MeterKeys provides locks, for your property, that allow access to Essential Energy Meter Readers and Emergency workers.
This is a secure system that has multiple levels of Master Keys included in it’s design. Below are some questions we have been asked over the past few years – if anything isn’t covered here please call our support services guys on 1300 736 236.
Q. Why Can’t I just give the meter reader a copy of my key?
A. Imagine if everyone in town did that – the meter reader would be carrying 20,000 different keys.
Q. How can I tell if I am ordering the right locking system for my Network Supplier?
A.There is really just 2 systems used throughout NSW. Have a look at your electricity bill – on the front where it lists phone numbers, have a look under “Faults and Emergencies” if the number is 13 20 80 (Essential Energy) you are in the right place, if it is another number please ring that number to confirm where to order your locks and keys.
Q. Who else has keys to my meter box?
A. The master key for your lock is held by meter readers and emergency service crew. These keys are what is known as “Restricted keys” and unauthorised copies cannot be made and distributed to other than these workers.
Q. I can buy a cheaper lock from Bunnings – why are these locks so expensive.
A. Relatively speaking – these locks are cheap. A padlock of this standard, fitted with a custom restricted broached plug and keyed to a master key system with a key included should retail around $80 plus! Essential Energy has negotiated a substantial discount for these locks on behalf of their customers. Locks of these standards are not available to retail hardware stores. Each lock is assembled to order for your particular use – note the variety of options available – this is impossible to do if you are not a Locksmith.
Q. I have received a card marked “Your meter box is fitted with a Legacy Lock – please arrange a new lock” what does this mean?
A.The meter reader or emergency crew had issues accessing your meter box. It is probably because the lock is from an older “legacy System” that no longer has design protection and is also showing signs of excessive wear. If the meter readers can’t access your box you could end up with a bill for a re-read. The meter reader left that card as a gentle suggestion that you should update your lock before he has issues that prevent him accessing your meters, and having additional fees being charged to your account.
Q. Why does my network supplier need to access my meter box?
A. Primarily to undertake meter reading activities. Without access your bill may be estimated based on prior usage. If however this estimate is below the actual usage you will receive an adjustment added to your bill when an accurate reading is obtained. Generally a notice will be sent to you regarding arranging a “Re-Read” (with appropriate fees) after a few estimate reads have been done. The service personnel also need access in emergency situations. Remember the meters and equipment in your box are the property of your regional electricity provider.
Q. I need to lock my access gate as well – what do I do?
A. The meter readers and emergency crews must have simple access to your meter box. Jumping fences and gates is not an option. You can contact the suppliers on 1300 736 236 and arrange additional locks of many types on the same key as you presently have. Make sure that you have your key in hand and a copy of your electricity bill. The operator will require some details from these.
Q. The locking tabs on my meter box have rusted off – How do I lock my meter box?
A. A clever little hasp has been designed to overcome these situations. It is made from stainless steel and can be fitted in minutes by any handyman with a cordless drill. See “Locking Accessories”.
Q. Why do I need my electricity bill handy when ordering a lock or keys?
A. We need to confirm details about your lock and location in order to protect your property from unauthorised keys being sent to would be thieves.
Q. At Checkout it asks for my NMI number – what is this?
A. All meters across Australia are identified with a NMI number. This number includes a checksum that verifies it’s authenticity. This is to protect you from others trying to gain access to your keys. Your National Metering Identifier (NMI) is printed on your power bill near where your account details are listed.
Q. I need a lock for a strata switch room…
A. Locks on Strata properties MUST be ordered by the Strata Managers. They can supply the NMI for the common property meter inside the switch room or call our operators who can guide them through the process. If this is a smaller strata body with no common property meter – then it will need to be ordered using the NMI from Lot 1 of the strata.
Q. Why can’t I order another key just using the “M” number on my current lock?
A. This is part of the protection of your property we take seriously. You wouldn’t want anybody being able to get a key for your property would you. Without the NMI the keys will not be issued. The NMI allows the Police to audit key holders if they need to.
Q. I would prefer to have my local Locksmith supply my locks and keys?
A. At the present time only FT&T Security Locksmiths have the authority to supply locks and keys on our systems. Early in 2014 this will change with all MLAA, LGA & LOK4 locksmiths in NSW being invited to participate.
Q. I already have a power authority lock on my meter box, it has been there for more than 20 years and was supplied by Great Southern Energy – why can’t I still use this lock and key?
A. Over the last 20 or so years there has been a lot of mergers of supply authorities. They all had smaller systems operating in their local areas. Now these older “legacy Systems” are out of date. There are no protections in place for master key issues and generally there are access issues with new keys in older locks and vice versa. These “Legacy Systems” need to be retired from use.
Q. I am a School GA. Do I need to change all the locks on our switch rooms and cupboards – they are using the PWD “E” key?
A. No you don’t need to change these if they are working well. Any new installations should be up-graded to current systems – however the “E” key can still be used in your school as long as there are no issues with access and you are not concerned who has keys to these. Your OH&S officer or Security Advisor may be able to advise you here.