I Care About Saving Money

Today's incomes don't always keep pace with a family's needs. Energy management through smart grid and smart meter technologies helps families be smarter on how they spend their money. A smarter grid could save consumers billions of dollars by reducing power outages and cutting energy waste, thus saving money on their energy bills.

Learn more about how a smarter grid can help you.

Key Facts

  • Could mean nearly $600 in direct bill savings for the average household each year
  • Gives you control over your power bill by making it possible to monitor and adjust your energy use through smart meters and home energy management systems that offer 24/7 rate and usage readings
  • Reduces expenses to energy producers by allowing direct communication with end-user equipment to reduce consumption during these peak periods, lowering the need for costly standby power plants
  • Some states offer new pricing plans that make it possible for consumers to save money by controlling how much electricity they use during times of peak demand when electricity is more expensive

Q&A

How much progress has the smart grid made in the U.S.? How many smart meters have been installed?

A map of smart meter installations by state provided by the Institute for Electric Efficiency illustrates progress. As of May 2012, 36 million smart meters have been installed across the country. By 2015, approximately 65 million smart meters are expected to be installed—that’s more than half of all U.S. households.

How can the smart grid save me money?

The idea of the smart grid and the ability to communicate real time electrical market data to consumers will allow people to choose when to use electricity based on the smart grid rates. There is a lot involved in the electrical market and power pricing. Basically electricity is more expensive during higher demand times, usually mid week, mid day to evening. During the times if high demand electricity rates go up exponentially. This is due in part to the lack of generation capability and availability.

With the smart grid the communication of real time electricity rates to the consumer will be possible. This will allow people to choose not to use as much power during peak times to avoid high costs; this will overall reduce the demand. Smart grid compatible appliances or grid friendly appliances will be able to turn off and on automatically based on the cost of electricity at any given moment in time.

Are smart meters accurate?

Utilities are confident in the performance of their vendors and the equipment they are deploying as part of their grid modernization efforts. The meter make / model utilities selected undergo a variety of rigorous tests before they are approved for use in the field. The standardized tests are used to measure accuracy during various load and weather conditions; the tests are industry accepted and approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

Additionally, utilities have implemented an enhanced testing procedure where they test a percentage of all meters they receive from the vendor prior to installing them at a customer’s home or business. Utilities also continue to monitor meter accuracy after installation by conducting routine sample and/or periodic testing.

Certainly, utilities understand that with any vendor or equipment, problems can occur after installation, so customers are encouraged to contact their utility if there are ever any questions about the accuracy of the meter or the bill.

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