What Does a Smart Electricity Meter Do?

Smart electricity meters allow customers to determine when their usage peaks are throughout a particular day.  Smart meters also offer access to additional information about their electricity usage.  The consumer can identify load peaks that support the electricity bill with the assistance of utilities, which will lessen concerns or complaints.


The Benefits to Using a Smart Electricity Meter

The benefits of smart meters over automated meter reading (AMR) or power line carriers are outlined in the list below. The advantages of having Comet Electric technicians install smart meters are much larger than using manual-reading regular electric meters. Here are some of the benefits of a smart electricity meter:


Faster and More Efficiently Restored Power Outage Results

You can precisely predict when and where power will go out due to smart meters. You can significantly reduce the length of outages and your number of truck rolls because you don’t have to wait for consumers to report problems. With smart meters, you can quickly discover outages, which can have a number of long-lasting, beneficial effects.

The speed at which power can be restored will be valued by your customers. Outages are a crucial time to impress clients with your service because, regrettably, most people don’t care about electricity until it’s gone. The most significant benefit of smart meters is that they can lessen the number of truck rolls required for outages.

In most cases, a customer won’t report a power outage until they get home from work at 5:30 p.m. if it happens at 9 a.m. and no one is home.  However, if you have an advanced metering infrastructure system, you’ll immediately be aware of the outage. You can now select the power restoration strategy that will take the least time. 


Services Can Get Disconnected Remotely

Nobody likes turning off their customers’ electricity when they don’t pay, but it’s necessary to maintain profitability.  However, the fees associated with dispatching a truck to disconnect a meter and then having the consumer start paying again the following day can pile up.  

Most of the annoyance and inefficiency associated with shut-offs is eliminated by remote disengagement. The following are a few advantages of smart meters that support remote disconnect:

  • Shut-off-related truck rolls can be greatly reduced.
  • Meter technicians don’t have to deal with irate clients face-to-face.
  • When clients move, you can plan reconnections and disconnections.

Features are limited with disconnect-enabled meters. When a cold weather restriction stops you from disconnecting customers who haven’t paid, current limiting can be helpful.  You may limit a customer’s current to 10 amps, which would be sufficient to run a heater but not much else.  This keeps the client from accruing an even higher bill and aids in the continued profitability of your service.


New Pricing and Load Management Schemes Can Be Easily Implemented

Time-of-use rate plans to encourage off-peak usage can be more easily  implemented thanks to smart meters’ improved ability to assess energy consumption.  Where possible, real-time data also opens the door to real-time pricing that varies according to energy supply and demand.  

When you want to reduce past-due payments or just provide clients more payment options, prepay programs can be tempting. Customers who frequently pay late can be switched to a prepay program where their power is cut off once they’ve used all their allotted credit.

Additionally, smart meters give you greater data for net energy metering or bidirectional metering. Customers that produce their own electricity through solar, wind, or other means can monitor the precise amount of electricity that was sent and received.  Beyond pricing, smart meters give utilities the ability to give customers greater energy feedback, separate data based on specific appliances and gadgets, improve voltage regulation, and design grid-interactive efficient buildings.

Regulators are demanding utilities at a rapidly increasing rate to provide proof of benefits to customers in order to support the installation of advanced metering infrastructure  systems, even if some of these analytical use cases benefit customers more than utilities.


Determining What Caused a Brief Loss of Power, Sag, or Swell

In order to determine where the problem of a brief loss of power originated from on your end or the customer’s, you must send a vehicle to the customer’s site, adding to the cost of the search.  With smart meters, you can get that data instantly. You have a wealth of information on the times and locations of problems. In the end, this enables you to ascertain their cause without a truck roll.  

Smart meters can be used to create time-of-use tariffs, rapidly and reliably identify outages, turn off electricity from a distance, and fix a number of problems.  Understanding how smart meters differ from automated meter reading (AMR) or normal electric meters can help you understand how implementing new technology can benefit your utility.  For more information on the benefits of smart electricity meters, contact Comet Electric today!