View Full Version : have we discussed smart meters for electricity yet?

10-7-11, 2:50pm
Pros and Cons. What do you folk think of them.

10-7-11, 4:39pm
Our energy supplier activated our smart meter on July 1/11.

I spoke to a rep of the energy supplier on Wednesday and confirmed these facts:
*you can choose when you wish to use energy and have the power to reduce your bill.
*if you lose power, the energy supplier knows which area, which feeder, which transformer and therefore who has lost power or will shortly once this capability is implemented. They have hired a computer expert who has designed this feature and will be in charge of dealing with this
*the smart meter will electronically send in an hourly record of usage and the need for meter readers spending time and money each month reading meters is gone.
*consumers may cut back on energy usage thereby conserving power

*the smart meter generates fees that are taxable therefore increasing cost.
*one needs electricity 24/7 so some people will pay more especially if they are home fulltime and using a lot of energy throughout the day.
*there are now three rates that are charged depending on use whereas there was just one before
*meter readers lost their jobs

That being said, we really watch when we use power and have noticed no great change in our bills. It will be interesting to see what happens when the winter hours scheduled for peak, midpeak and off peak kick in on Nov 1.

Our off-peak rate is .059 and peak is .107 cents per kwh so choosing to use power in the off peak makes a big difference. All the other charges make our electricity about .1639 cents/kwh even using most (75%) of our power at off-peak rates.

Does that info help?

10-7-11, 5:42pm
Smart meters aren't offered in my area yet, but the electric company did offer a good deal: a device connected to the air conditioner compressor so that they could shut it off when the grid began to get overloaded. They only turn the air off for fifteen minute intervals and the fan inside my house keeps running, so I can't even tell you if they had to do this at any time during the summer because it didn't effect my comfort level at all. For this very minor inconvenience, I get $30 off my bill and the electric company won't have to expand their infrastructure, at great expense to them and eventually to customers.

10-13-11, 1:18pm
We have them in my area and they (Edision) are constantly trying to get me to sign up. However I don't have internet access at home, which apparently you need, and I already have a very low electric bill each month (probably because I don't have internet access at home :-)!) of approx. $10 - $15/month anyways so can't really lower it much more then that - so need for the meter.

10-17-11, 7:19pm
I have a smart meter but have no idea how it works. Doh! I will go to my utility company website and get some info. Thanks for bringing this to my attention!

10-18-11, 9:28pm
I don't necessarily have strong opinions one way or the other. We don't need a/c and aren't home during the day, so our electric bill would be fairly low no matter what. Gas and electric (including gas stove, gas hot water and gas clothes dryer) run us about $40/month which I think is a good deal. I do do small things like always run the dishwasher overnight (it heats its own water electrically), and we only do laundry on weekends, which probably help.

One interesting thing I noted the other day. When we moved into this building 1 1/2 years ago it was brand spanking new. I happened to look at the electric meters the other day and out of six units we have used by far the least amount of electricity overall. Ours showed 4600 kw/hours total usage from the beginning of time. The next lowest was 5200. I don't consider an average of 255 kw/hours per month to be especially low, although I guess it's not bad for 2 people. When I lived alone in a studio apartment I averaged about 120 per month in non a/c months.

THinking about meter readers, my sister has solar panels so they can't use a smart meter currently. Because of that the meter reader has to still come to their house once a month. Since most houses in their neighborhood are on smart meters the guy actually drives up in a truck, gets out to read the meter, and then drives away.

10-20-11, 4:08pm
I had to search to see what a smart meter is. I think we have them, but I'm not sure how they are being put to use except that they are read remotely.

I am amazed at how little electricity some of you use. We are hoping the energy-efficient features we put in our new house will pay off in lower usage. Our current place is tiny, but all electric and very inefficient.

10-20-11, 11:56pm
This is are the most important things in Smart Meters I've known.
Eliminating manual meter reading
Offering more detailed feedback on energy use
Enabling them to adjust their habits to lower electric bills

Disposal of the old meters
Paying additional fees for the new meter
Verifying that the new meter is accurate

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