I Want To Be Empowered

Smart Meters are letting people take control of their energy use - and energy bills - to a new level. It doesn't matter if you live in a studio apartment or 30-room mansion. By tracking when and how you use electricity at home, Smart Meters help you identify ways you can waste less energy and that translates into more money in your bank account and a cleaner planet.

Learn more about how Smart Grid and Smart Meters are helping guarantee America's future by getting energy usage under control, today.

Key Facts

  • Enables easy-to-use tools like simple online displays of energy use and prices and set-and-forget home energy management tools
  • Facilitates broad-scale electric vehicle charging so that reliable, low-cost ways to recharge it anytime, anywhere exist
  • Will generate tens of thousands of Smart Grid related jobs over the next decade
  • Real-time pricing information helped consumers reduce their electricity costs 10% on average and their peak consumption by 15%

Q&A

Will a smart meter give my utility control over how and when I use energy?

No. Actually, you control your usage, not the utility. Advanced metering gives you more control. Participating in residential energy management and other energy efficiency programs is completely optional. Customers who participate can use the information they receive to manage their energy usage day by day. Or, they can set preferences (select a maximum temperature for air conditioning, for instance) and let the system automatically make adjustments based on the cost or availability of energy. Either way, the customer is in complete control and will have the option to override signals or not participate in energy-efficiency programs at all.

The smart meter takes frequent readings of your energy usage, but it only measures the electricity used in your household, it does not control it. If you have opted in to a program such as a PeakRewards program, your smart meter will not change how this program operates. The utility will continue to cycle air conditioner compressors and hot water heaters on and off as needed during peak usage times, the same as when you first signed on to this program. In the future, the smart meters will enable utilities to remotely turn service on and off at customer premises. This feature will be used when customers move out of their current homes and start service elsewhere. This cost effective feature eliminates the need for a utility field visit when customers move or start service. The remote connect feature will also enable the utility to place customers back into service more expeditiously.​

What details do smart meters collect?

Details will vary based on the technology but an example is that you will be able to see online usage reports as recent as the previous day. Residential customers will see usage in hourly increments; business customers will see usage in 15-minute increments.

How do I know if I have a smart meter?

If your electricity meter has been replaced since January 2009 with a digital meter, it is likely a smart meter. Smart meters have a white face, with an LCD display, short for liquid crystal display, which is similar to the display used in digital watches and many portable computers and televisions. If you still have a meter reader visiting your house to take regular readings then you don’t yet have a smart meter. Another way is to check is that sometimes, depending on your utility, your monthly utility bill will have a statement in the "Notes" section indicating that your home is equipped with a smart meter.

Submit your smart grid story now and receive a $25 energy participation award!

We want to hear your story on how smart grid or smart meters enabled you to take control of your power. Submit a video directly or write out your story - we want you to be creative and tell us what ways your improved electricity options helped you save money, protect the environment, or enabled cool things to use.

For each accepted submission, you would receive a $25 energy participation award.

Submit your story now!

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