The cost of energy is something that everyone’s concerned about and with energy costs projected to continue rising for the foreseeable future, it should come as no surprise that an increasing number of people are looking for ways to reduce their energy consumption and of course, their bills. If you’ve been following the news, you’ve probably heard about something called a smart meter. What you may not know about these devices, however, is exactly what they are and what makes them special.
Can installing a smart meter in your home help you to save on your energy bill? What are the advantages and disadvantages of this new generation of power meters? Keep reading for the answers to these questions.
Smart meters are designed to work with new smart power grid technologies which are being implemented in several countries and like the grids themselves, they are designed to help consumers to use energy more efficiently. These new meters can be read online, which will ultimately eliminate the need for utility company employees to go door to door reading power meters. However, there are advantages for consumers as well as for the utility companies.
The most important advantage of using smart meters as far as consumers are concerned is the ability to access much more detailed information about their energy consumption. Rather than simply providing information about the total level of power consumption, a smart meter allows consumers to see not only how much energy they’re using in their home, but how this energy is used. This is data which homeowners can act on to reduce their energy consumption, essentially putting control over their energy bills back into their hands.
These meters provide detailed information on usage by time of day, which allows consumers to identify their household’s peak usage times as well as the rates assessed during these hours. Better still, consumers can identify how much energy particular appliances are using, alerting them when appliances aren’t operating at optimal efficiency so that they can have these appliances serviced or replaced as needed. Software is now available for users which automatically send text messages with customized information on their energy usage, so there’s no need to be out of the loop as far as energy efficiency is concerned.
While consumers will need to hire an electrician to come out and install a smart meter in their home in areas where local utilities do not provide this service, the savings which the average household could realize from using these sophisticated power meters should make this a worthwhile investment. Smart meters are clearly a growing trend and in the near future, they will be even more useful as newer energy technologies like solar and wind power become more common, since they are ready to work with these power sources.
For instance, with a conventional electricity meter, it would be necessary to have an electrician come to your home to install a new meter if you were to install a wind turbine or solar panel on your home. A smart meter, however, is able to seamlessly integrate with the new power source; which is yet another reason that budget-conscious and environmentally minded consumers are starting to take a serious look at smart meters.