A smart meter is a type of electrical or gas meter which will records the amount of electricity consumption in a particular building on an hourly basis. It will then automatically send this info back to the utility service company that provides the electricity in order to get a good accurate read on how much to bill the consumer. Smart meters can communicate two ways with the home base as well providing more instant feedback and making it unnecessary for technicians to come out to your house directly in many situations.
Why Smart Meters?
Many utility companies have recently been looking for ways to bring energy spending back under control and make the amount generated more consistent with the amount being used. Companies can now tweak with the rate of cost based on particular use based on time of day and other factors. For example, power rates might go up if a power plant goes down in a particular area in order to more accurately deal with strain on the system. The focus on data in the age of information shouldn’t be of particular surprise to anyone, after all. Engineers are constantly looking for ways to boost efficiency, and smart meters are just the current iteration of that particular principle in the field of energy consumption.
How Smart Meters Help Save Money
There are a few different ways that smart meters can save you money. For example, you can set the meter to help you budget energy through web notifications in some situations. There are also some companies that offer special packages that include smart meters and that will help you save money. The monitoring possibilities for smart meters are considerable, and analyzing the information that they can generate is something you can use to manage your power consumption in a much smarter way.
For example, if you can see when the peak hours are for energy consumption you can pan to cut down your use during those hours and this potentially pay a lower rate depending on how your power company deals with the particular issue. There are currently around 76 million installed smart meters world wide as of 2010, and this number is only likely to increase over the present and coming years, so it helps to get familiar with them.
Generally your power company will install this for you on a particular schedule. Many companies are going through upgrades from automatic systems that will finish within the next few years. It’s more common to opt out of the system then to specifically ask for one. It may be possible to call your power company and ask about their current plans regarding the system, however. This could vary from area to area and installation may be possible at request.
Learning how to best use your smart meter will have the highest impact on your future energy consumption and the costs associated with that, so there’s no time like the present to get started figuring it out.
This is a guest post by freelance frugal and green writer Jonathan Mehlig for Texas Electricity Providers who utilize various new ways of storing energy so that they can offer you better rates. When not writing, Jonathan loves to spend his time in the nature hiking or taking photos.