New Smart Meters are Your Electricity Company's Best Friend

Little by little, conventional electrical meters are being replaced throughout the State of Texas by new, more advanced "smart meters," or advanced meter systems (AMS). These new devices are equipped with digital, two-way communication capability, and communicate in short, one to two-second bursts of low level radio frequency energy with their respective transmission and distribution service providers (TDSPs).

These unassuming little devices are quietly revolutionizing the consumer electricity industry, providing enormous savings in man-hours and a tremendous amount of convenience to customers and providers alike.

Smart meters will:

  • Record electricity use in 15-minute intervals, and transmit this information directly to the electricity company;
  • Eliminate the need for meter readers to come to your property;
  • Reduce time needed to start or stop service;
  • Make it easier and faster to change your electricity company;
  • Allow both you and your electricity company to access detailed information about your electricity usage;
  • Provide instant notification of a power outage to the TDSP so that problems can be addressed more quickly;
  • Eventually be connected to an optional in-home monitor, from which you can monitor power consumption and access programmable appliances like dishwashers and air conditioners;
  • Decrease traffic congestion, pollution and fuel consumption, by taking thousands of utility vehicles off the road, since meter readers will no longer need to go out and read each individual meter.

Over time, smart meters and the technology soon to accompany them is expected to change the way consumers use electricity. Smart meters will allow careful scrutiny of the entire electric grid, enabling TDSPs to monitor power usage in real time and make adjustments as necessary to avoid shortages.

Smart meters will also enable consumers to monitor their own power usage. When connected to in-house monitoring systems, smart meters will enable consumers to know how much power they are consuming at any given time, as well as their cumulative electrical consumption for the entire month. Consumers, who can see their energy consumption in real numbers will be more motivated to turn off appliances they are not using, adjust thermostats and make wiser choices.

Finally, smart meters will enable your electricity company to offer lower rates for electricity consumed during off peak hours, reducing or eliminating the need to build new power plants just to handle peak loads. Smart meters are smart technology for future of the planet.

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