“Smart” electric meters are digital two-way communication devices that automatically track and record a customer’s electric use in 15-minute increments. Customers and transmission distribution companies (TDUs) have access to the data, which can help both become more efficient.
Here are three benefits of this advanced technology.
1. Track Energy Consumption In Real Time And Adjust Accordingly
Smart meters allow you to view daily electricity usage in 15-minute increments online or through an in-home monitor. The data shows you how much energy you are using and when.
With all of the instant data customers receive with smart meters, they are empowered to take control and better manage their energy consumption, thereby lowering their electric bills. For example, by having access to real-time information about how you consume electricity, you can choose to use a device, like a dishwasher, at another time or adjust the thermostat so that the air conditioner or heater runs less during certain parts of the day.
Research has proven that the majority of people make changes after reviewing data from smart meters. According to a U.S. Department of Energy study conducted in Texas, 71 percent of customers reported that they have changed their electricity consumption behavior as a result of the information provided by their in-home displays. About 50 percent adjusted the temperature on their thermostat, and 83 percent say they turn off the lights before leaving a room.
Do Texans intend to keep using the smart meter data? An overwhelming 97 percent indicated that they would continue to use their in-home displays to monitor their electricity usage.
2. Reduce Our Carbon Footprint
Smart meters are read remotely, which reduces the need for meter readers to travel from house-to-house by car or truck to get information each month.
Smart meters also allow TDUs to remotely set up service connection and disconnection, which reduces the time it takes to set up electricity service at a residence and eliminates the need for emissions from transportation.
3. Instant Communication With Your TDU
As part of the two-way communications system, smart meters “talk” to your TDU and can prove beneficial during heavy storms and other natural disasters, since they tell your TDU when there is an electric outage, aiding in the restoration process.
Once everyone has a smart meter installed, you will likely be able to forgo reporting your power outage to your TDU. But, for now, you should still call your TDU when your power goes out.
What do you like most about smart meters?
To take a look at your daily consumption, you can register your smart meter at smartmetertexas.com.