volume 66 - issue 6 - June 2016
Getting smarter together with smart meters
In April, SMECO installed smart meters at accounts in the Golden Beach area. During installation, a SMECO meter technician or qualified contractor removes the meter from its base and installs a new digital electronic meter. The installation process takes less than 10 minutes.
The new digital electronic meter is capable of two-way communications between SMECO and the meter, which enables SMECO to offer a number of key benefits, including more detailed billing information and the ability to respond to outages more quickly and effectively.
Can smart meters control my appliances?
No, smart meters can only measure electricity usage, just like the existing meters do. Smart meters tell SMECO how much energy you use, when your power goes out and when it comes back on, when voltage is too high, and when voltage is too low.
Smart meters cannot control your appliances and cannot measure the consumption patterns of specific appliances.
SMECO has a load management program that helps save energy and money during the summer months. CoolSentry is an opt-in program where customer-members receive a credit on their electric bills from June through September to allow SMECO to schedule conservation events during times of peak demand. Peak demand times occur when everyone uses a lot of electricity at the same time, usually on the hottest days.
When members sign up for CoolSentry, they will either receive a free programmable thermostat, professionally installed, or a Digital Cycling Unit (DCU) installed on the outdoor central A/C unit.
When SMECO holds a conservation event, a wireless signal is sent to the participant's CoolSentry thermostat or DCU. The signal places the central air conditioning units and heat pumps into conservation mode. The signal will coordinate your A/C or heat pump with others in the neighborhood to reduce electricity use. The temperature in the home may rise slightly, but will stay comfortable.
Customers can choose their level of participation
One level is 50 percent cycling, which means the compressor operates half the time it did prior to the conservation event. Members who choose 50 percent cycling will receive $50 in bill credits.
The second level is 75 percent cycling, which means the compressor operates 25 percent of the time it did prior to the conservation event. Participants who choose 75 percent cycling will receive $75 in bill credits.
Regardless of which level you choose, the A/C fan operates continuously throughout the conservation event, circulating air throughout your home.