Smart meters, also known as advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) or smart meters, are one of the most revolutionary technologies to hit the smart grid industry in decades, and they are becoming increasingly popular. Smart meters are a critical technology in the transition to a clean energy grid that operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They provide real-time energy usage information to all parties involved. According to the Energy Information Administration, there were 86.8 million smart meter installations in the United States in 2018. It turns out that smart meters are already in use by more than half of all residential customers in the United States. Individuals and organizations have attempted to cast a negative light on smart meters over the years, including advocacy groups, websites (such as this one), and individuals.
The information provided by smart meters is critical in the development of the next generation smart grid. The advantages outweigh any disadvantages by a wide margin.
Benefits of Smart Meters
There are a plethora of advantages:
- Granular hourly data to inform grid operators on how to improve grid operations Granular hourly data to inform you on how to improve your own behavior
- Hourly data at the granular level to improve the matchmaking of power demand and supply in real time
- You may be able to save money on your electricity bill (depends on your region and the power utility company)
- It is easier to detect “energy leaks.”
- Access to more smart grid technologies for installation (e.g., residential energy storage)
Let’s take a look at the most common myths about smart meters and dispel them.
Top 6 Myths About Smart Meters Debunked
1.When compared to analog meters, smart meters are less accurate.
When compared to analog meters, smart meters collect significantly more data points. When compared to analog meters, which increase their counters as more energy is consumed, smart meters track each and every hour’s consumption in real time. In the case of analog meters, it is impossible to determine exactly how much energy was consumed at a specific hour in a given day.
In addition, public service commissions (PSCs) require meter manufacturers (for example, Itron) to provide independently certified testing results to prove that their smart meters provide accurate measurements in order to maintain their license.
2. Smart meters communicate via wireless signals, and as a result, they pose a health risk.
There is no credible evidence that radio frequency emissions at or below the limits established by the Federal Communications Commission pose a threat to human health. Radiofrequency waves from your phone, which are much more powerful than smart meters, have been determined by the World Health Organization (WHO) to be harmless to human health.
3. My personal information is not protected by smart meters.
The National Electric Reliability Council (NERC) has developed the Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) standards. CIP stands for Critical Infrastructure Protection. The CIP standards cover everything from power utilities to data security, including smart meters, and they are constantly being updated. The power utilities, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, and the United States government all have strict standards for how data is handled. Also keep in mind that power utilities are subjected to random audits to ensure that their systems are secure.
4. Smart meters raise the possibility of a fire or an explosion.
In terms of functionality, smart meters are no different than any other appliance in the home if they are installed by qualified contractors. They adhere to the National Electric Safety Code as well as all applicable UL standards for electrical equipment.
5. Smart meters are an intrusion into my personal space.
Smart meters cannot tell you how much energy you use unless you personally install a home energy management system (for example, a smart thermostat) in your home. There are numerous laws in place regarding the use of personal data for business purposes, and electric utilities are bound by those laws.
6. Smart meters do not provide any benefits to the end user.
One of the most widespread urban legends. The most significant advantages have already been discussed. Remember that they provide real-time energy data that can be used to lower your energy bills.
7. My energy bill has increased as a result of smart meters.
When you have a smart meter, you only pay for the energy that you use and nothing more. When it comes to electricity in Texas, having a smart meter is extremely advantageous. There are a large number of Retail Electricity Providers (REPs) that pass on real-time electricity pricing to their customers. For example, the price of electricity is lowest at night, when everyone is sleeping and offices are closed, and if you decide to complete all of your chores at this time, you will save money. With traditional analog meters, you would never be able to enjoy these advantages.
Smart meters will be around for a long time. Smart meters, according to TheEnergyFix, are the revolutionary technology that will bridge the gap between today’s dirty power grid and a clean power grid that runs entirely on renewable energy in the future. In the absence of real-time data, it is impossible for you and the utility to determine how carbon free you are, or to accurately bill you for the actual amount of energy that is being consumed.