You may not even know if you have an old analogue meter or a smart meter fitted to measure your water or electric usage. Analogue meters must be read regularly, by a human, whereas smart meters can be read at a distance, by transmitting your energy consumption data direct to the utility company. Smart metering is more efficient for both the user and the utility company.
Good for The Consumer
Utility companies have understood for a long time that it is expensive to send an individual out to read analogue meters regularly. This has led to some utility organizations only physically reading the meter every two or three months. The downside to this for the consumer is receiving interim bills that might not bear resemblance to your real usage. The bills may be higher or lower, leaving you to argue one month or receive a bigger bill once the meter is physically read.
Smart metering enables you, as the consumer, to be able to monitor your own energy use accurately. There are several extensive features and options that smart meters can use. This does not mean that your energy company uses them, but many contain the facility to be able to notify the utility company when the power fails at a specific property, which will identify the problem at the earliest stage, allowing teams to be sent to diagnose the outage.
The utility company can use the smart metering facility to turn your water or electricity on or off, from the company’s head office. This is an advantage to consumers when you quickly require utility facilities in a working condition.
Smart meters are clearly here to stay because they are more efficient, accurate and benefit both the utility company and the consumer.
Should your meter have been replaced in the past few years, there is every probability that you may have a smart meter attached to your property. To be able to tell the difference, smart meters have a digital interface, whereas the older style analogue meters have analogue dials, much like a vehicle mileage readout from a vehicle dated from the 1970s.