A smart meter is essentially a traditional electricity meter with a digital measurement device and the ability to
communicate readings via the Internet. This means the electricity provider can track your energy usage instantly and
bill you without having to send out meter readers. It also means you can easily track your own electricity usage in
If you currently have a smart meter, you have the power to boost your energy efficiency and lower your electricity bill. Besides the power meter itself,you'll also need some software to monitor the data produced by the electric meter. Luckily, there are lots of free utilities out there for this, such as Google's PowerMeter and Microsoft's Hohm.
Once you have your software set up, you'll be able to:
See when you use the most electricity – You'll be able to see your usage on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis so you can see not only how your usage changes month to month, but how it changes during a given day.
Predict your monthly costs – Instead of getting a nasty surprise at the end of the month, you'll have a very good idea how much your electricity bill will be before it shows up.
Cut your usage and lower your bill – When you can see exactly how much energy you are using, you can get instant feedback on any changes you make. Increasing efficiency and cutting waste becomes a satisfying game.
Remove the need to send people to your property to read your meter.
Reduce utility vehicles on the road and thus pollution, traffic, and fuel consumption because in-person meter reading will no longer be necessary.
Reduce the time needed to process service orders, such as starting or stopping service; and allow faster meter re-reads, should you have questions.
Record electricity use in 15-minute intervals, giving you more information about your electric usage which may allow you to change how much and the way you use electricity – giving you the information you need to shift some of your electric usage to less expensive, off-peak times.
Let you switch among Retail Electric Providers (REPs) easier and shorten the length of time that you must wait for the switch to become effective.
Offer faster customer service through automated remote meter reads, connections, and disconnections by the utility.
Enable the utility to protect critical loads (such as customers on medical equipment for life support) in case of a blackout.
Will eventually provide access to detailed readings of your electricity use and the corresponding price.
Will provide instant power outage notice to your utility company so that problems can be detected and fixed quicker.