Smart meters are advanced and current generation of gas and electricity meters. Out doing the conventional metering systems; smart meters have come up with keeping track of the energy being consumed in homes and buildings. The upcoming of such smart meters have shown up the energy consumption flawlessly and will largely cut down the need for meter reading manually.
The energy costs can be tracked and managed easily by this device. Now-a-days the government is planning to install smart meters for electricity and gas in every home or office and sprawling buildings.
How smart meters work?
Though Smart meters work the same way as the conventional meters measuring the total energy consumption but the highlighting factor here is it also calculates the energy costs simultaneously. In addition to this, these smart meters have a communication capability that allows the data to be displayed on a device inside your home and as well as can be read remotely by your energy supplier.
An in-home display (IHD) unit will also be provided along with the smart meter embedded in its operation. This device will provide up-to-date real-time information on gas and electricity consumed in Killograms (KG) as well as units of energy in kWh. The display will also present historical information on consumption so that it can be compared with the current and past use.
Benefits of Smart Meters
- It allows faster outage detection and restoration of service.
- It provides customers with greater control over the electricity consumed by them coupled with time-based rates. This provides them with the choice in their electricity consumption and bills.
- It enables a utility to measure a customer’s electricity usage in hourly increments.
- If a customer elects to participate in time-based rates offered by the utility, they have the opportunity to lower their electricity demand during “peak” periods (the peak period for most utilities are summer afternoons) and potentially save money on their monthly electricity bills.
- It allows customers to make informed decisions by providing highly detailed information about electricity usage and costs.
- It increases privacy because electricity usage information can be relayed automatically to the utility for billing purposes without on-site visits by a utility to check the meter.
In the near future, the installation of an in-home display device that communicates wirelessly with a Smart Meter, a customer could monitor their electricity usage and costs in real-time (similar to the price and quantity displays on a gas pump). With the best performance and high demands in the market, it is likely to see that customers are even appreciating the initiative of receiving automatic alerts (via emails or text messages) informing them about the electricity consumption exceeding a pre-determined threshold. It has already been implemented in metro cities like Bengaluru, Hyderabad.
This has shown up great results in energy efficiency and working as a cost efficient technique preserving the environment and reducing the need to build power plants. This has made up to shun the usage of older manual reading meters. This is beneficial for all utility customers rather than dwelling in the costs of building new power plants or relying on the less-efficient and out-dated techniques. This is an economical approach to enable customers to reduce their demand through time-based rates or other incentive programs. In addition, as technology improves and changes with the passage of time, customers can willing to install the smart meters and enjoy the benefits.