How Smart Meters Benefit Your Electricity Bill
Technology has improved efficiency in almost every facet of our lives, but there’s one glaring area that’s been slow to catch up: the way electricity is billed.
The current approach that most utility companies use to monitor usage and then bill customers is still mostly antiquated. However, the good news is that improvements have started to be implemented and there will be more in the coming years. Many businesses and energy consumers could realize financial benefits by implementing and effectively utilizing smart meters. These more sophisticated meters are electronic devices that track and record electricity consumption in real time, which allows consumers to pay for their exact volumes of usage each hour. This is in stark contrast to the old style of meters which only record total consumption on a month to month basis. Those total consumption volumes from the old meters are then allocated according to what suppliers estimate as the behavior of their consumers, even though their assumptions could be drastically off and cause their consumers to pay more.
The difference in these technologies is crucial because suppliers put a heavy emphasis on usage at times of peak demand when calculating customer rates. Peak demand are the times when usage on the electrical grid is at its highest, which is usually during heat waves and cold snaps. Although these extreme weather periods are short lived, during these times prices are often highest and can make up a significant portion of a commercial and industrial customers’ total electricity bill.
Therefore, when customers are not utilizing this modern technology in their building, they are not optimizing their energy savings. Customers with smart meters that monitor and manage their actual time of use could cut their usage during peak demand hours and reduce their total energy spend. One of the ways customers can manage and monitor their energy use is through an energy management system. This is a system where customers are able to analyze their usage, and control their heating and cooling units, lighting, and alarm systems, to name a few. The management system also gives them remote access to all of their systems through a dashboard.
At Patriot Energy Group, we complete a comprehensive review of our clients’ energy consumption and practices to develop customized solutions to maximize efficiency and savings, using the most advanced methods. We monitor the energy markets in an effort to make sure our clients find the best product plan and contract to meet their business goals. We identify inefficiencies in businesses’ facilities, such as old lighting or heating and cooling units that are outdated, inefficient or not controlled properly, that can be improved to save money. We work with vendors to have LEDs installed in place of inefficient lighting, which not only saves energy, and in turn money, but can also aesthetically improve the facility with better light quality. Our vendors also carry out mechanical solutions that not only save on your utility bill, but also improve building comfort. Along with these energy conservation measures, we also offer on-site generation systems, such as solar.
In addition, we help clients decide whether a smart meter is right for them. Smart meters are on the way, but some customers may want to make the move now to save for the future. For many businesses, better monitoring of usage means big savings as you’ll only pay for what you actually use. If customers are overpaying, without a smart meter, they may never know. For companies operating manufacturing facilities, it’s probably wise to invest in a smart meter as soon as possible.
We’re in a time of flux as old technology is slowly being phased out in favor of vastly superior new technology.