A Smart Meter?Written by admin August 19th, 2011.
C. Elizabeth Smith for Ecofusion
Today, humanity has many things that are considered ‘smarter’ than our old-time household electronics. We have SMART cars, smart phones, even now a slowly unveiling plan for something called a Smart Grid to handle our ever growing electrical load. Now a new development: households are slowing catching onto something called a SmartMeter.
A SmartMeter is just like a traditional household electrical meter; however it is, well, smarter. It can communicate with the electrical grid to do a number of things, such as estimating highs and lows in energy demand, as well as inform electrical authorities that the storm has taken down power lines without involving the consumer. This is all a great convenient, but it gets even better:
a SmartMeter can save the consumer money all the while saving the utility energy.
When consumers don’t pay there bills or move from one home to another, free unaccounted for energy is provided, a cost that is then passed over to the adjacent consumer. With a SmartMeter the electrical utility can remotely turn on and off electricity to homes thus shrinking the gap of wasted energy or energy theft. This alone can save up to 2.8 billion dollars over 20 years.
However, the savings don’t end there. A consumer who has a SmartMeter can actually operate there SmartMeter over the phone and monitor there energy costs remotely, just like the utility. The electrical utility can even text the consumer when electrical demand is high, and if the consumer lowers there thermostat, they could be rewarded with a rebate from the utility thus saving money through efficiency.
The SmartMeter is something that may become worldwide in the next few years as the electrical grid becomes updated. This will allow the consumer to monitor there energy consumption and costs, as well as communicate with the utility for more accurate service. With electrical plug-in cars well on there way to American homes, this just may be something that is needed to better understand our energy trends, consumption and dependence.