Smart Meters – What Are Smart Power Meters?


What are smart power meters?

How do smart meters differ from traditional power meters?

Smart Meter © Money Saving Frugal Tips

Smart power meters are hydro electricity meters that track or measure the amount of electricity you use, but unlike the traditional power meters that track the total amount of kilowatt hours used over a given period (monthly, semi-monthly), smart meters have the capability of tracking what you use in much more detail.

At first glance, smart meters may look very similar to traditional power meters, but they are mostly digital as opposed to dial-type and they can track and relay that information to electricity distributors.  Smart meters work in conjunction with software that gathers the detailed consumption data, from which time-of-use rates are usually applied.

What are Time-of-Use Electricity Rates?

When time-of-use rates are used, different electricity rates are applied to certain periods of time during a 24-hour period.  Example:  Some areas use On Peak, Mid-Peak and Off-Peak periods, with each period having different electricity rates applied to the energy used during that period.  If you’re not sure if you are on time-of-use rates, check your electricity bill or ask your energy provider.

Why Are They Called Smart Meters?

Smart meter functions go well beyond tracking electricity consumption in detail.  Though designs vary in different areas, they can have the capability to transmit hourly data that enables electrical distribution companies to charge time-of-use rates for electricity used.  In some cases, consumers can view online the electricity consumption used the previous day.

Though smart meters do more than traditional power meters, it’s consumers that will become smarter about energy use and will voluntary cut back, in order to reduce their electricity bills.

Why Are Smart Electricity Meters Being Used In Some Areas?

Many governing agencies have adopted policies to reduce electricity use and foster an awareness of consumption used, so consumers will want to cut back on energy use.  A short supply of electricity and growing demand for it in some areas, has fueled the need for energy conservation.

What Can I Do About Smart Power Meters?

Talk to your electricity distributor if you have any questions regarding how smart power meters work in your area and what rates you can expect to pay.  If you are on time-of-use electricity rates, find out what time blocks are affected by each rate.

In this way you can be more aware of consumption use and cut back where you can.   When time-of-use rates are in effect, you will want to delay some chores to later in the day when electricity rates are lower.

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