definately ausgrid according to their network area check
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2020
  5. rickbishop

    rickbishop Member

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    If you've got your own sub meters, they'll pay for themselves. First when you don't have to pay double the grid charges and second when the tenant pays you for power.
     
  6. OP
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    bonox

    bonox Member

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    Odje's reference to the service rules led me to the documentation Annexure, part 2.9.3 of which talks about Paralleling Links for meter arrangements. There's no other reference in the document for what this means and a google for that expression just links you to each state's version of the same document - any clues about whether that part might be useful in this circumstance? Mind you , I have trouble trusting published standards documents that are so well proof read that they still contain a few "Error: Reference Not Found" references.

    I suppose a different way of looking at it would be to ask if you can swap the load between two metered circuits. Guessing the only way to do this easily for an air conditioner would be to have a paired set of outlets and a plug on the unit. Is this fair game? It's a small split system with a 20A breaker, and single phase round pin plugs and sockets aren't that expensive. Would need the addition of an RCD though I think which isn't that big a deal.... unless a special DC filtered unit to deal with the VFD is ludicrously expensive or hard to source? Any other ideas?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 9, 2020
  7. Odje

    Odje Member

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    Not useful to you. Its just an active link to facilitate joining of wires. In the situation described in that clause is to allow the connection of multiple meters to one consumer mains (supply cable). The service fuses usually have two load terminals allowing the connection of upto two meters per phase without an active link.

    Then the "main switch" for the granny flat would not isolate all power. There are clauses in AS/NZS3000 that disallow the mixing of installations. I guess the granny flat would be considered a separate installation.
     
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  8. OP
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    bonox

    bonox Member

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    surely with two outlets hanging off two separate meters, the main switch under each meter would shut off its respective outlet? I'm not sure i see any difference between plugging a lamp into the main house, then unplugging it and walking into the granny flat then plugging it in there - each installation main switch would still kill the lamp if the lamp is plugged into that installation. If not, what am i missing?

    ahh - is your contention a bit like running an extension cord into a house from next door and then expecting that opening the main switch for the house to shut off the extension cord as well? If that's the case, is that supplant-able by placarding at each end and whatnot?

    An aircon is supposed to have an isolator next to the unit, so it shouldn't matter where the feed is coming from i'd have thought. The other cover is that if you wanted to isolate an aircon, you'd look for a breaker marked with it. In this case, you wouldn't find one - only breakers covering socketed outlets.

    Perhaps i'm looking at this the wrong way. I might start with calling the supplier and asking if there's any way I can have all the meter numbers aggregated into one 'connection' or billing number. I've no idea if this how it works for strata connections?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 9, 2020
  9. Symon

    Symon Castigat ridendo mores

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    Yes, they do that by removing the meters for the granny flat, and connecting that load to the main meters.

    If you want to keep the installation the way it is, I don't think they would be too keen on waiving the second service charge and merging the accounts into one.
     
  10. OP
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    bonox

    bonox Member

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    That's just politics surely. They're already aggregating 4 meter numbers into one account - why not eight? The other thing on my side is that it's one physical building and while they've got the flat billing address as 3A, there is no 3A on any deposited plan, only the 3 of the parent house. For me it's about maintaining flexibility and avoiding the cost of rewiring the place needlessly - at least in my mind.
     
  11. ArmoureD

    ArmoureD Member

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    So basically you dont want to pay the 2 daily supply charges because you have 2 accounts.

    You want to amalgamate both accounts into 1 account and pay 1 daily supply charge but keep the old meters that are no longer linked to any account.

    No this is not permitted in NSW. You can have your own private meters, but the supply authority ones will be taken back when you engage a level 2 service provider to amalgamate the accounts for you.
     
  12. Symon

    Symon Castigat ridendo mores

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    No, as mentioned above it is in the service rules. Good luck trying to find anyone who is willing to 'bend' those.
     
  13. bryn

    bryn Member

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    you can put multiple meters on one bill with one supply charge, but its possible this is only available for business accounts.
     
  14. OP
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    bonox

    bonox Member

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    The solution was to move everything on the existing sub-board from their own meters across to be a sub-board of the main meters. What was left was a dead 3 phase air conditioner on the other set of meters. They will sit there never spinning around until I move the sub-board back to the old meter set. Sparky was happy that was still above board and the supplier doesn't know that the a/c doesn't work and there are still circuits connected to the meters even though it'll never be used. The supplier will read the unused meters every time they read the main ones but i won't have a knock on the door until they move at which time I would have been expected to create an account for them. I'm happy with that as it's what happened at the previous house when I removed all the gas appliances. Once i informed the supplier that I wanted the gas account closed, the meter was left there and they sent someone to read it every quarter but I never heard another thing about it. Expecting the same thing here.
     
  15. rickbishop

    rickbishop Member

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    So you basically did what I recommended...
     
  16. OP
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    bonox

    bonox Member

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    Not really. Meters were not decommissioned. If that happens the owner takes them away. The cost of four sub meters was also greater than twice the labour charge to swap the input/output lines between meter sets so I'm still ahead if I want to change it back again.
     
  17. OP
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    bonox

    bonox Member

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    Thanks. I went round in circles with EE on this. Four aggregated is easy. Eight is not.
     

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