Advantages of Smart Meters
Smart Meters are everywhere, and they are quickly becoming a norm in our society. Although some people still shy away from them or wonder if they are a waste of time, there is no question that smart meters have many benefits. In fact, smart meters will save you money over the life of your meter! Here are a few benefits of having a smart meter for yourself:
Solar Homeowners: More solar homeowners
are installing smart meters to record the amount of power used, as well as to collect and store energy created by their solar panels during the day. This allows them to make good on the promise of going “green” and saving money on energy costs. Smart meters can also be used by solar homeowners as a way to check their electricity usage. In many states, residential customers are required to have smart metering, so this can be a great way to make sure that you’re getting the most electricity you use and, conversely, that you’re using as little electricity as possible.
Energy Efficient Homeowners: More homeowners today
are finding that smart meters can allow them to save not only money but also valuable time and effort by reducing the amount of electricity used by appliances and systems. Smart meters allow homeowners to program not only their appliances and electrical systems, but also “smart off,” or turn off the power from lights and air conditioning to save on electricity costs. Many new houses and apartment buildings have these smart meters built right into the home itself. In addition to saving on energy costs and utilities, more people are discovering that they can reduce their negative effects on the environment by eliminating the use of paper towels and washing machines. These advances in state-of-the-art technologies are only going to continue to grow in popularity.
Peak Time-of-Use Pricing: For utility companies
smart meters provide a way to charge customers according to peak times when energy use is highest. Off-peak prices, which is what most people have experience with, charges customers based on the time of day when they use the most electricity. On the other hand, “peaky” pricing occurs during off-peak hours when energy consumption is at its lowest. By implementing smart meters to determine the amount of electricity used during certain times of the day, utilities can provide more accurate and reliable peak time-of-use pricing for their customers.
Reduced Flooding and Reduced Surges in Consumption
Although smart meters are primarily used by utilities, they are also beginning to find applications in residential areas for reducing the amount of electricity wasted during the summer months. Off-peak prices can sometimes cause drastic spikes in consumption, especially if customers switch to “on” whenever they turn on their air conditioners. “Peaky” electricity occurs at times when the sun is the hottest, causing electric consumption to increase during this time, as well as when it is cooler outside. Through the use of smart meters, utilities can calculate when they need to implement lower levels of off-peak prices for customers who still use a significant portion of their electricity at these times.
There are many other benefits associated
with smart meters. For instance, utility suppliers can monitor energy usage to determine which gas and electricity suppliers to provide incentives to. This reduces the cost of energy for both utility companies and consumers. Also, because smart meters provide detailed information about energy consumption, they can improve the reliability of utility companies by giving them valuable data about their transmission and distribution systems. Installing smart meters is also expected to reduce the risk of costly power outages because utility companies will be able to anticipate usage based on historical data.