I Care About The Environment

Pick up a newspaper, turn on the TV, search online. Everywhere you look, today, people are talking about changes to our climate and ways we can help protect the environment. Smart grid and smart meter technologies are at the forefront of those efforts. Smart grid and smart meters will help protect the environment by allowing each of us to better control our energy use and enabling the integration of clean, renewable generation sources where and when it’s needed.

Learn more about how the Smart Grid will help reduce our energy needs, and how Smart Meters can give you more control over your climate footprint.

Key Facts

  • Can cut air pollution from the electric utility sector as much as 30% by 2030
  • Ensures that renewable power sources like wind farms, solar plants, and hydro stations can be integrated
  • Yearly energy savings could equal 70 million road trips around the world or driving an electric car 1.7 trillion miles
  • A 5% increase in grid efficiency generates energy savings equivalent to eliminating emissions from approximately 20% of all the cars (53 million cars) in the US

Q&A

What are the benefits of the smart grid?

The smart grid empowers customers by creating the foundation necessary for a number of new technology-driven energy alternatives, emission reductions, efficiency improvements, a shift to a lower emitting fuel for transpor­tation, and encourages more energy efficiency by providing real-time energy usage data to customers. Research shows that when customers know how much energy they’re using, they will reduce their use by 5 to 10 percent. Additionally, the smart grid promotes integration of the vast amount of renewable energy that is currently being mandated and that is already in the pipeline for development.

  • A smart grid senses problems and reroutes power automatically.  This prevents some outages and reduces the length of those that do occur.
  • A smart grid helps meet growing demand for electricity while limiting the need to invest in new power plants.
  • A smart grid delivers the power “quality” necessary to run our increasingly digital homes – power with fewer sags, spikes, and interruptions.
  • Smart grid reduces greenhouse gas emissions by making it easier to connect renewable energy sources to the electricity grid.
  • Smart grid and smart meters help consumers save money by providing near real time energy usage information and the ability to manage electricity use.
  • Smart grid and smart meters make it easier for utilities to offer new kinds of rate plans to help customers manage energy usage and cost -- for example, by shifting some types of usage to times of day when electricity costs less. 
  • Smart meters eliminate the need for meter reading – instead, usage information is transmitted directly to the utility for timely, accurate billing.  There is never a need to send an estimated bill to the customer.
Will meter readers still need to visit my property?

Field readings will continue only until readings from the new meters are validated as accurate and being processed correctly. Once the meters are fully operational, a meter reader will not need to access your property every month to read your meter.

How can I use less energy with my smart home?

Smart home devices can play a major role in helping you create a more energy-efficient home. For example, smart LED light bulbs use at least 75 percent less energy and last 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs. They can also be dimmed or turned off remotely to save even more energy. Smart thermostats can save you between 10-20 percent on heating and cooling costs, a major source of home energy use. You can also identify potential issues with your HVAC, sparing you significant costs down the road. In addition, smart plugs/power strips can reduce standby power (when appliances use energy even when turned off). Standby power can account for up to 10 percent of your home’s total energy use.

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