Look after your public housing home

Electricity meters and hot-water systems

This page has information about the electricity and solar hot water in your home.

Electricity meters

An electricity meter is installed at your home. It is the tenant’s responsibility 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 supply of power to your home.

The Department of Local Government, Housing and Community Development is your landlord and needs to know when a meter is broken so it can fix it 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 one of these people:

  • 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 Local Government, Housing and Community Development 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 major town, call the Department of Local Government, Housing and Community Development on one of these numbers:

  • Darwin: 08 8999 8860
  • Alice Springs: 08 8951 5501
  • Katherine: 08 8973 8939
  • Nhulunbuy: 08 8987 0533
  • Tennant Creek: 08 8962 4558.

If you live in a remote community

If you live in a remote community, call your local housing maintenance officer or the Department of Local Government, Housing and Community Development on 1800 104 076.

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Last updated: 01 July 2019

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