USA: If you have a meter that records your electric, water or gas usage at home, chances are you’ll be getting a smarter meter soon.
More than 27 million smart meters have already been installed throughout the US as part of a federal energy program to modernize how homes and businesses across the US can use energy more efficiently. Utility Partners of America (UPA), which has helped utilities install millions of water, gas and electric meters in almost every state over the past 16 years, offers tips on what homeowners can expect when someone comes to install a smart meter.
Many customers may not be aware of the many benefits associated with smart meters. The smart electric meter gives more control over electricity usage – some meters allow customers to see how much energy they consume and can use this information to actively manage their daily usage and save on their electricity bill.
Unlike analog meters, smart meters will help utilities continuously identify potential issues “at the box” as well, because they provide two-way communication between the meter and the utility. Smart meters are a critical part of utilities’ efforts to modernize the grid and to give customers more control over their usage, so UPA works hard to make sure smart meters are installed safely at every home.
Customers concerned about privacy will actually benefit from having a smart meter, since utilities are not required to have access to customers’ property to collect meter reads. Instead, the smart meter communicates remotely with the utility.