Changing how we monitor energy
Over the past few years, smart meters have gained significant media attention throughout Australia. A new energy monitoring technology, smart meters were initially rolled out in Victoria and have since been implemented in other states including New South Wales. These new meters utilise the type of intuitive technology we use each day through smartphones and other mobile devices to help energy customers monitor usage and, in theory, reduce their monthly bills.
As with any new technology, many consumers are still unclear on what smart meters are, how they function and what potential benefits these new devices offer. So now that almost all of us have these devices installed at our homes, what do you need to know?
What do smart meters mean for you?
- Data on your energy usage – straight to your smart phone or mobile device.
- The ability to monitor your usage in real time.
- Customisation in energy use – adjust consumption for more efficiency or shift usage to off-peak times to achieve cost savings.
- More certainty in your budgeting, as estimated bills are virtually eliminated.
What are smart meters?
Smart meters are modern electricity meters that use two-way, digital communication systems to record electricity usage. These new electricity meters, which are replacing the older meters known as accumulation meters, measure and record how much energy a household or business is using at 30-minute intervals.
That data is then relayed to (1) customers via a smart meter app or on the digital, in-home display on the meter itself, and (2) the customer’s energy distributor. Since smart meters communicate meter readings directly to electricity distributors, they essentially eliminate the need for physical meter readings.
How can you benefit?
By monitoring your energy usage in real time, you can adjust consumption for more efficiency and cost-savings. As an energy customer, you can also use the data provided via your smart meter app to shift usage to off-peak times and benefit from further cost savings. (Please note smart meter data comes via your retailer – more information here http://www.smartmeters.vic.gov.au/interactive-devices/web-portals.) This new technology also takes the guesswork out of budgeting, virtually eliminating estimated bills. The flexibility many customers enjoy through smarter meters also allows them to choose when to receive and pay bills.