Can You Learn From Your Electric Smart Meter?

Smart Meter
Image by Duke Energy via Flickr

What exactly is so smart about electric smart meters, and what can you learn from them?

Unlike, traditional electric meters, smart meters take advantage of a series of wireless technologies in order to communicate electric use data all the way from the residence to the power company. It’s with this advanced two-way communication that smart meters are able to provide such an array of benefits over traditional meters.

Traditional meters have analog dials that require employees of the power company to dispatch to each residence in order to collect electric use data. Not only are the dials difficult to read, but resource constraints often result in electric use data being estimated on the consumer bill. Smart meters also have a digital display that shows the electric use data as the actual numeric value, allowing for simple reading by the consumer. Electric use data is transmitted wirelessly and securely back to the power company in 15 minute intervals which equates to accurate billing for the consumer.

Because smart meters collect and transfer electric use data back to the power company in 15 minute intervals, consumers now have the advantage and ability to remotely monitor their own power consumption. Remote management of power consumption allows consumers to make smart decisions about their usage that will ultimately save both power and money.

Smart meters not only have the capability to record the amount of electricity consumed, but they also record surplus electricity generated by distributed generation sources such as solar panels and wind turbines. As alternative energy becomes more and more popular, being able to sell excess power back to the grid is a huge benefit.

So get your smart meter installed and start remotely monitoring your power consumption, receive accurate monthly billing, and enable your ability to sell back excess power generated from alternative energy sources, such as wind turbines and solar panels.

Do you have a smart meter? If not, call your power company and ask about getting one today.

Update: I had my smart electric meter installed last week. My power company requires 90 days of data collection before allowing me to monitor my power consumption, so watch for future articles in which I will describe my findings.

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