Smart Meters Defined
Utility companies around the country are replacing older model analog meters with new digital smart meters. Instead of having someone come to your property and read your meter once a month, these new smart meters can transmit energy usage in real time.
Not only can energy usage be transmitted in real time, smart meters can also indicate when the energy was used and by what. By indicating this important information, smart meters can help customers become more energy efficient, thus helping them lower their costs.
But despite the obvious advantages of using smart meters, they do have their fair share of critics. Privacy issues have been raised along with questions as to if these meters really do help save consumers money.
Below we go over the advantages and disadvantages of smart meters which will help you decide if getting one is totally worth it.
Benefits and Advantages/Pros of Smart Meters
Smart meters produce more information to help customers make smarter decisions on how they use energy on a daily basis. When used effectively, customers can save energy thus lowering their overall bill.
The fact that smart meters transmit information in real time, this can totally revolutionize the way we all consume energy. Here is an important list of benefits of using smart meters:
- Efficient monitoring: smart meters lead to a more proficient use of energy resources.
- Smart distribution: during peak hours of power demand, smart meters distribute power more efficiently than older analog models thus reducing outages and brownouts.
- Customized reporting: customers can now analyze and understand when, where and how energy is being consumed
- Less power plants: smart meters help reduce the need for building additional power plant facilities
- Dynamic pricing: smart meters allow for energy prices to be changed on demand
Disadvantages/Cons of Smart Meters
Forward progress can be a challenge. New technology can be a wonderful thing but there can (and usually are) issues along the way. Here are some of the biggest complaints about smart meters:
- Bigger expense: customers have complained that they have seen an increase in their utility bills
- Potential dangers and hazards: smart meters have been known to cause fires
- Privacy concerns: utility companies can now see how much energy you’ve used and when you’ve used it
- A question of accuracy: some have complained that smart meters aren’t totally accurate leading to higher utility bills
The advantages are clear. Smart meters can help both consumers and utility companies better understand the overall use of energy. And with a better understanding, consumers can eventually save money while utility companies gain the ability to better distribute and manage power.
The disadvantages can be concerning. Since smart meters are still relatively new, there are numerous issues to be worked out. Among them include accuracy, safety and privacy concerns.