Monthly Archives: January 2017

Pros and Cons of Smart Electric Meters

Everything is smart nowadays. We have smart phones, smart TVs, smart computers, and it was only a matter of time before we got smart electric meters. Some people say that these smart electric meters are much better than the older ones, while other people like to stick to the old and tested stuff, and claim that the old ones are better. Well, we’ve decided to test that out, and see what are the pros and cons of an electric meter.

Smart MetersFirst of all, let’s say what the smart electric meters are. They are devices that track a consumers electric use, and then record it. These presumably save lots of power from heavy appliances like heaters and air conditioners. These ones have slowly started replacing the old analog electric meters, which were read once a month by a person from the electric company. These new devices capture the information on electricity consumption automatically, and transmit it back to the electric company.

Okay, now that we’ve explained what these smart electric meters are, let’s see what are some of the benefits that they brought with them. Of course, there are a lot benefits that these devices have brought to the electric companies, but also to the consumers, so, let’s start with the benefits for the companies.

The first one definitely has to be the fact that there is no more manual meter reading, which can sometimes be done falsely. Then, the monitoring of the electric system is done more quickly, which benefits everyone, as does the fact that this type of device allows an efficient use of power resources. The smart electric meters offer data received in real time, which can be rather useful when it comes to balancing electric loads and lowering the risk or blackouts. Also, this device allows for dynamic pricing, and helps with the optimization of the income with the existing resources.

As we have said, there are also some benefits for the users, and the most important one definitely has to be a detailed feedback on energy consumption. This allows the users to adjust their habits in order to lower their electric bills. Also, because the risk of blackouts is nor lowered significantly, the users will never have to worry about that problem. An example of a manufacturer of these devices is JSG Solutions. These devices also curb the greenhouse gas emissions from the existing power plants, and prevent the need from building new ones.

Now, of course, this technology also has some drawbacks, both for the electric company and the users. The electric companies have to deal with the users’ acceptance of the new technology, which can always be tricky. Also, they require a long-term financial commitment, as well as new software in the whole company. The data that comes in is significant, and it has to be stored somewhere, and apart from that, it also needs to be secured.

When it comes to the disadvantages these devices offer the users, they include the user’s inability to verify the new meter, to protect the privacy of their data, and apart from that, they also have to pay for the new meter.