How to Make Your Texas Electricity Smart Meter Work for You
July 22, 2010
A smart meter is the newest meter in the Texas electricity market and is able to record energy use and consumption in detail as opposed to the usual electric meter, it transfers that information to your utility company. The traditional meter displays the total energy consumption but not when the energy was used. They provide an easy method to measure energy consumption and enable electrical companies to offer different pricing depending on when clients consume the most energy in their household or business. The smart meter is able to break down the energy use by hour and day, accurately estimating your daily, weekly and monthly use. Smart meters have already been implemented in countries all over the world, for example, Italy, Japan, Canada, and Australia.
The smart meter works on a two way communication system, sending and receiving information to the energy provider from the consumer’s home. This system will benefit the consumer in several ways. The smart meter will be able to report power outages and in turn the electrical company will be able to restore your power faster. Whenever there is a problem with your service, the company can attempt to resolve it without having to send a representative to your house or business. With this in mind, no one would ever have to come to your property to check your meter. Eventually, companies will provide different payment options and one of them will be to set a prepayment amount for your energy use monthly, allowing the client to have control over their spending.
Not only are there benefits to the consumer, but also to the environment. The fact that consumers will be able to track energy usage will hopefully encourage them to conserve energy by turning off appliances when not in use and adjusting thermostats. If households and businesses begin to decrease their energy usage, it decreases the need to create more power. Having less power production will create better air, free from many pollutants. Also, since utility companies will be not sending their employees to properties, this will decrease fuel consumption.
Although there are many benefits to the smart meter, communication is one of its main problems. The smart meter was created to be able to gather information and send it over to a central location. Therefore, the smart meter must be able to accurately provide this information. However some areas and environments differ from others, making this a challenge. As of today, there has not been a resolution to this problem. Once there is a way to communicate in the same fashion from a household in an urban city to one in a mountainous region, then the problem will be solved.
Smart Meter Texas is a free website that allows consumers to access daily and hourly electricity usage and analyze these patterns. According to Smart Meter Texas, “The average Texas household spends $789 per year to cool their home, $184 per year on lighting, and $206 per year using space heaters.” The smart meter allows for residents to really track how much energy they consume and how much they are spending on it. Once Texas consumers register with Smart Meter Texas, they will be able to see monthly and daily usage reports versus just the monthly bill. In order to gain a better understanding of these reports, go the website at SmartMeterTexas.com. Being informed and aware of our energy usage will help conserve our planet.