Look after your public housing home

Electricity meters and hot-water systems

Find information below about electricity and hot water systems in your public housing home.

Electricity meters

If an electricity meter is installed at your home, it's your responsibility as the tenant to buy tokens to operate the meter.

You should not touch or change the meter.

Broken electricity meters

A broken electricity meter affects the essential power supply to your home.

The Department of Territory Families, Housing and Communities is your landlord and needs to know when a meter is broken so it can be fixed as soon as possible.

If your meter gets broken, tell your nearest housing officer straight away.

If there's no housing office in your community, you can tell a:

  • tenancy contract officer
  • community housing officer
  • housing maintenance officer
  • essential services officer
  • government employment coordinator.

To report your broken meter, see the phone numbers listed at the bottom of this page.

Who pays for a broken meter

If the tenant, a family member or an invited visitor breaks the electricity meter on purpose, then the tenant of the house has to pay for it to get fixed.

If you can prove that the damage was criminal and caused by someone else, the department will fix the meter and put the power back on.

Criminal damage

If someone else breaks the meter at your house on purpose, you should go to the local police station and report it straight away.

Tell the police you need these documents:

  • a police case summary report which names the Department of Territory Families, Housing and Communities as the victims of the damage
  • a copy of the statement you gave to police.

If there are no police in your community, go to your regional council office, your housing reference group person or the essential services officer and tell them what happened.

Solar hot water system

If you have a solar hot water system, the panels are installed on the roof.

If it has been cloudy or rainy, the water might not heat up enough.

If the water is not hot enough, you will have to turn on the booster switch to heat the water.

Types of booster switches

There are two types of booster switches.

If the water is not hot enough, the orange light will come on.

Only press the booster switch if the orange light is on.

If the water is not hot enough, press the red button.

The red light will go off when the water is hot again.


If your meter is broken, call Power and Water on 1800 245 092.

If you live in Darwin or a regional town, you can also call your local housing office below:

If you live in a remote community

If you live in a remote community, call the Department of Territory Families, Housing and Communities  on 1800 104 076.

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Last updated: 24 September 2020

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