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Smart Meters Have Revolutionized Utility Operations

  • By Admin
  • May 9, 2023

The emergence of electric, gas, and water smart meters has revolutionized today’s utility operations. With the advancements in smart meters, sensors, control systems, and communication components, utility systems can be monitored in real-time. These dynamic values are used to  promote efficient use of electricity, gas, and water by reflecting variations in demand, availability, and delivery costs over time.

Smart electric meters can provide reliable indication of the power consumption at a specific time interval.  This enables energy companies to match the electrical demand and adjust supply source, giving the customer the best bang for their buck. Electricity market intervals create tariffs adjusted to off-peak periods with lower prices. This encourages customers to adjust their consumption so that they use energy when it is cheaper.

The smart electric meters use a web-based monitoring system that creates two-way communication between the customer’s meter and the utility. They take automatic readings of residential, commercial, or industrial electricity usage and relay that information wirelessly to the energy supplier. In some cases, these meters can help analyze for energy usage trends during peak and off-peak hours, which can be used to help predict future usage, thereby reducing your electricity bill.

Some smart meters today use RF-based communication technology via mesh technology or point-to-point technology. With mesh-based technology, the meters connect from LAN to a cloud collector. Then it transmits the data using WAN methods to the central location of the utility. The advantages RF-base technology includes large bandwidth and acceptable latency, whereas its disadvantages include challenges relating to terrain and distance in rural areas. In point-to-point technology, smart meters communicate directly with the collector, which is mostly via a tower.  Another disadvantage is that smart meters require extra power because they send data to the utility company every 30 minutes or so throughout the day and night. Some people believe smart meters are causing house fires, however there is no definitive proof that smart meter’s cause house fires.  However, faulty wiring in your home due to subpar installation or aging could.

The expansion and development of commercial facilities are mainly driving the growth of the smart meter market for the commercial sector. Smart meters provide detailed, real-time data on energy usage, allowing businesses to track consumption and identify patterns and areas for improvement. By tracking and managing energy usage more effectively, businesses can reduce their energy costs and improve their bottom line. These smart meters also give businesses the information they need to optimize their energy consumption and reduce waste.