Smart Energy Meters a Success


Image courtesy of: EcoBee

July 29, 2011 | By: Amy Wermuth

Good news for those of you considering a smart energy meter. If you no nothing about them, this article will make you want one. Homeowners using smart meters have proven to adjust their routine to save energy, and want to keep on using them according to a new study. Now if we could just get these installed in every home!

For the study, CenterPoint Energy, Houston Electric, and the Department of Energy, asked 500 homeowners about their experience using smart meters that were installed their homes. Smart meters give users live information about how they are using energy at home, creating awareness that makes it easier to recognize and modify habits that are wasteful.

CenterPoint Energy (who installed nearly 1.5 million smart meters already to their customers has plans for all of their more than 2 million customers to have them by next year), is just one of several utilities throughout the US using the new energy saving, educating technology.

In due course, smart energy meters, smart appliances and mobile apps may well make it promising for people to decrease their energy consumption considerably by managing electricity flow (in live time), even remotely from a phone app. It could even permit utilities to reduce electricity demand during peak usage times such as heat waves during summer months, so that air conditioners are given precedence over other appliances in homes. As of now, most homeowners who have experimented with smart energy meters basically see how much expenditure on electricity increases as they switch on or off a range of appliances and light fixtures.

Since buildings/structures account for about 40% of US energy usage, about 50% of US electricity is generated by burning coal, and we all know this is not eco-friendly. Burning coal produces extraordinary amounts of greenhouse gasses. These statistics are considerable making the impact of potentially amazing technology a big deal. Unfortunately power plants using coal are the leading source of pollution and mercury emissions in the US. Not to mention smog and acid rain issues.

The start of smart energy meters in some parts of the US has been controversial, with homeowners argumentative about everything from inflated energy bills to potential health effects from electromagnetic radiation. Experts will disagree. But the outcome of this survey advocates that most all consumers who have used smart energy meters are more than satisfied with them.

Take the following study results into consideration. 71% of the homeowners using smart meters adjusted behaviors after getting data about their live energy consumption. 83% turned off lights when leaving the room. 51% adjusted their thermostats. A staggering 93% were satisfied with their live time displays and an impressive 97% plan to maintain using smart energy meters. Education is the key and this is a promising development. If you are finding out about smart meter technology and the advantages of potential further development, call your utility company today and ask why they haven’t offered you one! If your utility doesn't know about this tell them!


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