What is a Smart Meter?
Smart Meters are digital devices that allow customers and their utilities to communicate both ways by recording energy use at the point of use (meters) and sending that data to utilities for billing and customer service. Customers can view their gas and electric use online in real time and make conscious decisions to reduce energy use for cost reduction during peak loads. This allows them to make more informed decisions on their energy usage.
Smart meter displays will show customers their kilowatt-hour usage, date and time of use, and other network diagnostic information.
Net Metering & Smart Meters
Net Metering refers to private on-site power generation usually backed by solar, wind, or a combination of both clean technologies, utilities now offer eligible customers a way of reducing electric costs and recouping dollars (credits) for surplus generation. Eligible net metering customers can decide the rate at which which the utility can buy surplus electricity from them, with payments occurring towards the end of the year.
Net metering is an effective form of distributed generation (DG) for commercial and residential customers because it not only allows for partial or complete reduction in electrical demand but also independence from fluctuations in the grid.
Smart meters can be programmed to have bi-directional meters which are capable of measuring energy flows in both directions. Therefore, it allows net metering customers to determine how much energy is being generated by their renewable energy systems – if it is produces more energy than what is being used, it allows you to get credits for the surplus electricity generated.