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 I be able to read my Smart Meter?

Yes. Smart Meters have an easy-to-read digital display instead of a series of dials. Once the communications systems are operational, you also will be able to track your daily usage on the internet.  Gas meters will continue to have dials, as they do today. Watch a video on how to read your advanced meter.

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.

Do smart meters help the environment?

Yes, a smart grid is a greener grid. Smart meters and intelligent grid can significantly benefit the environment by reducing consumption of fossil fuel resources, thereby reducing emission of greenhouse gases (GHG) and other air pollutants. Environmental benefits can be achieved in three ways:

  1. Reducing electricity consumption and increasing transmission and distribution efficiency
    Studies suggest that given the ability to monitor their energy use more frequently in greater detail, many consumers may begin turning off unneeded appliances, change to more efficient lighting, adjust thermostats and make other energy-saving changes.  If consumers conserve energy, less power may need to be produced. Reduced emissions from potentially decreased power generation could translate into better air quality.
  2. Reducing utility’s vehicular needs
    Smart meters will also reduce the consumption of resources and associated emission of greenhouse gases and other pollutants associated with performing basic utility services such as connections, disconnections, and meter readings, which can be conducted remotely for consumers with smart meters without sending out a truck. As of October 2010 for example, CenterPoint Energy has avoided over 300,000 "truck rolls" by completing service orders electronically.
  3. Promoting distributed and renewable energy production and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles
    Finally, smart grid will create a platform that will promote the development and deployment of technologies for increasing distributed generation (DG) and energy storage capacity, such as wind and solar generation, and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). Smart meters measure surplus electricity generated as well as electricity delivered, eliminating the need for installation of expensive specialized DG metering. Distributed generation can help reduce the need for new fossil-fuel-generated capacity and therefore benefit the environment. The smart grid will also include technologies that facilitate the use of PHEVs, thereby reducing the consumer’s reliance on gasoline and diesel-fueled vehicles.

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