Meter systems have two variations; three-phase and single-phase. The choice of phase is dependent on the energy required to power the area. The differences between the three-phase meters and single-phase meter are:
Single-phase meters also referred to as split-phase meters, are used in areas that require a minimal amount of power. This metering system is for running small loads as it is connected only at 230 or 240 volts. These meter systems are given their name as they work on a simple network with two wires; one live wire (conductor) and one neutral wire. The live wire carries the current, and the neutral wire acts as a returning path for the current. The downside to single-phase meters is the high possibility of power failure due to a fault in the system. The maintenance of this meter system could become quite costly.
On the other hand, three-phase meters are used in areas that require a lot of energy, such as industrial areas where large appliances are used. Three-phase meters are connected at 415 volts to four wires, three of which are active, and one is neutral. This complicated system is less likely to fail as it can run on the other two wires if there is a fault in the network. This metering system has a continuous flow of electricity and draws electricity in one of two configurations, star or delta.