The basics of smart meters in Texas

October 7, 2020   By Caitlin Cosper

The basics of smart meters in Texas

In Texas, smart meters have become the standard in most homes. In fact, according to the EIA, Texas has led the country in smart meter installation since 2016. More than 200,000 Texas residents have opted for smart meters over traditional electric meters.

So, why does this matter? What is the difference between a smart meter and traditional meters? And, perhaps the most important question – can smart meters help you cut back on your energy consumption and monthly bills? Read on to learn the basics of Texas smart meters.

What are smart meters?

Let’s start with the most basic question – what is a smart meter and how does it differ from other meters?

Traditional meters measure total energy consumption and typically only give monthly measurements. These meters aren’t connected to an online network, so the measurements must be read manually by a professional meter reader.

Smart meters are connected to your home’s online network and store information in 15-minute intervals. These meters are a lot easier for non-professionals to read and measure your electric, gas, and water usage. They are also connected to your utility company, meaning they can be activated remotely – without you having to schedule an appointment to have it turned on.

In the times of COVID-19, smart meters have been especially important for millions of Texans. Because smart meters can be activated remotely and without the need for a visit from a technician, Texans who recently moved or switched their electricity service can have their power turned on without having to sacrifice social distancing practices.

Can smart meters save money?

When used properly, a smart meter can help you manage and lower your home’s energy consumption – which can lead to lower monthly bills. Not only do these meters let utility companies quickly resolve consumer issues, but they allow residents to easily monitor their energy usage and make adjustments as needed.

Below are some of the ways smart meters can help you save energy:

  • Provide easily accessible and consistent readings on your energy usage.
  • Give insight into your energy habits – and shows you where to adjust for potential savings.
  • Send alerts to consumers when their energy usage levels – and electric bills – will be higher than normal.
  • Send alerts to residents when there is an outage in their area.
  • Help utilities fix customers’ problems and lower the number of blackouts and system-wide electric failures.
  • Allow consumers to quickly begin or end their service without a visit from a technician.

The main takeaway

A smart meter can make your life a lot easier. That being said, owning one doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll see lower energy bills. It’s up to you to adjust your energy usage habits – but having a smart meter will certainly help you to understand your consumption on a regular basis.

Additionally, you’ll only be able to save so much if you’re locked into an energy plan that doesn’t work for you. If you’re interested in switching to a new energy plan or provider, SaveOnEnergy’s marketplace can help. Enter your ZIP code to see available plans in your area. Or for more information, read through our resources below:

 

Caitlin Cosper is a writer within the energy and power industry. Born in Georgia, she attended the University of Georgia before earning her master’s in English at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

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