Several tools can help you understand your energy consumption, one of which being smart meters.
Smart meters collect real-time data on electricity consumption unlike home energy monitors which simply report total power usage. Furthermore smart meters allow for remote, two way communication and do not necessitate being read monthly by an individual who walks from house to house.
Smart meters allow energy companies to set energy prices according to consumption, matching high prices to the time of day or season when consumption peaks.
Smart meters also allow residents to be aware of their energy consumption. Instead of estimating their monthly bill, residents can monitor their smart meter’s report throughout the month. Furthermore, residents can employ smart meters to better manage their energy use. For example residents could take advantage of the times of day which have lower energy prices.
Numerous U.S. cities have begun implementing smart meter technology to improve energy consumption. Los Angeles is expanding its advanced metering infrastructure (AMI). Centerpoint Energy in Houston entered a deployment stage through which they are installing smart meters to over 2 million consumers by 2012.
Yet IBM’s “Global Utility Consumer Survey” revealed that customers have a low understanding of their power usage and presents several roadblocks to a widespread adoption of power meters.
Conducted in 2011, the survey polled 10,000 energy consumers from 15 different countries. Here are some of the survey’s findings:
- More than 30% were unaware of the basic unit of charge for energy consumption.
- 50% do not have an understanding of term “time of use pricing.”
- 60% do not know the meaning of the terms “smart grid” or “smart meter”
A simple question arises: If you do not know HOW you are being charged for your electricity consumption, how can you even begin to save?
Power2Switch provides a remedy by making customers more aware of their electricity consumption. Power2Switch relays information to customers regarding which electric companies supply energy to their local residential area, the various prices (in cents per kilowatt hour), and even informs customers if clean energy options are available.
Thus be savvy and save!
- Smart Meters Deconstructed (wired.com)
- Residents Cut Energy Bills 11% in Smart Meter Test (pcworld.com)