Smart Meters: Pros and Cons


In Woodstock, Georgia, and across the entire state, electric companies are encouraging homeowners to adopt smart meters to audit how energy is being used in your home.

As opposed to an electric meter that utility companies must manually read, a smart meter uses low radio frequency that allows utility companies to read meters from a central command.

Here are some of the pros and cons of using a smart electric meter in your home.

What Is a Smart Meter?

Every month, your utility company will continue to read your meter in order to calculate how much electricity you’ve consumed since the last reading. Essentially, the smart meter allows for two-way communication. The meter can communicate with the utility company, and the utility company can communicate with the meter itself.

As such, it lays the groundwork for a smart grid, where every component connected to the utility company’s supply is connected via a wireless network.

Benefits of a Smart Meter

With smart meters installed in the homes, Atlanta-area households can better manage energy consumption.

With a manual meter, you have to go outside to analyze the dials and figure out how much electricity you are using. And if you ever tried to calculate usage from the dials, you know what a challenge the process is. With a smart meter, however, you can log into an online account where you can watch and manage energy usage from the comfort of a cozy chair.

Utility companies vary in the features they offer, but most allow you to run home energy reports and see, for example, when you use the most energy or compare your home’s consumption to that of other homes in your neighborhood. With the online tool, you’ll be able to track usage, compare monthly bills and learn how to save energy. Installing the device won’t necessarily lead to energy savings, but if homeowners take advantage of the online management system and actively take part in ways to save, the smart meters could help to reduce usage.

Some utility companies are already using smart meters to offer customers lower prices based on demand — and this is where customers can really start to save. Lower prices during off-peak usage means homeowners can save on electricity costs by choosing to do laundry and running the dishwasher at these times. When prices peak, you can choose to tone down your consumption and save money.

Drawbacks of a Smart Meter

As with most devices that run on a wireless connection, security is of the utmost concern for utility companies and customers alike. Before installing a smart meter, check with your utility company and inquire about privacy measures designed to protect your personal data.

You may have to pay a fee to have the device installed, or your utility company may already be charging all of its customers for the costs of the meters. However, the benefits of a connected meter may also lead to cost savings down the road, because your utility company can read your meter without have to employ an individual to read every customer’s meter.

If you have questions about smart meters, contact Reliable Heating & Air today!

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