The energy bill is among the biggest expenses of a month and one needs to make the right decisions for selecting a meter. There are different types of meters and each has its own pros and cons, therefore choosing the right meter is either saving you a few bucks or increasing your expenses.
Smart Meter: Smart meter is for measuring consumed energy on a monthly bases. The smart meters are based on the latest state of the art technology. There are different reasons for the selection of a smart meter. The smart meter can both measure energy incoming from the grid or outgoing to the grid, i.e. some houses have solar systems in houses, which feeds energy back into the grid when they have excess production.
Traditional Meter: The traditional meters are only measuring the energy incoming from the grid towards consumers. This is not intelligent enough and hardly measures energy incoming from the grid based on an energy calculation algorithm.
Before you opt for the selection of a meter, you are required to know some of the basic factors on which your choice must be based. Such factors are as follows.
- Accuracy: The accuracy is the first factor that must be considered. The servicing of electric meter is a must thing to consider at least once or twice a year. The servicing of smart meters is very easy; however, the servicing of conventional meters is out of the question. The reason is that the traditional meters are mostly mechanical and have constantly moving parts and hence need to work in a synchronous way. While it’s servicing if anything wrong happens, it may start calculation in the wrong way or be out of order. Whereas the smart meters are digital and have fewer or no moving parts, hence they can be serviced easily.
- Human Error: The smart meters are conveying the reports on their own without involving any human work. Therefore, such meters are considered reliable. Whereas, the conventional meters are needed to be monitored by humans, who read the number of units consumed, and then the bill is calculated accordingly. Therefore, such meters are having an involvement of human error which may result in under or over bills.
- Outage Detection: The smart meters are able to detect the outage and are able to send alert messages to the electric companies instantly. Such meters are having a very fast response towards any kind of abnormality and hence, the equipment inside the house is safe from short-circuit, etc. Whereas, the conventional meters have no clue of outage detection or any abnormalities hence there is always a risk of short circuit.
Myths about Smart Meters: A few rumors are being spread regarding the smart metering system and its capabilities. For example, it is circulated that smart meters are capable to deal with outages, however, this is not the case because outage can only be removed by a power company that is providing the energy. The smart meter is not controlling the thermostat. The rumor originated as numerous power companies are offering programmable thermostats for consumers which turns off the air-conditioning systems in case of an extreme shortfall. There is no immunization in smart meters for faults. Such meters need to be calibrated and services at regular intervals.
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