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Exactly What Is A Smart Meter?


smart meterA smart meter is the latest innovation in monitoring use of electrical or gas usage for a building.  These are developed using the latest wireless technology to communicate.  A smart meter uses the information to keep the customer informed and updated on their actual energy use.  Since energy prices fluctuate based upon demand and peak seasons, having a smart meter can give you more control over when you choose to increase or decrease your usage.

Most smart meters have a clear, digital read out that makes it simple to understand.  Of course, it is merely a tool to be used.  If you fail to take advantage of the knowledge it gives you, you will only benefit in the area that the smart meter does guarantee much more accurate billing.  However, should you acquire a smart meter and use it wisely; you have the opportunity to make choices that can lower your energy costs.

Since deregulation of the utility companies, the service providers often offer incentives to change companies or lower fixed rates for a period of time.  Smart meter technology will open a whole new level of competition on this front.  Because smart meters will be able to combine electrical, gas and water usage there will be an influx of available tariffs.  This can be good news for consumers to find the best rate amongst the providers.

Using a smart meter will require you to monitor your own usage to become aware of times that may benefit you to change.  You may choose to cut off an appliance for a period of time or raise thermostat at peak demand times when rates are higher.  Once you identify the behavior that can improve your energy costs it can be changed promptly.  There is not waiting for a monthly billing cycle to see how much cost you have incurred.  While a smart meter can give you the information, it is up to you to use it to benefit.

A Smart meter will also enable the service providers to lower costs in no longer using manpower to manually read meters every month.  The accuracy in billing is expected to lessen the number of complaints made and therefore, less personnel is required to respond.  As the technology continues to grow and the larger smart grids are developed, the smart meters will make that transition less disruptive as well.

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